FutureArc August/September 2019

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Active Living Developing green housing

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Regeneration Wirral Waters, Merseyside

Interview JFA's founder Jaquelin Clay

Lighting Creating vibrant landscapes

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WELCOME Welcome to the August/September issue of uture rc. irstly, we present the findings of our Most Influential andscape rchitect campaign, which provides an interesting insight into our readers views on some of the most prominent individuals currently practising in the sector. For those who like to keep up with the latest developments in the industry, the uture andscape onference, organised by l ays – the media business which publishes uture rc and ro andscaper maga ines, and hosts the industry leading uture cape event – will provide the opportunity to network and discuss the future of commercial landscaping. ee page 0 for further details. In this issue, we also look at the irral aters development in iverpool, which shows how landscape architecture can be at the heart of meaningful regeneration. This issue s roperty piece features a specialist developer who believes that green space is the key to leading a longer, more fulfilling life. Our regular columnists discuss topics including the importance of encouraging diversity in the workforce, and how the design of buildings and spaces between them affects all round health. In the ortfolio section, we highlight a m university public realm pro ect in eicester and the gar rove development in amden, ondon, while our international pro ect features the earning orest in ingapore. The spotlight is on late in our Materials section, and we also feature the second instalment of a three part series on soils. e round off with features on lighting, hedging and planters. t uture rc, we always look forward to hearing all your news, and if you have any interesting pro ects, please send details. ope you find this issue inspiring Gill Langham Features editor gill.langham@eljays44.com


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Japan’s national stadium


OPINION Romy Rawlings

INTERVIEW Jaquelin Clay of JFA Environmental Planning

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AECOM’s impressive transformation of the university’s gateway to Leicester city

Opinion Eva Woode



MOST INFLUENTIAL Ten of the most inspirational landscape architects


REGENERATION Wirral Waters, Merseyside


FutureArc August/September 2019

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AGAR COURT, camden Efficiency, natural spaces and a sense of community define this multi-phase project

Eden Retirement Living’s approach to green spaces




SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS This verdant space rounds out the existing gardens with some innovative concepts

An in-depth look at one of landscaping’s favourite metamorphic materials

Two creative examples of integrated lighting

Tim O’Hare returns for his second installment

A pair of stylish case studies

Palmstead Nurseries offers advice


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08 EDITORIAL Features Editor – Gill Langham gill.langham@eljays44.com Head of Content – Nina Mason nina.mason@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com Design: Kara Thomas


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SALES Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com

Eljays44 Ltd

Head of Sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com

Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture

MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com

The 2019 subscription price for FutureArc is £125. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.

Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@eljays44.com

3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 2DA Tel: 01903 777 570

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK

Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

Cover image ©Peel L&P

FutureArc August/September 2019


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P6 News P8 International News Special: Japan’s National Stadium

NEWS LUC design scheme at Regent’s Park playground Work has begun at Gloucester Gate Playground at Regent’s Park in London, and will comprise a complete refurbishment of the existing space. The aim of the project is to create an exemplar playground that improves the current play value, caters for a wide range of abilities, age groups and cultures, and allows able and less able-bodied children to meet and play in a safe and accessible environment. The Royal Parks commissioned LUC to provide landscape design services in 2016.

LUC took inspiration from the site’s historical and ecological context for the play design concept. St Katherine’s Lodge was originally situated to the south of the playground before it was bomb-damaged during WWII. The rubble was spread out and mounded. Over the years, the area has been reclaimed by nature through tree planting

All images ©LUC



and various sensitive ecological habitats. This design scheme extends the undulating landscape and tree planting to thread, weave and embed play into the area, using the texture and character of natural materials. The scheme will include several play zones nestled on and around a large accessible mound – the names of which are based on old English names for woodland areas. The scheme seeks to demonstrate best practice, by providing opportunities for social, creative and imaginative play. Other features include a sand and water play area, a wheelchair accessible bridge across two mounds (named ‘The Revetment’), and a 50m long zip-wire. The features are

set within a sensorial environment of ornamental shrub, woven willow and tree planting, in order to soften the appearance and integrate it within the landscape of the park. The project also seeks to maximise opportunities for community engagement by building on relationships with local community groups and users through a series of outreach programmes, creating a ‘local’ play facility; and the scheme will encompass a series of observational and user studies post-completion, in order to measure its impact. www.landuse.co.uk

P12 Opinion: Romy Rawlings


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Portrush train station swings into action On the back of the 148th Golf Open, GRAHAM completes the new ÂŁ5.6m Portrush train station supplied with Hardscape's Royal White, Nordic Yellow and Pink Pearl granite paving.

Portrush Train Station Client: Translink Architects and Project Management Team: Dorans Contractor: GRAHAM Paving materials and Artscape supplier: Hardscape Hardscape collaborated extensively regarding the public realm aspects of the other Portrush regeneration projects. The team there included: Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; Aecom; The Paul Hogarth Company; MWA Partnership; FP McCann; Newtownstewart and GRAHAM Construction. Hardscape supplied flamed Kobra granite used as the channels to separate a Nordic Yellow, Royal Grey and Pink Pearl granite mix paving area from Crystal Black granite. The mix particularly was chosen to reflect the coastal aspects of the scheme with subtle nuances and undulations of the sand and sea close by. Other materials were Yellow Rock, Kobra and XR Red granite blister tactiles and Kobra granite corduroy granite tactiles again, chosen for the colour aesthetic to the surroundings and the durability aspects.

For further information on our paving products and bespoke seating innovations please visit: www.hardscape.co.uk

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A WINNING DESIGN Japan’s National Stadium – the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – has been designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape and will feature traditional elements


urrently under construction, Japan’s new National Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the track and field events of the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. The multi-purpose stadium in Kasumigaoka, hin uku, Tokyo, will comprise orest of the Deep reenery, arden of the reat Tree and aterfront arden. To blend in with the landscape, the height of the building will be 0m or less, the 0,000 spectator seats will be arranged as compactly as possible, and the top of the stand will have a flat roof structure. A green network The stadium, surrounded by greenery of the Outer arden of Mei i Jingu hrine, forms a green network – spreading from the Inner arden of Mei i Jingu hrine to the Imperial alace, through to the hin uku Imperial Gardens and the Akasaka Detached Palace.

The stadium features spaces including the orest of the arth connected to the surrounding parks, and the rove of the ky on the top floor, which has a circumference of appro imately 0m. This feature will serve as a public walkway where visitors can en oy viewing the cityscape. A natural choice of materials The eaves located around the outer perimeter of the stadium and covered with vertical cedar lattice , give the stadium faint shade and mild te ture, which blends in with surrounding trees. ative species of greenery will be planted on the eaves to further blend the stadium with the green environment. aves are one of the features of traditional Japanese construction, and are suitable for the Japanese culture and their climate. These design features will create a very Japanese stadium – gently blending the architecture with the green environment.

In keeping with this theme, traditional Japanese lights stone and paper lanterns provide the stadium with soft light. Roof Materials used for the truss of the large roof are mainly steel, for strength, and lumber, to suppress deformation in case of an earth uake or strong wind. Natural energy atural energy is used to provide an environmentally friendly stadium. revailing winds are channelled into the stadium from eaves and terraces, enhancing the environment inside. In addition to the natural energy, an airflow creating fan and a mist cooling system will be installed near the entrance gates, and in some areas inside the stadium. Bowl-shaped, threelayer stands create a sense of unity among the athletes and spectators. www.jpnsport.go.jp/newstadium

The renderings are intended to show conceptual image at completion and may be sub ect to change. Vegetation shows an image about 0 years after completion of the stadium.


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Project name New National Stadium Development Project Site area Approximately 113,000m² Building coverage area Approximately 72,400m² Height Approximately 47.4m um er of floor Two underground floors, five floors above ground Scheduled completion ovember 0 Client Japan ports ouncil Contractor Taisei orporation, usa ekkei o td, and engo uma and ssociates, Joint venture

The renderings are intended to show conceptual image at completion and may be sub ect to change. Vegetation shows an image about 0 years after completion of the stadium.

Images Taisei orporation, usa ekkei o., td. and engo uma and ssociates Joint Venture

icture under construction ebruary 0

provided from J

icture under construction ebruary 0

provided from J

icture under construction ebruary 0

provided from J

The renderings are intended to show conceptual image at completion and may be sub ect to change.

The renderings are intended to show conceptual image at completion and may be sub ect to change. Vegetation shows an image about 0 years after completion of the stadium.


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London 2019 Tomorrowʼs Urban Spaces We are delighted to launch this important new conference for the commercial landscaping sector. There are a lot of big changes taking place, with design and landscaping playing a greater role in improving the quality of green spaces. There is also landscaping’s emergent role in society and the potential benefits to the health and wellbeing of our population. With a range of quality speakers, this conference will challenge, debate and question some of these vital issues. - Jim Wilkinson, managing director of Eljays44

Seminar Programme rri al registration co ee





Jim Wilkinson, Eljays44


Peter Massini, Greater London Authority

e note spea er introduction

10:30 – 11:30 11:40 – 13:00


Urban esign


Simon Ward, Atkins | Jaquelin Clay, JFA Environmental Planning | Eric Holding, JTP


esigning ommunal Spaces

uild to let

Dr Phil Askew, Peabody | Adrian Judd, PRP Architects | Selina Mason, Lendlease | Adrian Wikeley, LUC


e olutionising Soils


14:00 – 15:30

Tim OʼHare, Tim OʼHare Associates | Dr Mike Wells, Biodiversity By Design Ltd | Alistair Bayford, idverde

15:40 – 17:00

Paul French, fabrik | Chris Churchman, Churchman Thornhill Finch | Chris Bridgman, Bridgman & Bridgman


17:00 – 17:30 17:30

Soils and soft landscaping

reening t e S ies


rin s inis

on rmed Spea ers

drian udd

PRP Architects

aul renc fabrik


urc man

Churchman Thornhill Finch

eter assini

Greater London Authority

a uelin la

JFA Environmental Planning


il s ew


ore to follow Simon ard Atkins

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Tim ʼ are

Tim OʼHare Associates

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17 October 2019 | London www.prolandscapermagazine.com/future-landscape-conference


ŠNigel Dunnett

The Future Landscape Conference London 2019 is a brand new conference for the commercial landscaping sector. It will be hosted by Eljays44, the producers of FutureArc, Pro Landscaper and hosts of the industry-leading FutureScape events. The conference will explore current trends and prepare the sector for hatĘźs ahead

Why? Delegates will hear the views of top, trusted names from major companies in the world of planning, landscape architecture, property development, commercial landscape contracting and architecture. You will be able to enter the discussion, share views and learn about the future of the market. It is also a great opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry.

How? Email laura.harris@eljays44.com, or call 01903 777570 to register your interest in this event. Alternatively, visit www. prolandscapermagazine.com/futurelandscape-conference for further info.


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any of us are probably aware that the landscape sector is not the most diverse, and construction in general is known to be one of the worst when it comes to gender e uality. esponses to the andscape Institute s tate of andscape member survey last year highlighted additional areas upon which to focus, such as of respondents identified as white – this compares to of the population. Our proportion of ethnic minority citi ens is lower than it should be, something which is in line with similar professions, such as architecture or town planning. hen asked to indicate whether respondents had a physical or mental disability, stated they did against an estimated of the working population. This is a ma or shortfall and probably doesn t begin to consider many mental health issues, which are thought to affect appro imately 0 of the population. nother aspect, which is more di cult to assess, is that of socio economic background. owever, it s safe to assume that many young people may be put off the training re uired for landscape architecture due to the lengthy university based education and associated cost.

“UNLESS WE BROADEN THE INTAKE INTO THE PROFESSION, WE’RE GOING TO FACE GREATER PROBLEMS” e should remember that while these are clearly very different categories, they re not mutually e clusive and a person may identify as belonging to two or even all the above subsets. o, why does this matter It s obviously a good thing to be inclusive and welcoming of all in any profession, but aside from the moral aspect, we re currently e periencing a ma or skills crisis. This is something that ranges from encouraging young people into horticulture, finding skilled construction workers for sites, and filling vacancies in landscape architecture practices where of practice heads stated in that same I survey that recruitment was a key challenge . nless we broaden the intake into the profession, we re going to face greater problems, ust as our skills are in higher demand


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OPINION ROMY RAWLINGS This month Romy Rawlings looks at the importance of encouraging diversity in the workforce and the steps the industry can take to promote it to help mitigate the impending climate crisis, amongst other issues. There is another important reason why the value of real inclusivity cannot be understated an an imbalance of white, wealthy and able bodied designers truly understand the needs and challenges of the more diverse communities for which we design o matter how empathic we believe we are, wouldn t we improve the uality of our work by collaborating with a more diverse workforce and embracing the culture, values and needs of people who could bring so much more insight to our pro ects It s often said there are three key areas to focus on if we are to encourage a more diverse workforce. Recruitment lthough similar issues may prevail throughout the broader landscape sector, it s perhaps less challenging to attract a diverse workforce apart from women into contracting or site work. Many

employers have offered construction related apprenticeships for years, and this offers a route into work for those without higher level academic ualifications. This could be because they ve not progressed so well in the education system or are put off by the potential burden of university fees and subse uent debt. new apprenticeship scheme is soon to be offered by the andscape Institute, supporting an intake of both evel and evel apprentices. lthough numbers are e pected to be low initially, this will open doors to many who would previously have been e cluded. iving in the Midlands, I ve seen first hand the popularity of Jaguar and over apprenticeships that have a specific appeal within schools in more deprived areas. hile these might be assumed to attract young people from backgrounds where a university education is simply not an option, many will also come from ethnic minority or disability groups. Retention fter attracting someone into a landscape role, we need to hold onto them. hile there may be several reasons for someone choosing to leave their ob, the role that unconscious bias plays shouldn t be underestimated. hile it is often understood to be an issue in recruitment, the culture of a workplace will have a huge impact on whether a colleague feels they truly belong . In general, we need to become more conscious of the detrimental impact of everyday but e clusionary conversations, social activities, and inaccurate assumptions on people from differing backgrounds. Recognition and role models This is a key aspect, whether for someone considering the landscape sector as a potential profession or retaining those wishing to advance their career. here very few visible role models e ist from different ethnicities, or with disabilities bearing in mind these might not always be visible , there will be a disconnect that often leads to an assumption that a career is simply not for them , when they have every right to be there. omething as simple as the selection of imagery used in promoting a career is vital here, ensuring minority groups are visible so there is a clear message This could be you .


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FEATURES P14 Interview Jaquelin Clay

P19 Opinion How does the design of buildings affect our mental and physical health?

P20 Eden Retirement Living Creating active spaces for older communities

P23 Most influential Ten inspiring landscape architects

P29 Regeneration Wirral Waters, Merseyside




Founder and managing director of JFA Environmental Planning, Jaquelin Clay, explains how the company, now in its 30th year, approaches development in a way that combines aesthetics and ecological sensitivity

How did the company start up? I started the company in 1989 with one or two permanent staff and sub contractors. rom the beginning, I felt the ideal si e was around si staff. The practice started with an emphasis on ecology, but I always felt that aesthetics and design were important, and particularly lacking in ecology, so very early on I incorporated landscape design into the practice. My original background is in the sciences, particularly botanical and soil science. I initially hired landscape designers, but then I decided to gain a ualification to become a landscape architect in . How has the company developed since 1989? t our biggest in 00 , we had staff, and like many practices at the time we were hit by the financial crisis. t that point, I delegated a great deal. ut, given the nature of the business and my very clear vision, I was happier to reduce headcount. t the moment, I have si full time employees, but also have a team of sub contractors. I believe this is about right. ou ve got to keep your headcount down or you re going to lose money, and as the MD I have to keep an eye on the finance side. I looked at our cost basis and changed a number of elements of the practice to improve e ciency, make


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amount of work for schools, but that goes mainly to design and build contractors so we are not involved. We do strategic work, which takes sites through to planning and also build-out. Strategic is our strength, but we do both. How would you describe your leadership approach? The best outcome is when the needs of the staff intersect with the needs of the company. To achieve this, I take into account the individual requirements of staff – such as part time working due to young children, amongst others – and ally these with the needs of the company. If you can do this, staff will be very productive and loyal.

1 Wick Lane development, London ©DRMM and Taylor Wimpey East London 2 Hellingly 3 Barnhorn Green

Do you still have a hands-on role? I am when I need to be. I will generally, at least, have a good look at the site, then the staff carry on with it. I undertake expert evidence at public enquiry for our clients.

1 a more pleasant working environment for the staff, and improve profitability. This has been effective. How would you describe the company ethos? Our approach involves being ecologically sensitive and maximising biodiversity enhancement, but in an aesthetic way. We combine both aspects and also provide arboricultural services. This has been received positively by our clients who recognise the economies around using us for all services. Our strapline is ‘bringing nature to the heart of design’. That is what the company’s about, enhancing biodiversity in the context of development. Soon, Biodiversity Net Gain will be legally mandated. We’re well positioned in that regard. We have a strong portfolio, and I want to maintain and enhance that. We have a good base of existing clients, but when taking on new clients, we have a conversation to ensure that we are on the same page. We are client focused and have a strong brand, so I try to reinforce that at all times.


What are your design inspirations? I would go back to the original landscape architects, such as eoffrey Jellicoe and ertrude Jekyll the landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy (who produces site specific sculptures and land art situated in natural and urban settings and harles Jencks, who is noted for his earthworks. What inspired you to become a landscape architect? It’s all about ensuring that green infrastructure is both beautiful and biodiverse coming at that from a landscape architect s angle was more effective than



Would you consider yourselves to be specialists in a specific field? Our main sectors include community building, high end residential, leisure and recreation. There is a small


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coming at it as an ecologist because a landscape architect has a bigger picture. We tend to work on ‘landscape scale’ projects – bigger sites. What I’m interested in is how a development sits within the landscape. I get the most satisfaction out of seeing the finished product and saying, that s ours, we did that as part of a team’. Is there a project that you are particularly proud of or that you would say stands out? One I would emphasise is the ellingly ospital mi ed use scheme for ersimmon omes, which involved masterplanning aspects and green infrastructure elements. It was a huge project and included an old hospital, a Victorian park associated with the hospital that needed to be refurbished, a cricket ground that had to be rebuilt and a cricket pavilion. It started in 00 and is largely complete.

e provided both the landscape and ecology on that, so there’s good design integration; there was also a stakeholder element driven by the parish council. The developer, the local council, the residents and the local authority were involved. The local authority had a strong view on design. ot all of them do. It works well as a new community, particularly in terms of how all the elements interact and where the play areas are in relation to the built developments. nother pro ect is a uarry development Medway ate, near ochester in ent. It is an ama ing transformation of somewhere that initially looked like a Mad Ma film set. They did a terrific ob of building a platform for the residential development, retaining a stunning chalk wall. I would also pick out two pro ects in ondon thlone ouse, where we designed the garden, and ick ane, which is an Olympic egacy pro ect ad acent to the Olympic ark. Could you talk us through any current projects underway? The current one I m e cited about is arnhorn reen, e hill in usse . It is mi ed residential, and there s a big play area and a lot of green infrastructure. That one is going to be very interesting. Has the role of the landscape architect changed since you started out? es, I think things have improved. It s better understood and taken more seriously. e re not uite so often described as landscapers. There s always a danger of clients cutting corners. In small pro ects you can get away with a minimal approach to landscaping, but I think there’s a better understanding of it now. It has become standard to have a landscape design as part of planning. Do you see the role of the landscape architect changing in the future? I think that issues like sustainability and biodiversity initiatives are increasingly important. andscape architects that focus on design have a long way to go in terms of understanding the ecological side of things. What do you think are the key challenges facing the industry? t the moment, I think re it is affecting investment decisions, so people are holding off. verybody would be more active if we had some more certainty. lobal warming and climate change are also huge issues.



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Does the company get a lot of repeat business? We don’t lose clients much and I enjoy picking them up from my competitors. What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry? Most of the problem is people just not being aware of what it is as a profession. Everyone knows what an architect is, but few people knows what a landscape architect is. I think that’s a huge problem. The role of a landscape architect is very clear, but getting that across to young people who might be choosing a career is a hard one. You need to have a head for engineering, but you don’t need to be an engineer. You need to understand physics, plant and soil science, hydrology and you also need to have a design flair and understand the planning system. There is clearly a gritty, commercial side of it so that if you were purely an artist you might think: “it’s not for me”. Although there are a lot of female landscape architects in the UK, there are not many women at the helm of companies. Why do you think that may be? There used to be several big practices with women, at least, co-directing. It’s interesting because more than half of ualified landscape architects are women, but they don’t head the companies – I don’t know why. I think landscape architects suffer from a certain lack of ambition; it tends to be a bit of a lifestyle degree, so there’s that. So, it’s not like there’s a plethora of female landscape architects frustrated to get ahead – I think a lot of them are comfortable. They’re on a decent salary and have maybe got a part-time position. Just because not too many women are running the show, does not mean that landscape architects are inherently sexist, but the building industry generally is very male-dominated. Design team meetings are usually one or two women to eight men, and that hasn’t changed much. What advice, if any, would you give specifically to women in the industry? The thing that is di cult, and the advice I give to younger women, is you’ve got to be tough. You’ve got to be tougher than you want to be because you’re getting value engineered all the time by clients. You’ve got to be able to be direct. I think one of the biggest problems I ve had with unior staff is telling clients no. They just don’t want to, and I say don’t be


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afraid to be direct. You’d be surprised how the client will then come around to your point of view. It’s all about being a good negotiator. You’ve got to make a living, you’ve got to have aspirations for a business, you have to make your mark so you’ve got to play a tough game.

4 Wick Lane Illustrative ©DRMM and Taylor Wimpey East London 5 Athlone House 6 Bat barn, Hellingly 7 Medway Gate 8 Hellingly orchid 9 Newt at Aylesford Quarry

Finally, what is the next step for the company? My ne t step is to get all the staff to understand and promote innovation as well as biodiversity enhancement. For example, the Biodiversity Impact Assessment Calculation (BIAC) is emerging as a requirement for planning permission. We do a lot of work in Hertfordshire – which now requires it – so we are familiar with the methodology. There’s a technical algorithm that you have to use, and we’re quite comfortable with it. We’re well ahead of almost all the other practices in that regard.

JFA Environmental Planning Established in 1989, JFA is an expert in the field of Environmental Planning. The company successfully collaborates with people who make a difference to the environment. It delivers projects which work in harmony with the natural world, while providing added value solutions to site development. W: www.jfa.co.uk

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The rules are simple, you can nominate yourself or a colleague as long as the nominee was aged 30 or under on 1 January 2019 and currently works within the horticulture, arboriculture, garden design or landscape sector. Entrants must have worked in the industry for at least one year.


120 winners so far

93 male 27 female 37 landscapers 27 grounds maintenance contractors 24 garden designers 16 suppliers 9 landscape architects 4 arborists 1 interior landscaper 1 head gardener 1 soil scientist

Entering 30 Under 30: The Next Generation is a great way to gain recognition for your own work or the work of someone you know. Previous winners have expressed that winning the awards is a wonderful way to enhance their careers.

How? Simply email 30u30@eljays44. com to request an entry form. Fill out the form to the best of your ability, picking out key moments from your career and showcasing some of your best work. Email the form back to 30u30@eljays44.com along with a high-resolution head shot by 30 August 2019. Proudly supported by


For more information on how to enter, contact Amber Bernabe on 01903 777570 or email 30u30@eljays44.com

www.prolandscapermagazine.com/30u30 Advert 30 Under template.indd 30 launch.indd 14 20

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can enable public life to flourish. ehl highlights that the more time people spend outdoors, the more they meet and talk to each other, and the more passive contact they experience (hearing


Eva Woode KR.indd 19

©Susan Smart

In London, Gehl spoke about how creating a ‘liveable city’ is now top of the agenda for most mayors across the world, but many architects are concerned with designing ‘perfume bottles’ for our cities, instead of focusing on people and spaces for people. There are great


How does the design of buildings and spaces between them affect our mental and physical health? EVA WOODE explores the impact the design of cities has on our sense of connection with others and seeing other people), all form an important part of social connectedness. So, creating spaces between buildings that allow people to safely walk, sit and play, will enhance a sense of community – fighting isolation and loneliness. The importance of spaces between buildings felt particularly relevant during my summer holiday in Sweden. In Scandinavia, a large part of the year is spent hurrying home to avoid the darkness and cold. When light and warmth finally return in late spring, the en oyment of public spaces appears to erupt with a great sense of urgency. Perhaps starved of what Gehl calls ‘low intensity’ contact (being able to meet, see and hear others), come springtime, there’s a real relief when caf s and restaurants finally start using outdoor seating and dining areas. People spill outside to enjoy being part of city life again.

“THERE ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE THE WELLBEING OF COMMUNITIES BY REIMAGINING HOW THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT CAN SUPPORT OUR NEED FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION AND CONNECTEDNESS” opportunities to improve the wellbeing of communities, by reimagining how the built environment can support our need for social interaction and connectedness. As Gehl puts it, “life in buildings and between buildings seems in nearly all situations to rank as more essential and more relevant than the spaces and buildings themselves.”

©Susan Smart

©Susan Smart


©Ella Haller Zwierzchowska


ellbeing in the built environment is an increasingly popular subject. A report authored by the British Red Cross and Co-op, published in 2016, showed that almost 14% of the UK population say that they are often, or always, lonely. The consequences of loneliness, including poor health and stress, were also emphasised in the study. Other studies show that social connectedness can offer a protective, and even a curative, role in mental health. It’s clear that we need to feel connected to other people in order to feel well. Design professionals can play an important role in bringing people together, especially when it comes to how we design our cities. Earlier this year, Studio Woode invited Jan Gehl, the ‘grandfather’ of humanistic city planning, to give a lecture in London as part of a curated exhibition programme. Gehl has pioneered ideas on how the built environment affects social connectedness, and how architects have a responsibility to care about people. His book Life Between Buildings, first published in 1971, outlines ideas on how designers – often using simple measures –

ABOUT EVA WOODE Eva Woode is the founder and director of Studio Woode Ltd, a curating and communications studio, specialising in design, architecture and construction with a focus on sustainability and wellbeing. W: www.studiowoode.com

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THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS For Liam Kelly of specialist developer Eden Retirement Living, green space is the key to leading a longer, more fulfilling life


iam Kelly, managing partner at Eden Retirement Living, had a blossoming passion for gardening early on in life. “I started growing my own veg when I was about eight years old and started selling them to supermarkets when I was 10.” Green space was an integral part of his upbringing in the Irish countryside, so it’s hardly surprising to hear that now, as the managing partner of Eden Retirement Living, he puts ‘active’ landscapes at the heart of his developments. “We want our residents to get up and get out there. I wouldn’t want my parents to sit inside when they don’t need to, when they can go out and engage and participate.” It’s not just a personal interest that prompted Liam to centre Eden’s communities around gardening. Having worked in retirement living for about 20 years before launching his own company, he quickly tackled a conundrum that many older residents face when they move into later-life accommodation. “I know how important it is for people to go out into their garden or their allotment. When you move into a retirement complex, all the gardens are there, but they are all manicured and looked after. o, I came up with a different philosophy, letting people go back to the grassroots.” The top floor apartments of Eden’s development in Newbury, Berkshire – a contemporary building with 60 properties and hotel-style services, set in a conservation area in

“WHEN YOU MOVE INTO A RETIREMENT COMPLEX, THE GARDENS ARE ALL MANICURED AND LOOKED AFTER – YOU JUST LOOK OUT AT THEM. SO, I CAME UP WITH A DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY” the town centre – all come with roof-terrace gardens. “The biggest one is 1,300ft2, so somebody is going to grow some nice vegetables or some flowers up there. I want to give people that chance.” Gardening also features in Eden’s plans for an upcoming development at Thorpe, in Surrey, where Liam hopes to create allotments for the residents’ enjoyment. The one drawback of this approach is that the company has to be picky about the sites it builds on, but iam says it s well worth the effort.

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“It means residents can sell their homes, come here and have fantastic grounds, but they can also go out and grow their own vegetables. It’s great for health and wellbeing, and underpins exactly what Eden is about. For residents, the allotments are an additional bonus: it gets them out there to meet their friends.”





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Putting in active green spaces has another advantage – it promotes interaction with the wider community. At Thorpe, for example, Liam would like to open up an allotment to local children. “What I encourage is integration, not segregation. There are huge benefits. e all know that, as you move on in age, having children around is great – but it’s also good for the young people: we want them in the real world, talking to people and learning.” Of course, Eden also provides traditional landscaped spaces for those who would rather enjoy greenery without getting their hands dirty. The Newbury development, for example, has lovely landscaped gardens on two levels, including a courtyard garden with a water feature on the ground floor. hen people are having meals at the restaurant, they can look out there, or they can sit and eat their meal there. There’s another garden where you can have a pit fire and groups can gather, sit around and have a glass of wine in the evening.” Liam is particularly proud of the landscaping at Newbury – before Eden set out to develop it, the site was barren. Once it s finished and you look down from above, most of it will be green,” something that permeates the pro ect – even the four ground floor apartments will have their own private green space in the form of a living wall. “It’s much more exciting than looking at a painted wall,” says Liam. “It’s awesome.” s its developments are so different from one another, Eden’s view is to create green spaces that fit the specifics of each individual site, rather than following pre-set landscaping notions. Where Newbury is an urban setting, for example, the upcoming development at Thorpe has a rural feel, and Liam is looking forward to making the most of the existing lakes and ponds. “People will be able to sit around and look at the fish or even feed them. It will feature more than 00 trees, which Eden hopes will all be named, so “there’s an educational element and you can go on a tour.”


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“WE WANT OUR RESIDENTS TO GET UP AND GET OUT THERE. I WOULDN’T WANT MY PARENTS TO SIT INSIDE WHEN THEY DON’T NEED TO, WHEN THEY CAN GO OUTSIDE AND ENGAGE AND PARTICIPATE” The company is also considering building a pavilion and keeping horses and sheep in the fields. Thorpe is just cracking. It will stand out in this country.” Across all sites, though, Eden’s landscaping strategy always hinges on three cornerstones. First, green space needs to suit different purposes, whether

it is dining with a view or having a quiet chat with your neighbours: “I like to think we have a place for everyone.” At the same time, it needs to be exciting, a key quality that Liam also looks for in landscape designers: “I don’t want ‘safe’ – I want people who can think outside the box. Obviously, they need to be cost-conscious, but you can still get something beautiful. The last thing you need is just boring green.” But Liam’s most treasured principle, which he applies to both green and built space, is to bring joy. “When I look at my customers, I think: how can I make them happier? If people are happy, they are going to live longer. And if they have a garden where they can walk around, be free and do things, it’s going to make them happy.”

4 1 Eden hopes to have more than 500 named trees at its upcoming development in Thorpe 2 The Newbury development will have landscaped gardens on two levels 3 Extensive grounds at the Thorpe site include lakes and ponds 4 Newbury’s top-floor apartments all have roof-terrace gardens 5 The former CEMEX House in Thorpe is the site for future development and renovation by Eden

Eden Retirement Living



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The latest brand of a Surrey-based consortium, Eden Retirement Living focuses on later-life developments, with Rebus Homes covering open-market properties and Four Quarters acting as the construction and project management arm. Alongside its collection of retirement apartments in the centre of Newbury, Berkshire, and the extensive renovation and newbuild of former office space on Thorpe, Surrey, the company has developments in the planning stages in Haywards Heath, Ascot and Liphook. W: www.edenrl.com


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ARCHITECT The UK landscape architecture industry has an abundance of successful and aspirational figures. to celebrate that talent, FutureArc sought readers’ views on the most influential individuals currently practising in the sector. readers were contacted directly and asked to nominate up to five individuals they thought were the most influential within the industry. The results, published here, give an interesting insight into readers’ views on the sector


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he idea of this feature was to canvass the UK working landscape architects to let us know who they believe are currently influencing the landscaping sector. The results are not by any national research or scientific approach, but purely based on the opinions of the landscape architects that kindly participated. ll that being said, the 0 or so people that nominated their individuals have allowed us to pull together this top ten, which I hope you agree is an insightful read. e also had nominations for the most influential landscape architect of all time , who had their own un uestionable influence. This list is certainly not a definitive one, but it has undeniably got us thinking about who the industry see as game changers, and what people need to do to be recognised by their peers, challenge the norm which is never easy and make a real difference. e very much hope you en oy the read and would love to hear your feedback about the people who are on the list – and maybe some names that should be. Thank you to all that took the time to help us compile the FutureArc Most Influential.

Jim and Lisa Wilkinson Managing director and editorial director



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ndrew has worked on a range of highprofile award winning pro ects – notably the 00m ardens by the ay development in ingapore – and has collaborated with some of the top architects and engineers in the world. or ardens by the ay, he led the design team on the striking ha space, which e plores the technical boundaries of landscape and horticulture in an sian city, and won the uilding ro ect of the ear ward at the 0 orld rchitecture estival. ndrew studied landscape architecture at eriot att niversity dinburgh ollege of rt. e formed rant ssociates in to e plore the emerging frontiers of landscape architecture within sustainable development. e has a fascination with creative ecology and the promotion of uality and innovation in landscape design. ach of his pro ects responds to the place, its inherent ecology and its people. In 0 , ndrew was awarded the title of oyal Designer for Industry DI in recognition of his pioneering global work in landscape architecture. e is also a visiting professor for the Department of andscape, niversity of he eld. e was made an onorary ellow of the I in 0 0, reflecting the strong relationships he has developed with many of the leading architects in the and abroad, as well as for his work on key architectural pro ects, such as the 00 tirling ri e winning ccordia.


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“He has basically transformed the UK and global profile of the landscape architect”

“Most recognisable projects by a UK landscape architect”

“At the top of the tree, working here and abroad, influencing contemporary landscape design through his resilient ecology approach”

“His combination of stunning original worldclass design, such as Gardens by the Bay, and his full engagement with ecological and environmental issues and design is unique”

“Andrew Grant is the one person that has achieved most, in that his Singapore Gardens has done more than any other to raise the profile of landscape within popular culture. I believe society has increasingly biophilic tendencies, and this project, above all others, expresses man’s awareness of the world that he inhabits”

Over the following pages we present some of the internationally acclaimed landscape architects currently working in the sector, nominated by our readers


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“James Corner is able to combine great design with attention for critically important topics and tries to show how landscape design can help to improve our cities”

©Peden + Munk

born James has been advancing the field of landscape architecture and urbanism for the past 30 years, primarily through his leadership on complex urban projects around the world, as well as through teaching, public speaking and writing. James Corner Field Operations is a leading-edge urban design, public realm and landscape architecture studio based in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, London and Shenzhen. Important public realm design projects include New York’s highly acclaimed High Line; London’s South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; and Shenzhen’s City of Qianhai, a new coastal city for 3 million people. He is currently leading the design for San Francisco’s Presidio Tunnel Tops, a 14-acre new park; the new Qatar Museums Cultural District and Park in Doha; and the Arts District West Bund Waterfront in Shanghai. His work has been recognised with numerous awards and prizes including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award.




James is a professor of horticultural ecology in the department of landscape architecture at the niversity of he eld, one of the world s leading schools within this discipline. James’ research focus is on understanding how designed plant communities function ecologically and the key factors determining their attractiveness to urban people. His work culminated in the design (in con unction with his he eld colleague rof igel Dunnett of the ondon Olympic Park. James’ aim is to shift paradigms as to the very nature of what urban planting might be in the 21st century in a time of climate change, sustainability and biodiversity.


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“A real commitment to the promotion of the profession and support for the education of future landscape architects”

A landscape architect, founding member of J & L Gibbons LLP and founding director of Landscape Learn, a social enterprise, Jo is a fellow of the Landscape Institute and the RSA and serves on several advisory panels. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London and a core research partner of Urban Mind, a cross-disciplinary project lead by Kings College London with Nomad Projects. Her expertise concerns heritage, green infrastructure and urban regeneration. Many of Jo’s projects are international award winning, including the 2011 Landscape Institute President’s Award for the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden. Recent projects won in competition include the new Museum of London and the new Museum Island in Oslo, where she is working in collaboration with Tracey Emin.



©Kyle Johnson


“Perennial and wildflower genius... the UK’s Piet Oudolf”

An internationally acclaimed “A truly inspirational landscape architect renowned architect that creates for creating distinctive amazing designs” sculptural landscapes which engage at a fundamental human level. Kathryn brings more than 35 years of distinguished practice to Gustafson Porter + owman in ondon and ustafson uthrie ichol in Seattle. Kathryn’s work from both firms includes the Diana, rincess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Seattle City Hall Plaza, and the landscape design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, DC. Current projects include a civic project in Senegal, Valencia Parque Central, Rhine Terrace at the Novartis Campus in Basel and Taikoo Place in Hong Kong.

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Kevin was appointed an associate director at Planit-IE in 2018, having been integral to the development of the company’s business, projects and people. Since then, he has taken on an active role in the practice’s future growth and strategic direction, specifically across the reater Manchester region. He is continuing to grow the company’s wider contribution to Social Value across projects; building on his experience from Manchester s Our Town all pro ect.


Martha is renowned for generating striking designs for diverse projects worldwide. Martha is a tenured professor in practice at the Harvard niversity raduate chool of Design, advancing design for limate hange Mitigation, and a founding member of the Working roup of ustainable ities at Harvard University. She is the recipient of a Council of Fellows Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Boston Architectural College.

“Martha Schwartz‘s projects are an example of how public space should be rich and welcoming and enjoyable to all”

“Kevin has changed the public realm across Manchester over the last 20 years. His projects large and small will echo the streets for the 20 to come”


A pioneer of the new ecological approach to planting gardens and public spaces, Nigel’s work is based on decades of experimental research, and widespread application in practice. He works as a designer and consultant and regularly collaborates with a wide range of other professions. Nigel has authored and co-authored key books on planting design, water-sensitive design, and urban rainwater management. His projects include work on the ueen li abeth ondon Olympic ark, the arbican entre, ondon, and he eld s rey to reen. old Medal winner at the helsea lower how in 0 , Nigel won the Landscape Institute “Teaching at Sheffield Award 2018 for Planting Design, University on an Public Horticulture and Strategic ecological approach Ecology, and the Landscape to planting is changing Institute ellows ri e for Most the way we think” Outstanding ro ect.



Matt has been pivotal in the design and delivery of some of Planit-IE’s Manchester studio s key pro ects. is work on Altrincham’s public realm over the last seven years has helped to transform the town’s position from one of doom to boom. He also has a key role in the design team for lbert uare, part of the Our Town ro ect for Manchester ity ouncil, and promotes a strong collaborative approach on all his projects working seamlessly with all other disciplines. His work with award-winning artist and sculptor Stephen Broadbent, on both Altrincham and Daresbury ci Tech ark, have ensured a robust and prominent setting for celebrated artworks.


“He is a passionate advocate for the social and environmental value of landscape, continuously asserting the importance of high-quality environments for all”


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“He is a true pioneer in the landscape industry and has inspired many younger professionals within the practice”

A practising landscape architect for 30 years, with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, Noel’s work is founded upon the belief that landscape makes an essential contribution to socially cohesive and sustainable communities. An accomplished masterplanner and strategist, Noel is a passionate advocate for the social and environmental value of landscape. Alongside his work at Farrer Huxley, Noel is past president of the Landscape Institute, where he is also a fellow and past chair of policy.


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WATERFRONT The Wirral Waters development illustrates how landscape architecture can be at the heart of meaningful regeneration and create wider social and economic confidence


major 30-year masterplan will see Wirral Waters, a 500-acre site located on the ‘Left Bank’ of the River Mersey, become one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. Wirral Waters is a mixed-use waterfront development facing Liverpool and is centred on the east and west ‘Floats’ of the Wirral Dock System. Owner Peel L&P is transforming the derelict site into new city quarters, featuring an animated water’s edge, new parks and greenways, community services and visitor attractions. The Wirral Waters masterplan is landscape-led, and the aim is to create “a lush city waterfront with room to breathe”. The landscape, through the creation


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of distinct, healthy, liveable places – is designed as the project’s USP and attract both interest and investment. The design teams are being led by Ian Parkinson, director of Parkinson Inc – a Liverpoolbased urban design and masterplanning consultancy. “The idea was to see landscape as a force for regeneration. Some landscape schemes are formulaic – the same materials are supplied in the same way but ust in a different place. ere we took an approach where everything will be ‘of the Wirral’ and embedded in the place. “We’ve also started building relationships with local environmental community-based groups to draw them into the project,” explains Ian.



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1 Tower Road street view 2 East Float 3 Wirral Waters masterplan


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Landscape is providing the catalyst for change, with advance large-scale tree planting and public realm works making the place ‘investment ready’. Sustainability Central, a partnership between local government, local businesses, community groups and charities, has been created to ensure that the full spectrum of diverse roles that the landscape may play, as the connecting thread, is central to Wirral Waters. The scale of Wirral Waters is enabling a ‘whole place’ approach – sustainable transport, energy, and waste networks, together with a ‘city scale’ network of green and blue infrastructure is connecting places together. Landscape architects are embedded in the design teams, which include BCA Landscape, re-form Landscape Architecture, TEP and Schmidt Hammer Lassen. Richard Mawdsley, Peel’s director of development for Wirral Waters said: “With Wirral Waters, the landscape setting comes first – out of which building objects can emerge. From a design perspective, there is enough to cue into in order to create a new desirable place that is genuinely authentic – whether its history, its natural assets or its people. We are going to create something that’s genuinely of Wirral.” Masterplans The goal is to create a sustainable location for local and international businesses, creating more than 20,000 permanent jobs for the Liverpool City Region, as well as offering new housing opportunities. The project is supported by central government and Homes England and it was designated Enterprise


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one status in 0 – one of the first four nterprise ones in the . Masterplans have been produced for ast loat, as a mi ed use city waterfront, and est loat, to be retained as an operational port and further developed as a Marine, nergy and utomotive M ark. oth areas are connected with a ity Infrastructure lan of green infrastructure, cycleways and streetscape improvements. Wirral Peninsula The irral eninsula has a distinctive landscape with diverse coastlines and parklands, a collection of urban and rural villages, strong connections with the water s edge and iverpool city centre ust minutes away. It is also a place of contrasts, with prosperous, greener villages across the west and north of the eninsula a sharp comparison to the deprived inner urban neighbourhoods of Inner irral, clustered around irral Docks and the iver Mersey waterfront. A contemporary landscape ‘of the Wirral’ rom inception, the main design ambition has been to create a distinct, memorable, recognisable sense of place that was of the irral . The docklands landscape features an underlying riverbank character overlaid with historic docklands. The opportunity to create a distinct identity by revealing hidden layers and introduce a new layer of contemporary landscape interventions was identified early in the master planning process. The most valued asset is the water s edge, with its distinctive open e panses and high water mark. To provide a counterpoint to the iverpool aterfront, an approach was taken to interact with the urban dockland water s edge in a way that felt like being on a riverbank.



5 4 Four Bridges communitybased art project 5 East Float 6 Wirral Metropolitan College, Four Bridges



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Delivery activity over the next three to four years is being clustered in two neighbourhood areas, Northbank and Four Bridges. These will create mixeduse and sustainable neighbourhoods with a distinct ‘riverbank’ landscape identity. This programme of activity is just 5% of the Wirral Waters project but will start to create delivery momentum, with 13,000 new homes already consented. Northbank More than 1,100 new homes are being created along Northbank to create a thriving new community with a mix of ages, family types, incomes and lifestyles in a range of housing suitable for first time buyers, young renters and families, older citizens and dementia care. Diversity is being created with three developer partners – Legacy Foundation Project, Belong Villages and a joint venture with Urban Splash. The role of landscape design in creating an exemplar dementiafriendly neighbourhood is being explored with Belong Villages, UK Universities and dementia organisations. Designed as a new urban village, with all the lifestyle benefits of the wider irral eninsula, Northbank will create a distinct sense of place and landscape that provides access for all. The area will include a variety of unique elements: • Two ‘village greens’ will be created as focal points for events, local shops and cafes, a tree nursery and growing food in the city. ative floating a uatic planting and bird islands will create a wetland identity. • A boardwalk will provide direct access along the water’s edge, with access onto the water for watersports and festivals.

7 Legacy Project, Northbank 8 Northbank masterplan


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7 • A shared pedestrian/cycleway along the water’s edge and Dock Road will create a ‘car free’ 2.4km training circuit linking outdoor gym stops. Four Bridges New places to meet and relax, work, learn and visit will be created at Four Bridges. With a low carbon approach to connectivity, carriageways will be reduced to create wider pavements for pedestrians, cycleways, trees and rainwater gardens, outdoors dining, markets, electric vehicle charging and cycle hire. Along with this, shared pedestrian/cycleways will be created, and a Streetcar project will provide a ‘last mile’ feeder connection to allow easy transport to nearby Merseyrail stations.

Parkinson Inc Parkinson Inc is a Liverpool-based urban design and masterplanning practice specialising in place-led waterfront masterplanning. The company adopts a collaborative approach to projects. W: www.parkinsoninc.co.uk

Peel L+P The company has a track record in transforming former docks and industrial land into exciting new destinations. With attractive waterfronts and squares, these locations feature elements to attract commercial users, residents and visitors. W: www.peellandp.co.uk



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PORTFOLIOS P34 Mill Lane, De Montfort University AECOM

P38 Agar Grove Hawkins\Brown, Grant Associates and Mae

P42 Learning Forest Stephen Caffyn Landscape Design at Singapore Botanic Gardens


Project Value £2m Build Time 12 months Size of Project 0.9ha Awards • ProCon Leicestershire Small Non-Residential Scheme of the Year Award, 2017 • LJCC Merit Award ertificate of raftsmanship, Leicester Construction Awards, 2017 • Excellence in Cycling & alking runner up, ational Transport wards, 0 ro ect of the ear runner up, CECA Midlands Award, 2017 • RICS East Midlands Infrastructure Award, 2018 – winner • RICS National Infrastructure Award, 2018 – shortlisted andscape Institute ward 2018, Highly Commended: Design for a Medium-Scale Development


ECOM was commissioned by Leicester City ouncil to prepare a public realm design for Mill ane – the main pedestrian spine running through De Montfort niversity. The pro ect brief sought a step change in the uality of the public realm for both students and the general public to forge greater links between the city centre and peripheral residential areas and create a sustainable scheme contributing towards Leicester becoming a resilient city. The e isting environment provided a poor gateway to the university. It was a hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as being e clusionary for the surrounding community and people with disabilities. re imagining of the space as a gateway to the university and a key link across the city was re uired. The primary design goal focused on the creation of a positive street environment for the university campus, one that welcomed students, staff and the local community. iver to ity became an overarching concept, anchoring the design proposals within its local conte t and opening up the connection to the iver oar. The pro ect recognises the important role the river historically played in the development of eicester.



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1 2 3 4

Planting at sunrise Catwalk style lighting The campus centre Mill Lane visual



Supplier information • Contractors: Danaher & Walsh • Paving suppliers: Hardscape for stone paving and Aggregate Industries for the exposed aggregate concrete. • Street furniture: Furnitubes



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te wa



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t Univers

Science Block




Estate development Building

Gr an ge La ne

The Green house

Newarke Point

Campus centre Building

De Montfort University Fletcher Building








eric Wood Building

IOCT (Institute of Creative Technology building Kimberlin Library

Queens Building




e to De tfort

Mon ersit


Hard Landscape Proposals


De Montfort Surgery

Soft Landscape Proposals

Porphyry stone paving

Proposed Cycle Storage

Gravel rain gardens

Precast concrete Paving

Contrast visibility Line

Drop Kerb to cycle lane & PEDESTRIAN CROSSING

Proposed Seating

Concrete paving with exposed aggregate finish

Granite Book-End seating




Gr et



Understanding ‘place’ A thorough appraisal of the site and wider area was undertaken to understand the underlying constraints and opportunities; highlighting natural features, architecture and the untapped potential of the site. ateways, connectivity, flooding, ecology, accessibility and resiliency were all key themes. The design team collaborated with other consultants working on the university campus to develop consistency between Mill Lane and the wider campus. Collaboration took place to resolve design issues, ensuring seamless connectivity and material selection to create coherence across the campus.














Speaking about the design, Simon Dowse, AECOM’s technical director for landscape architecture, said: “The focus of our design was to create an inclusive and sustainable environment for the students and communities that use this busy thoroughfare, which runs through the heart of the De Montfort University campus. “Using local materials and a range of sustainability measures, the project has transformed Mill Lane into an attractive and vibrant destination, creating an inviting gateway to the university and strengthening its link with Leicester City centre.”


Ornamental tree planting

Close Mown Lawn

Shrub planting with Aquatic Theme

Prairie planting






hedge Planting

Study Boundary Site Boundary


5 The project’s masterplan 6 Completed works 7 Alternate visual 8 Strategic planting All photographs ©AECOM

Flood alleviation & water management Surface water management was an important design consideration during development. Leicester City is designated a significant flood risk area, so it was important the scheme would help alleviate flood events. This was achieved by using rain gardens as part of a sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) strategy, where all surface water run off is directed into landscaped beds. The rain gardens run the length of Mill ane, naturally filtrating rainwater into the ground and connecting to a new opening to the River Soar. The rain gardens also help to mitigate the urban heat island effect. Material Selection Porphyry stone was selected to complement wider public realm improvements across the city. This ensured the scheme sits comfortably within the city, complementing the existing red brick architecture. Exposed aggregated in-situ concrete paving was also specified to reflect the iver to ity concept, recreating a riverbed type surface. Contrasting paving strips of exposed aggregates blocks provide navigational aids to the visually impaired. Exposed aggregate concrete is used


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6 throughout the scheme because of its low maintenance, making it ideal for busy thoroughfares. It also provides a wonderful contrast in texture and colour with the other materials.



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Stakeholder engagement Consultation was integral to the design’s evolution. To mitigate against cyclists dominating the space, subtle placement of planting beds and benches deflect pedestrian and cyclists along the main spine of the campus. The removal of an excessively long channelled vista and the creation of a series of smaller open spaces reduce cycle speeds. Further navigational aids for the visually impaired were also introduced. Contrast paving strips were placed next to buildings and separated from the main thoroughfare by rain gardens, offering enhanced protection for vulnerable user groups. t unctions where different user groups meet, subtle demarcation and layout ensure vulnerable users take priority, and cyclists are forced to slow down significantly.


AECOM Global infrastructure services company AECOM has landscape architecture teams based across the UK and Ireland and provides comprehensive landscape and urban design consultancy services. The company’s work is characterised by high-quality solutions based on sound and sustainable principles. W: www.aecom.com

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AGAR GROVE CAMDEN, LONDON Hawkins\Brown and Mae with Grant Associates



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he first phase of gar rove, featuring a garden s uare and liveable spaces between homes, has been completed in the ondon orough of amden. ocated ne t to two railway lines in the north east of amden Town, the site comprises of social rented homes, arranged in a series of low rise blocks. The estate s layout and housing stock had become ine cient, outdated and disconnected from the wider city. gar rove state was conceived in 0 as an e emplary pro ect, showcasing high sustainability standards and a fabric first approach to increase energy performance. ork started on site in 0 to create new homes for new and e isting residents. rchitype acted as assivhaus delivery architect for the first phase of the scheme, which was completed in pril 0 . total of of those homes have been built to achieve assivhaus certification – making it the largest assivhaus development in the – reducing heating bills by around 0 compared with conventional homes.


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The new masterplan is based on the traditional concept of streets and s uares , with an emphasis on creating liveable spaces between homes and improving pedestrian routes across the site. The aim was to move away from the dead end routes and poor connectivity associated with the original estate. t the heart of the new estate, a garden s uare provides a landscape of pedestrian and cycle priority circulation routes, garden and park planting, play spaces and seating. Individual residential units and apartment blocks all open out onto the garden s uare and the ad oining new streets, creating a sense of cohesion and access to outdoor space. orking with Mae and rant ssociates, awkins rown developed the initial proposals for gar rove in collaboration with residents. peaking about the development, eter hmiel, director at rant ssociates, said gar rove fully integrates a sustainable landscape design strategy within its masterplan, and from the outset of the scheme we were involved with steering the overall design concept. Our guiding principle was to use the


Project name gar rove Location amden, ondon Client ondon orough of amden Project value m Build time 0 ongoing Architect awkins rown and Mae Landscape architect rant ssociates Passivhaus delivery architect rchitype Awards The Mayor s ward for ood rowth – ondon lanning wards 0 , The Mayor s ward for ustainable and nvironmental lanning – ondon lanning wards 0 , ousing Design ward 0 The unday Times ritish omes wards ommendation 0

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landscape to foster a sense of community and help to promote people’s health and sense of wellbeing. “We also sought to mitigate environmental challenges, including the effects of climate change, wherever possible.” Peter explained how these aims were being achieved through a diverse mix of spaces, including natural and formal play areas, extensive tree and sensory planting, drought tolerant and low maintenance planting, along with the retention of large existing trees. Creative storm water management using planted rain gardens was implemented. This provided a range of fle ible spaces within the immediate and wider public realm for community use.


6 gar rove demonstrates the benefits of placing landscape architecture on an equal footing with architecture, providing people and nature with outdoor space that enriches life. We are very proud to have contributed to the scheme’s success,” added Peter. Seth Rutt, partner at Hawkins\Brown, said: “Our scheme not only creates high quality, low energy homes with good space standards and

high environmental performance, but also stitches together a series of green spaces from Agar Grove, as well as connecting the streets and buildings into their context.” Agar Grove is part of the council’s Community Investment Programme (CIP) and aims to promote a fabric first approach to increase energy performance. Councillor Danny Beales, cabinet member for investing in communities at Camden Council, said: “The next phase of the regeneration works at Agar Grove is already underway. We can now look forward to providing more local families with a higher standard of accommodation and a rejuvenated estate.”

1 Aerial view of the proposed Agar Grove regeneration 2 The new built form and streetscape is carefully integrated into Wrotham Road 3 Private balconies look out over the communal courtyard 4 CGI view of proposed public park and play space at Lulworth Tower 5 Linear courtyard includes directly accessible doorstep play 6 Public park CGI aerial view 7 Balconies provide valuable private amenity space 8 Access to the courtyard allows for informal recreation, doorstep play and communal events Photo 1, 4 & 6: ©Hawkins\Brown Photo 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8: ©Jack Hobhouse

Grant Associates Grant Associates is an international practice of landscape architects, based in Bath and Singapore. The company ethos is connecting people with nature through creative landscape architecture. W: www.grant-associates.uk.com




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Hawkins\Brown is an architecture practice based in London and Manchester. Founded more than 25 years ago by partners Russell Brown and Roger Hawkins, the company works across a range of types and scale, bringing a collaborative approach to its projects. W: www.hawkinsbrown.com


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Woodland Horticulture Ltd

Sharpham Lane, Walton, Street, Somerset BA16 9SB Tel: 01458 441122 Fax: 01458 441123 info@woodlandhp.co.uk www.woodlandhp.co.uk

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LEARNING FOREST SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS Stephen Caffyn Landscape Design (SCLD) Client National Parks Board Project Value $25m SGD (£14m) Build Time 2.5 years (Opened in March 2017) Size of Project 9.8 hectares Awards • Winner – Landscape Institute (UK) Awards 2018 (Large-scale Development) • Outstanding Award – International Federation of Landscape Architects AAPME Awards 2018 old – aters ertification – Public Utilities Board 2018



scheme that took place to extend Singapore Botanic Gardens’ blended design inspiration, function and respect for the natural environment. Singapore’s National Parks oard appointed landscape architects tephen affyn Landscape Design as lead consultants to design the Learning Forest – a 9.8ha expansion to the existing Singapore Botanic Gardens. The project aimed to enhance and regenerate the existing habitats; create new habitats and biodiverse areas; highlight themed lowland rainforest and wetland plant collections; and engage and educate visitors whilst introducing them to Singapore’s natural heritage. “At the Learning Forest, we were able to implement our core aims of creating, connecting,

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and preserving habitats, whilst also enabling people to better experience and interact with the environment, says tephen affyn, principal at tephen affyn andscape Design. Project background The Learning Forest site is located on the western side of Singapore Botanic Gardens, and was previously separated from the existing gardens by Tyersall Avenue. Canarium Drive, which once served as the driveway of the old Istana the o cial residence of the President of Singapore), further subdivided the land into southern and northern areas. The south has a mature secondary lowland forest with clumps of rare species, whilst in the north, there was a steep valley surrounded by fast growing


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pioneer tree species. Research into historical data and maps indicated there was previously a lake in the valley and a natural spring. The design Featuring new wetlands, visitor facilities, a new road, replacement parking, and a themed walk encompassing a variety of forest, bamboo, and wetland plant collections, the design also conserved the existing southern forest habitat. The character of the Learning Forest is intended to be natural, wild and adventurous. Elements such as the elevated walkways and canopy web provide exciting high level views of the wetlands and forest, while boardwalks allow close proximity to the water and the forest floor. The wetlands habitats were created by a series of treatment ponds, weirs, and lakes, as part of the project’s stormwater management strategy.


How materials were sourced for the project Following the company’s sustainability principles, the project used recycled, salvaged, green label, and a lot of environmentally-friendly materials where possible. Felled timber was used for furniture and signage; demolished slabs and concrete drains were recycled for hardcore; unearthed boulders were used to create natural appearing cascades and swales; and excavated topsoil was stored and reused. Special requirements During construction, the contractor was required to develop, submit, and adhere to the Construction

3 1 2 3 4 5

Elevated walkway Wetlands walkway Canopy Web The Dell Cascade Canopy Web



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Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), based on the specified nvironmental Monitoring and Management Plan (EMMP). The creation of the wetlands area was sensitively phased so that migration routes were always maintained, allowing wildlife to escape from the work zones to adjacent undisturbed areas during construction. Additional actions to minimise the impact of construction on the existing ecology, included: the provision of escape routes and habitat links, strict control of the project phase timing and progression of the construction works, limitations on working and material storage areas, and allowing a two week rest/repopulation period for completed areas before commencing works on the adjacent area. Working area restrictions were imposed in the southern forest habitat to prevent damage and disturbance to any existing vegetation and wildlife there.


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6 Key challenges The undulating, and often steep, topography and the requirement for barrier-free access (BFA), were key challenges in the design. To achieve barrier-free access, the design utilized a system of elevated boardwalks and bridges that allowed the circulation paths some independence from the ground levels. This also had the beneďŹ t of preventing the paths from causing undesirable habitat fragmentation.

6 Masterplan 7 Elevated walkway 8 Otters in the Learning Forest 9 The Bambusetum


Stephen Caffyn Landscape Design (SCLD)



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SCLD is an international award-winning landscape architectural consultancy based in Singapore. It provides a full range of landscape architectural and landscape design consultancy services, and its international team of professionals undertake a wide range of projects in the region. Current projects include Sisters Islands Marine Park, a Maldives resort, several large-scale cycling infrastructure projects, as well as residential and commercial developments. W: www.land-arch.net


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T: 01903 700678



North Barn Farm, Titnore Lane, Worthing, West Sussex, BN12 6NZ



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The Professionals Choice


01737 762300

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MATERIALS P49 Slate The benefits for landscaping projects

P49 Lighting The work of two major lighting companies

P53 Soil specification Tim O’Hare’s second installment of his three-part series

P56 Planters Impressive rooftops from Furnitubes and WoodBlocX



Best known as a natural roofing material, slate dates back to around 500 mILLION years ago in Wales. Its uses for other architectural purposes are more recent but all the qualities that make slate a high-quality roofing material also make it suitable for landscaping projects


he formation process of slate is similar wherever it occurs in the world. It is a metamorphic rock that started life as sedimentary rock, or in some cases igneous rock, that has undergone a low-grade metamorphism due to heat and pressure caused by volcanic activity. This changes the molecular structure of the rock from mud stone, and in the case of slate, gives it the ability to be split into thin sheets. The unparalleled age of Welsh slate gives it the density which results in quality slate material.

KEY FACTS • Slate was formed millions of years ago. In Welsh slate’s case, more than 500 million years ago • It is also found in China and Spain, but Welsh slate is the highest quality due to its density • Gardening TV programmes have helped to make it popular for landscaping • Featured at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show The regions of the world where slate is found – Spain, Wales and China primarily – tend to be mountainous. In most cases, the massive tectonic forces that formed the mountains also formed the slate. In the UK, the use of Welsh slate for landscaping has increased over the past 20 years. This has been thanks in part to popular garden makeover TV programmes which encourage the use of slate aggregates for a variety of purposes. These range from monolithic water features to mulch, walling and feature stones. Welsh slate decorative aggregates have been supplied to many of these TV programmes, as

Penrhyn Quarry, Snowdonia

well as the oyal orticultural ociety s flower shows and other horticultural and landscaping exhibitions. Typical applications are flower shrub beds and weed suppression, garden and municipal footpaths, cycle sports tracks, pond linings and paths, drives and hardstanding areas for cars and caravans. As it lies flat it gives better coverage, and therefore better value for money. In addition, it is pH neutral, so it does not react with acid or alkali, providing longevity for landscaping materials subject to long-term mild acid rain attack. Similarly, as a mulch it does not rot or blow away or adversely affect the soil s own natural characteristics, and in aggregate applications is ideal for use where exposure to water is required as it does not impact on marine life.

MAIN BENEFITS • Long lasting: Welsh Slate roofing slates are guaranteed for 100 years but often last up to twice as long • Inert, water resistant and colour-fast • Available in a wide variety of colour-fast colours, textures and sizes • Eco-friendly as it is a by-product of roofing slate production


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slate is a popular choice for landscapers and Mark Hodgkinson, managing director of Welsh Slate, explains here how the company’s material has been used in a range of contrasting projects.


elsh Slate, based in North Wales, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality roofing slate, architectural and aggregate slate products. One of the toughest natural slate products available, Welsh slate is a popular choice for landscaping projects and featured in show gardens at two RHS events this year. The manufacturer’s materials were used by Paul Hervey-Brookes at Chelsea and Chatsworth. Two other projects incorporating slate in their design – a retail and leisure complex in Wrexham and a seafront regeneration project in West Sussex – also illustrate the enduring appeal of this durable material.


Slate features at RHS shows Natural slate boulders, cleaved walling and decorative aggregates from Welsh Slate featured in two gardens created for the RHS Chelsea and Chatsworth Flower Shows. These were both created by multi award-winning garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes. The Art of Viking Garden featured slate monoliths and decorative aggregate from Welsh Slate’s main quarry at Penrhyn in Bethesda, North ‘The Art of Viking Garden’

Wales. Speaking about the Chelsea garden, Paul said: “The Welsh slate was the perfect colour to evoke the look and feel I was trying to create in the garden. It is superior in its range of colours. When we are trying to recreate a landscape, the e pertise of the uarry staff in helping find pieces which speak of the landscape also plays a huge part.” At the Chatsworth show, the garden designer’s Brewin Dolphin Artists’ Garden featured cleaved walling and paving slabs, both measuring 600mm x 300mm and in blue/grey, and green and blue/ grey decorative aggregate. “Welsh Slate embodies the quality of craftsmanship, skill and something you would value,” adds Paul.



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The Brewin Dolphin Artists’ Garden

‘The Art of Viking Garden’

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Welsh Slate features in the design of retail and leisure complex Dark blue grey slate from Welsh Slate’s Cwt-y-Bugail quarry has helped Wrexham’s retail and leisure complex, Eagles Meadow, to combine traditional local heritage with contemporary urban architecture. Opened in 2008, the Wilson Bowden development brought a new look to the north Wales town. The complex includes Marks & Spencer, an Odeon cinema, a 24-pin bowling alley and a two-storey Debenhams with a striking curved frontage. Specialist brickwork contractor PLF created the eye-catching Welsh slate facade to the Debenhams store, along with decorative slate planters and seating throughout the complex. The traditional

material was specified by ondon based architect Bernard Engle. Speaking about the development, Paul McAleese, director of says elsh slate is an instantly recognised, highquality building material that is often specified for new build pro ects in north Wales but it is underused as a cladding material. “Its use at Eagles Meadow anchors the development in the heritage of the region and provides a decorative contrast with the brickwork.” Welsh Slate supplied more than 1,100m2 of random length, random height slates for the cladding with a standard 100mm thickness. These random slates give the

Welsh Slate makes a splash with seafront regeneration scheme The landscape architects behind a £500,000 seafront regeneration project in West Sussex turned to Welsh Slate to supply sawnface boulders forming the scheme’s artistic centrepiece. Design firm craft pegg masterminded

the transformation of Worthing’s Splash Point into a focal point of the seaside town’s promenade. “Architectural work is a fast-growing part of our business, so Splash Point was an exciting project to be involved in,” explained Mark Hodgkinson, managing director of Welsh Slate. Part of the


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facade a natural, patterned appearance and provide a durable and weatherproof cladding as well as a striking aesthetic finish. “Often, Welsh slate is seen exclusively as a roofing material. ut, its depth of colour, natural texture and sheer quality can make a real architectural statement,” said Mark.

borough council’s wider regeneration project for Worthing, the scheme has created an outdoor meeting place for residents, tourists and artists. As well as trees, seating and lighting, the rejuvenated Splash Point includes more than 40 Welsh slate boulders, several of which have been inscribed and sandblasted with intricate designs by craft pegg and local artists. The boulders weighing between one and five tonnes were lowered into position using cranes. A four-tonne, sawn-face boulder has been installed and engraved to commemorate the lifeboat rescues that have been key to Worthing’s history. John egg from craft pegg, said hen you re designing a bespoke architectural project you can’t cut corners in terms of visual appearance and quality, which is why we came to Welsh Slate. Welsh slate is such a stable rock and it will preserve the artwork for centuries to come.” Coping for a section of wall at Splash Point has also been made from Welsh slate, along with two sets of steps and a performance space, reinventing Worthing’s historic Speakers Corner. The investment in Splash Point is a result of a successful bid by Worthing Council’s Regeneration Programme Team for funding from the Government’s Sea Change programme.

Welsh Slate Welsh Slate is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of highquality natural slate for a wide range of design-led exterior and interior applications such as decorative aggregates, walling, paving, flooring, cladding and roofing. The company’s portfolio is specified by landscapers, architects, interior designers, developers and contractors . W: www.welshslate.com


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nternational lighting design studio, Nulty, completed work on the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Centrally located in the heart of Dubai, the DI is one of the world s top financial centres and the leading financial hub for the Middle ast, frica and outh sia. orking closely with 0 D I , ulty designed and implemented an all D lighting scheme for the newly generated ate Village, which aims to improve footfall during the evening and weekends by creating an exciting new space for locals and tourists.

The Nulty solution aims to bring the space to life through light. The lighting concept which includes two striking illuminated bridges, encourages dwell time and improves wayfinding.


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ro ects director hmed aliem says The lighting design truly celebrates the landscaping and architecture of the space, and it s evident by the reaction of its users, that we ve achieved our client s goal of creating a wonderful urban environment for commuters and local residents to visit and en oy. Two bridges serve as the connection between the high-rise buildings that frame either side of the street. inear media tubes are mounted onto the ribs of the bridge to strengthen their architectural shape, and provide a visually stimulating display when they are in colour changing mode. Inside the bridges, halo lights are mounted to the ceiling, creating a 360deg light portal as you walk through. The main street is illuminated using a layered approach to the pathways and landscaping. Planting has been uplit to create an ambient light, while planter boxes feature integrated linear strips to the base, to give the illusion that they are floating mid air. The external walls of the surrounding buildings have been uplit by linear Ds that wash the walls with light, highlighting the verticals and te tures in the architecture. adiant poles have been positioned strategically along the street and pla a to provide a uniform lighting to the space.

Nulty Nulty is a leading-edge lighting design consultancy working with some of the world’s foremost architects and interior designers. Collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of its practice; improving life through light, no matter what the scale. A Nulty project is defined by its originality and attention to detail. W: www.nultylighting.co.uk

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White Rose Shopping Centre photographs ©John Kees Photography


Architectural lighting company Studiotech specialises in delivering bespoke catenary lighting systems for public realm projects throughout the UK. here, we look at two of ITS completed projects.


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rban and landscape designers are now taking a more experimental approach to integrated lighting projects in the public realm. Catenary lighting systems are an effective way to complement urban landscapes, providing a sensitive flow of light throughout the open spaces, as well as creating a seamless link between the built space and the public realm. A good catenary lighting system balances the lighting functionality and the visual impact of the installation. uch systems are a less invasive way to enhance the space at night, creating a safer and more pleasant environment. tudiotech specialises in delivering bespoke catenary lighting systems, and completed projects include a festoon style catenary system at hite ose Shopping Centre and a bespoke linear solution at


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The Springs retail and leisure destination at Thorpe Park, both in Leeds. Both projects involved Studiotech working in collaboration with akefield based architectural practice, The Harris Partnership. Thorpe Park The design concept at Thorpe Park included a full feature lighting scheme to the exterior of the buildings and throughout the public realm. Speaking about the Thorpe Park project, Daniel Broadhead, associate of The Harris Partnership, says: “Studiotech worked closely with us to develop our lighting concept and took it through to completion on time, within budget and without diluting our original aspirations.” White Rose The White Rose extension project involved the design and delivery of a full feature lighting scheme. The concept included recessed linear amenity lighting, catenary lighting, handrail lighting and RGB colour changing feature lighting.

THORPE PARK, LEEDS Thorpe Park photographs ©Giles Rocholl Photography Ltd

Challenges One of the main challenges involved the installation of 6 catenary mounted luminaires above the public realm, as it required a combination of design and engineering skills to create the desired effect. ach steel wire rope was manufactured to an exact length and was fi ed to the buildings at specific positions agreed with the structural engineer. Where there was no building to fi to, columns were installed allowing the catenary lighting to illuminate the public realm. d Vickery, director of tudiotech, says aving a background in mechanical engineering means the team has the knowledge and expertise to overcome the challenges of a catenary system.” Additional elements For the canopy illumination, Studiotech worked directly with the fabric specialists. Lighting was angled upwards to directly illuminate the tensile canopy, but also used soft, indirect lighting to provide illumination to the play area below. The most dynamic feature involved the installation of colour, changing fi tures to the cinema facade. The lighting was installed behind mesh panels to accentuate the architectural features of the design.

Client Morgan Sindall Main contractor Morgan Sindall Architect The Harris Partnership Scope of works: Design, supply, installation, control and programming

Other projects Other projects currently being delivered by Studiotech range from linear styles to suspended ring luminaires suspended across a public square.

Studiotech is a specialist architectural lighting company operating throughout the UK on a variety of projects. W: www.studiotech.co.uk


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Green-tree Topsoil

Light in texture with good water holding capacity. Ideal for environmentally conscious landscaping and construction projects.

Green-tree Amenity Tree Soil

Sustainable soils,growing media and turf for the landscaping environment

Load bearing, fertile planting medium. Enables tree root infrastructure to develop under hard urban landscapes, such as pavements.

Green-tree Roof Garden Substrate

Intensive and Extensive available for rooftop or containerised planting projects. Lightweight with good or controlled water-holding capacity for healthy plant establishment.

ArborRaft Soil

Works as a rootzone with the ArborRaft tree planting system in urban environments to protect the soil structure and ultimately protect and enhance the tree’s root growth.

Green-tree Bespoke Mixes

Includes rootzones, low fertility soils, subsoil, sports soils and structural soils.


A range available depending upon the landscaping project. Includes Green-tree Wildflower Turf to provide an instant wildflower meadow.

www.green-tree.co.uk For a copy of the Green-tree soils brochure call 01423 332 100 or email sales@green-tree.co.uk

Green-tree is a trading style of Green-tech Ltd

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ll commercial landscape schemes face specific challenges concerning the soils. Tight time constraints that make no allowance for poor weather, regardless of the impact on the soil as work continues, and chaotic construction sites shared with other trades greatly increases the risks of soil compaction, disturbance and cross contamination. The soils are very often put in by ground workers, rather than landscape contractors, who have no knowledge of soil management and, as civil engineers, are conditioned to compact everything. s a conse uence, the soil selected for commercial landscape schemes need to be robust and resilient to withstand this treatment.

“THE SUBSOIL LAYER – OFTEN FORGOTTEN ABOUT DURING LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION – IS A VITAL PART OF THE COMPLETE SOIL PROFILE” Subsoil The subsoil layer – often forgotten about during landscape construction – is a vital part of the complete soil profile. The functions of the subsoil complement those of the topsoil, so if the subsoil doesn t perform properly, this leads to problems in the topsoil and causes stress to any plants introduced. ubsoil is responsible for the attenuation of surplus water over the winter months and holds a reserve of water for plants in summer. It controls the drainage


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TO SOIL SPECIFICATION In the second instalment of a three-part series, Tim O’Hare, principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates LLP, discusses the challenges involved in commercial landscape schemes and gives advice to promote intelligent soil specification and management rate of the overlying topsoil and can supply mineral nutrients to deeper rooting plants. Trees and larger shrubs also rely on it for anchorage. ostile subsoil conditions result in waterlogging, flooding, anaerobic topsoil and, ultimately, plant failure. ompaction is a big problem on construction sites. If the e isting subsoils are to be relied on, it is essential they are de compacted before the topsoil is placed. This is so often ignored, or carried out ineffectively, and results in ma or problems for the new landscape and surrounding environment. If the e isting subsoils aren t suitable, for e ample, they have a high clay content or are too contaminated – or are non e istent as in podium landscapes and imported subsoil is re uired, the best materials are those that are sand dominant e.g. sandy loams, loamy sands or pure sand . They are more resistant to compaction and less reliant on having a defined soil structure in order to perform. The greater the risk of compaction, the higher the sand content should be. This means they ll function ade uately even if left in a compacted state. hen specifying subsoil, it s best to include permeability and porosity tests so that performance as well as composition can be checked.



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Topsoil For many commercial landscape projects, a new soil profile is constructed in a matter of days over the formation layer , i.e. the subsoil, and is the start of the transformation from a construction site to a new landscape environment. Once the subsoil has been prepared or imported , attention should then be given to what type of topsoil will provide the right growing environment. It needs to cater for a mi ture of trees, shrubs and amenity grass the elements which form the basis of most landscape schemes. The target topsoil conditions for these planting types is typically moist but well drained, fertile with a reasonable humus content . In most cases, a sandy loam te ture and a soil that has been ameliorated with green compost is recommended. The sandy te ture should offer a balance between moisture retention and some drainage, plus aeration. The compost will ensure a supply of slow release plant nutrients, plus humus for water and nutrient retention, and inoculation with an essential population of soil microbes. are should be taken to specify the right grade s of sand to ensure the best performance and prevent inter packing . eavier te tured soils, such as clay loams, sandy clay loams, and sandy silt loams, are still viable options provided their structure is maintained or reinstated after the topsoil has been spread. This is where the problems occur – trying to ensure their soil structure remains intact after all the handling, often in wet conditions. ithout a defined soil structure, the heavier soils cannot offer the new plants enough aeration and drainage, which creates hostile conditions and increased transplant stress. Designer soils Today s soil supply industry now offers a range of soil types to suit almost any conditions, as demonstrated at the ueen li abeth Olympic ark and thletes Village, where nine types of topsoil were specified and developed to meet the various demands of the landscape design. Standards and guidance There are a number of key sources of published general guidance available for specifiers and contractors, including the following


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Greenfield developments hen it comes to assessing, managing, protecting and re using the e isting soils on a development, D s onstruction ode of ractice for the ustainable se of oils on onstruction ites 00 is still the most relevant guidance document. eliance on this document by local authorities at the planning stage is increasing, with conditions being set for oil esource urveys and lans. This enables the topsoil and subsoil on sites to be assessed for their uality ahead of development, and ensures the soils are properly managed and reinstated after construction. This document is also a landscape architect s best reference document when advising their client that a soil survey specifically for the landscape design is necessary. The survey will provide valuable information on the uality, uantity and re use potential of a site s soils – essential information for the landscape s design, earthworks strategy, and other items such as cost analysis. Imported soils The ritish tandards for Topsoil and ubsoil are intended to cover imported soils. hile they contain useful information on soil management, there are a few technical weaknesses, such as their allowance of soils with high silt and clay contents. These standards are intended for typical on the ground landscapes, but not suitable for higher demand situations, such as on podium, tree pits, or intensively used grass lawns found in inner city parks. The ritish tandards can be used as a guide, but bespoke specifications should be developed to suit each scheme. SuDS The I I uD Manual has some useful elements when designing rain gardens, swales and other uD features, but a few e amples of soil specifications that I provided for the document now appear to be used as the specifications, which is not advisable. The intelligent specification and management of soils is the basis of successful commercial landscaping. There s no substitute for specific advice and bespoke technical input. Just as an architect will rely on an engineer to advise on foundation design, surface water drainage and contamination issues, a soil scientist will provide the e uivalent for a landscape architect including soil investigation, specification and tree pit details.




7 1 Spreading topsoil over decompacted subsoil 2 Ripper tine in action 3 A new soil profile using imported topsoil and subsoil 4 Soil specifically designed for a wetland habitat 5 Subsoil compaction - a problem on all commercial schemes 6 Subsoil decompaction 7 Topsoil manufacture soils for all occasions

Tim O’Hare Associates LLP Tim O’Hare, principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates LLP, has been advising on soil investigation within the landscape industry for more than 20 years. He works with many landscape architects and contractors to ensure the soils they use, specify, import or supply are ‘fit for purpose’. Tim O’Hare Associates is holding its Soil CPD Conference in Henley-on-Thames on Thursday 26 September. For more information visit SoilsCon 2019 at: W: www.toha.co.uk


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urnitubes designers worked with LDA Design to develop a series of planting and seating solutions for the rooftop terrace at the redeveloped Westgate Centre in Oxford. Originally opened in 1972, the Westgate Centre has undergone a £440m transformation by Westgate Oxford Alliance – a partnership between Land Securities and The Crown Estate. The centre features new thoroughfares and public spaces integrated into the city’s urban fabric. As part of the regeneration of the city, the scheme has created high quality buildings, designed by world-class architects, and provided more than 3,400 jobs.


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Themed areas The roof terrace’s kitchen garden concept had several themes, including the Crinkle Crankle – a vegetable garden – and the more formal Garden Court, as well as the Kitchen Garden itself. Planters were manufactured mainly in steel, some with additional timber cladding, and others with integrated seating and lighting. Most include integral lighting, designed to enhance the

general ambience of the area, and act as supplementary low level lighting, defining pathways across the terrace. The Crinkle Crankle planter at Westgate features rolled-steel panels, forming the front edge, and the Kitchen Garden provides integrated seating and lighting. More than 42m long, the Vegetable Garden planter is the single-largest planter on the roof terrace, forming a buffer between the restaurant and the balustrade overlooking Leiden Square. The construction comprises a continuous steel walled enclosure. The outer steel panels are laser-cut with LED downlights, and shows artwork based on botanical illustrations of a locally grown runner bean: the Salford. Planted


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Client Westgate Oxford Alliance Ltd Partnership Landscape Architect LDA Design Contractor Laing O’Rourke vegetables include broccoli, cabbage and fennel, interspersed with decorative perennials and box hedging along the front edges. In the Garden Court, 28 free-standing planter modules, with integrated lighting, create a series of external dining areas. The timber-clad planters have an inner steel structure, lined with glass reinforced plastic (GRP), to provide waterproof containment for the topsoil, although drainage outlets are provided in the bases. The external timber cladding is in iroko hardwood

and the outside face of the planters also contains a linear LED downlight to improve the visibility at night and highlight the intricate artwork. www.furnitubes.com


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ntegrated planters and seating from WoodBlocX feature in a rooftop garden at Staniforth House, Unite’s latest student development in Birmingham. The 15,200m2 site provides modern student accommodation over floors. Commercial construction specialist, The RG Group, was responsible for the design and build of the development, and East Midlands Landscaping managed and implemented the construction of the roof gardens. The scheme utilises the panoramic views across the city of Birmingham with this new roof top garden for students. Divided into two areas, one featuring stone paving and the other using artificial grass, the latter features a series of large rectangular WoodBlocX planters bordered with integrated seating. The paved area features a continuous WoodBlocX structure, with a long, slim rectangular planter which acts as the backbone of the design, and three large square planters extending outwards bordered with seating. ll ood loc structures were finished with flush capping to provide a linear finish and additional lighting, and a steel pergola framed the roof terrace. The project was BREEAM assessed, achieving ‘Excellent’, and the project also scored ‘Excellent’ under the Considerate Constructors Scheme. www.woodblocx-landscaping.co.uk

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ORNAMENTAL HEDGES Here, Geoff de la Cour-Baker, marketing and designer sales manager at Palmstead Nurseries, offers advice on some of the best ornamental hedging options available


hen planting urban green spaces, seasonal flowers or colourful berries can make a big difference. edges of Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ can often be seen in public spaces due to its appeal as an informal ornamental hedge. The beautiful yellow flowers that appear continuously from July to October create vivid impressions and the berry colours add late colour and interest, whilst also encouraging wildlife.


Palmstead Nurseries Palmstead Nurseries has been producing quality nursery stock for the landscape and amenities industry for more than 50 years. W: www.palmstead.co.uk


Well designed public spaces can make maintenance more e cient and can aid the appeal and longevity of the design. or e ample, when designing an area by the coast, it s a good idea to choose Elaeagnus or Escallonia as they are more likely to survive the di cult climate and as evergreens will be attractive all year round. The fragrant late summer autumnal flowers of Elaeagnus offer something at a time of year when most hedges have passed their peak. Most Escallonia varieties flower throughout summer, attracting pollinators and providing colour. oastal conditions can offer an interesting palette of possibilities when looking at planting designs, but

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the much needed coastal windbreak will always be the mainstay of coastal public spaces and gardens. lants have a positive impact on our physical and mental health and welcoming parks encourage children to play, adults to go out for a walk, e ercise, or ust rela . Dwarf hedging with multiple levels of appeal are important in these spaces and plants such as Lavandula create boundaries and borders at low levels, while offering flower and foliage interest throughout the year. Lavandula is a good choice for bees and its oil, and the scent given off on warm days make it perfect for rela ing spaces, especially areas where communing is encouraged, such as around benches or eating areas. tudies have shown that well designed and maintained public spaces can also help to reduce crime and fear of crime. lants can be used to increase the feeling of security, and barrier hedges act as protective screening while displaying multiple layers of interest. Pyracantha is the ultimate barrier hedge. Most varieties and cultivars have thorns which make it ideal as an intruder proof barrier. They are evergreen, offering all year round protection and have masses of beautiful white flowers in spring and attractive berries in autumn. Its berries also provide a late food source for birds when food can be scarce.


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erfect for coastal planting as they thrive in sunny conditions. Evergreen with glossy foliage, with a dense habit, responds well to trimming. Its main appeal, however, is its flowers. Depending on the variety, it features pink, red or white flowers from May to October. The pink varieties tend to flower earlier, and the white flowers appear in late summer. A mixed hedge can be created by combining colours and varieties which reach the same height, and share the same leaf shape/habit. The shrub grows quickly, up to 2m depending on variety. Escallonia should be trimmed when flowering is over.

he perfect plant to create a low ornamental hedge. Fragrant and evergreen, it features flowers ranging from dark purple to white. The scent attracts pollinators and creates a calming atmosphere. Lavandula can be used as a border hedge to break up a garden/create new areas. Lavandula grows best in full sun, and its drought resistant nature means it can survive in more hostile environments. Depending on the variety, Lavandula can grow from 50-100 cm height.

deal for creating a naturalistic, informal medium height hedge. Its main feature is the mass of yellow flowers appearing from July to October, followed by a display of berries. Traditionally red, but the berries can also be found in white and peach. Hypericum add a contrasting look in a mixed/shrub border. Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ reaches 120cm, so is perfect for a medium height hedge requiring little maintenance. Hypericum calycinum is a low growing variety, reaching 60cm and is ideal at front of borders. Most Hypericum are semi-evergreen, dropping foliage during harsh winters and stress.

n evergreen hedge producing masses of white flowers which lead to colourful berries in the autumn. Hardy with thorns, it creates an impenetrable hedge once established. The berries are available in orange, red or yellow varieties, with some cultivars bred for disease resistance or ultimate height. Pyracantha’s thorns make it ideal as an intruder-proof barrier. A hardy and low-maintenance plant, it grows well in most soils and positions. To keep it in shape, it’s best to prune during flowering time – trying not to remove too many flowers which would affect the berry production later in the year.

i ELAEAGNUS www.futurearc.co.uk

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t has well recognised qualities, but it’s the hidden ones which make this plant such a good choice as an ornamental hedge. Elaeagnus flowers in autumn, filling a gap left by most plants. Its small, white fragrant flowers attract pollinators at this late period in the year. Vibrant orange or red berries form in the spring, providing an early food source for birds and other animals. It’s tolerant of many conditions and works well as a coastal hedge or on windy sites. Elaeagnus x ebbingei, with its silver-green leaves is the most popular form, but it is also available in variegated forms. Some other Elaeagnus species can be used as hedging too.

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