Parkland waterways awarded states best

South Bank Parklands Waterway Management has taken out the Queensland medal at the 2015 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects QLD Awards. A collaboration between City Parklands Transition Services, Vee Designs, JFP, and Place Design Group, the project was selected across five categories to receive the industry’s highest accolade.

Announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane, the Awards’ judging chair Mark Fuller characterized the collaborative team as bold, strategic and imaginative.

The citation from the award’s judging panel stated, “The South Bank Parklands are an iconic destination for Brisbane, one whose popularity demands significant behind the scenes management and careful stewardship of evolving design changes. Through careful intervention, creative problem solving and exemplary coordination, this project has added further value to the visitor experience.

“This reworking and adaptation has been achieved through a comprehensive approach by the landscape architects who have embraced a full understanding of the spectrum of operational and design issues, boldly reinventing a much used asset. This project is an excellent example of the important role of landscape architects in the ongoing strategic management and renewal of the public realm, and in ensuring the community’s investment in key urban spaces is carefully maintained and cultivated.”

The South Bank Parklands Waterway Management project was to improve water quality and water safety for the pool (Streets beach) and stream surrounds. As part of the project, Place Design Group were tasked with reinvigorating the streams and access to surrounds.

An emphasis on water quality, and improving accessibility with the incorporation of stairs that lead directly into the streams with promotion of play with the rock bed was made as a priority outcome. The driver behind this was to utilise the activity in the stream base to continuously disturb silt build-up and therefore flush the stream allowing cleaner water and reducing maintenance costs. Extra care was taken to ensure that large areas of grassed mounding and shading for visitors was offered. Additional seating was also incorporated to meet increased demand, especially for the myriad of events now held within the precinct.

Place Design Group Design Principal, Shaun Egan said “It is wonderful to see our work recognised by our peers. The stream section represents a change in thinking where design is driven by technical outcomes and is balanced through the provisions of inviting and relaxing public spaces. The motivation behind the South Bank refresh was not to focus on the leisure visitors, but on their safety and the health of the park itself. Our team worked tirelessly to enhance the quality of existing facets of the streams while ensuring that new aspects would meet the needs and expectations of visitors.”