Landscape architecture has the ability to transform the natural environment into a space that encourages community and cultural richness and stimulates a positive lifestyle.
The Asia Pacific Property Awards jury’s role is to decide which of the many landscape architecture developments in Australia exemplifies these and other positive principles each year, deeming one the ‘best’ in its sector.
The HASSELL-designed Darwin Waterfront has earned the jury’s notice this year, earning the title of Best Landscape Architecture project in Australia at the 2012 Asia Pacific Property Awards in Kuala Lumpur. The project was also awarded the Five Star Award and a commendation in the Leisure Development Australia category.
The acclaimed precinct was once the site of a disused industrial site that physically disconnected the urban city centre from the beachfront. The waterfront site is now connected to the Darwin CBD through a pedestrian walkway and plays host to a number of commercial and retail spaces as well as a stunning wave pool, lagoon, convention centre and hotel.
HASSELL executive chairman Ken Maher states that it through reconnecting cities located on the water back to their natural elements while paying heed to cultural and historical urban roots that success in developing precinct spaces is found.
“With many cities on the waterfront, either river, harbour or the sea, the space between the city and the water has often been a place for trade and industry, disconnecting the urban centre from the foreshore and resulting in a blighted space when industry declines,” says Maher. “This zone provides a rich opportunity for new focal public places, for reconnection and repopulation, while at the same time paying respect to the heritage and industrial history of a site.”
Maher adds that it is through reclaiming disused industrial space that urban planners in general can make the most efficient positive use out of land-short cities.
“As world cities develop, and land is at a premium, urban consolidation and the use of previously industrial sites help to reduce urban sprawl,” says Maher. “Darwin Waterfront transformed a previously contaminated industrial site, providing a new public landscape and a new waterfront address for the city.”
The award is a great honour to both HASSELL and the city of Darwin, with the latter now reaping the rewards of its new, and recently-proclaimed national best, environment.