Page 1

FUTUREARCH for the UK’s landscape architects

DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018

New town, new rules MILTON KEYNES

LONDON The UK’s first n at i o n a l p a r k c i t y ?

For the love of gardens

HARRISON VARMA

Sole trading Going it alone

Physic Garden Switzerland

Sweco Architects Cover.indd 12

14/12/2017 11:37


Helping Landscape Architects to create engaging design visuals London Stone has assembled a comprehensive Sketch Up library of 3D models housing our Paving, Steps, Coping and Cladding Collections. Available for download from www.3dwarehouse.sketchup.com

Stay ahead in a competitive market: choose the best.

#ThisIsLondonStone | www.londonstone.co.uk | #OneIndustryUnited

Advert template.indd 1

13/12/2017 15:26


WELCOME

FUTUREARCH for the UK’s landscape architects

WELCOME Welcome to the December/ January edition of FutureArch. We have been out and about at a couple of fantastic events recently. The first was the FutureArch debate, held at FutureScape in November. Adam White, president elect of the Landscape Institute, hosted an in-depth panel on the future of landscape architecture; it was great to see some of the topics we’ve covered in the magazine discussed in detail, along with some interesting questions from the audience. We also attended the Smarter City: Winners Event in London, which showcased some brilliant entries and ideas on how to improve infrastructure, buildings, and greenspace in our capital city. Find our reports on these events on pages 12-15. In this month’s issue, we’re covering some incredible projects, including an international project in Basel, Switzerland, as well as Gillespies’ Piece Hall project in Halifax, West Yorkshire. We also spoke to the Urban Design and Landscape Architecture team at Milton Keynes Council to explore what goes into designing a ‘new town.’ Check it out on pages 29-31. If you’re struggling to think of a new year’s resolution, why not make it to be featured in FutureArch magazine? If you’ve recently completed a project you’re proud of, want to share your expertise on a particular topic or have an opinion you wish to share, we’d love to hear from you. Enjoy the read! Joe Betts joe.betts@eljays44.com

www.futurearch.co.uk

Leader & contents.indd 3

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

3

14/12/2017 11:47


Planters

Bollards

Seating

Litter Bins

Decking

Balconies

design the

Hardwood street furniture, made in Britain by

Gates

Retaining Wall

Pergolas

Bridges

01254 685 185

facebook.com/woodscapegroup

sales@woodscape.co.uk

@woodscapeltd

woodscape.co.uk

linkedin.com/woodscape

Advert template.indd FutureArch Dec.indd 12

13/12/2017 13/12/2017 15:27 09:27


WELCOME

WELCOME 06 08 11 12 14 16

AGENDA NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEWS futurescape A SMARTER CITY london: national park city

FUTUREARCH for the UK’s landscape architects

CONTENTS

FEATURES 19 the big interview: JANE DOBSON 25 HARRISON VARMA 29 milton keynes council 32 SOIL CONTAMINATION 35 wildlife-friendly 38 SETTING UP A PRACTICE 42 ARTIFICIAL GRASS 45 PLANTERS

58 25

19

PORTFOLIOs 51 54 58 61 64

PIECE HALL MUSEUM IN THE PARK PHYSIC GARDEN UNIVERSITY oF LIVERPOOL moneypenny hq

suppliers 66 GREEN-TECH Eljays44 Ltd

3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 2DA Tel: 01903 777 570 Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK The 2017 subscription price for FutureArch 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. 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.

www.futurearch.co.uk

Leader & contents.indd 5

29

45

EDITORIAL Features Editor – Joe Betts joe.betts@eljays44.com

42

Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Production Editor – Charlie Cook charlotte.cook@eljays44.com Subeditor – Kate Bennett kate.bennett@eljays44.com Design: Kara Thomas SALES Group Sales Manager – Luke Chaplin luke.chaplin@eljays44.com MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com

66

Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@eljays44.com Cover image ©Jan Raeber

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

5

14/12/2017 12:14


AGENDA

AGENDA

WOULD LONDON BENEFIT FROM BEING MADE A NATIONAL PARK CITY?

T

he National Park City campaign has been set up to try and make London the first city in the world to also be a national park. In the UK there are 15 unique national parks, with the areas that have been selected for protection including mountains, meadows, moorlands, woods and wetlands. London becoming a national park would ensure that the city’s greenspaces are conserved, enhance their natural beauty, and promote the need for these spaces among the public. A number of local ward councillors are still required to declare in favour of the decision. With this in mind, this month we have been asking: would London benefit from being made a national park city?

6

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Agenda.indd 6

Martin Savage

Tom Venables

landscape architect director, BDP

regional director, AECOM

London has long been known for its parks and greenspaces, with anecdotal figures suggesting it has twice as much as New York and four times that of Paris. With hundreds of greenspace initiatives taking place in the city in recent years, the proportion of accessible landscape – much with the potential to create attractive new habitats – is set to rise dramatically. So, in the words of the National Park City campaign – why not? Over the last decade, our own experience in locations such as Ladywell Fields and Cornmill Gardens, both along the corridor of the River Ravensbourne in Lewisham, has shown that with relatively small budgets and the help and enthusiasm of local communities, new green places can be created that are accessible for everyone. While these individual spaces provide excellent local amenities, they can play an important role in establishing a truly connected green network across the whole metropolitan area. A national park city might just be the vehicle to make this happen.

I believe that making London into a national park city can only bring benefits. It would encourage people to rethink open spaces and better connect people with nature, as well as protecting our assets. The initiative would also promote better air quality and greener, more affordable homes, and ensure that London’s greenspace is more embedded in development decisions. London being made a national park city could help us rethink its green belt – which, in reality, is a growth boundary, rather than a policy to protect green areas – so that the environmental and amenity benefits it provides are brought into the city. This could assist in trading off areas of green belt with poor environmental quality that could provide space for much needed growth, with areas of high environmental quality within the city that are not protected. This may particularly be the case around rail and tube stations. Consideration needs to be given to creating expanded or new communities at some of these nodes; considering these as part of a national park city makes sense, and will ensure London’s long term resilience.

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 12:56


©Pajor Pawel / Shutterstock.com

AGENDA

Ben Brace

John Haxworth

Joe Betts

chartered landscape architect

partner, Barton Willmore

features editor, FutureArch

Put simply, I think it would benefit immensely. It would help reframe our relationship with the urban realm, and enable our clients and fellow consultants to see it the way we do. Fundamentally, the national park city idea is landscape scale. A transformative idea readily applied to London’s entire habitat, however, is unprecedented. We don’t know exactly how it would manifest itself, but by being part of it, we can shape it. Imagine a ‘National Park City’ brand that we could hang our ideas onto – one that underpinned big ideas of connectivity and sustainability, but on a community scale. Imagine an urban population that had equal access to the outdoors and our well designed spaces – how much could that change our society? A national park city would help all of us to celebrate the excellent work already being done within our environment, but it also challenges us to work harder, and together, to create a London that is much more inspirational, resilient, greener, more beautiful, healthier and more naturally diverse.

Out with the Garden Bridge, and in with Sadiq Khan’s plans to make London the world’s first national park city. The approach may differ, but the recognised value of and yearning for green infrastructure remains intact. We know that good greenspace is beneficial for our health and wellbeing, boosts productivity, and goes a long way towards creating a strong, positive identity for a place. But the benefit of enhanced and well-designed greenspace would be more far-reaching than this, attracting more visitors to London and boosting tourism. Green infrastructure is an asset, and one that should be embraced. The mayor sees this and has pledged, in his Draft London Plan, that half of London will be green by 2050; he has also allocated £9m to his Greener City Fund, to help local communities improve their greenspaces. The challenge ahead is achieving this while also delivering the levels of housing that we need. It’s a challenge that’s going to require even more creativity from architects, landscape architects and planners, and greater collaboration with communities.

It is amazing to think that, currently, no city in the world has yet been made a national park. It would be fantastic for our capital city to be the first that is recognised in this way. The UK’s national parks cost the populace just 80p per person per year. It doesn’t make sense for London to pass up the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits that being a national park could provide. Across the UK, national parks are valued, enjoyed and protected, and there is no reason why London shouldn’t be the same. There are arguments over whether there are more important steps to be taken first in protecting London’s greenspaces, but this would be a fantastic opportunity to highlight the natural beauty in London, and it’s something that should be seriously considered.

www.futurearch.co.uk

Agenda.indd 7

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

7

14/12/2017 12:57


NEWS

NEWS Gillespies and Hemingway Design to help shape a Garden Village Vision for Carlisle Carlisle City Council and its partners have aspirations to deliver a new 10,000-home ‘garden village’ south of the city, as part of its ambitious housing and development growth agenda. The Cumbrian district council has commissioned a multidisciplinary team that is to be led by masterplanners Gillespies, working closely with design champion Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design to develop an ambitious vision and concept for the St Cuthbert’s area. The broader team includes WYG and property developers LSH, which will be focusing on transport and viability, respectively.

Innovation, quality and local distinctiveness are at the heart of the design process, supported by creative engagement with the local community and potential new residents, as well as a comprehensive online social media campaign to generate a buzz around the area’s future. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Carlisle to make its mark when it comes to creating much-needed new homes and infrastructure,” said Wayne Hemingway. “Recent history has shown that it will take real vision and an intelligent, Herculean effort from a team of brilliant, diligent designers, placemakers, local and regional stakeholders who involve and represent the best interests of the community.”. www.gillespies.co.uk

FPCR York delivers for Yorkshire tourism with planning approval granted for Pickering holiday cottages

8

News.indd 8

Milestone for major £39m Liverpool mixed use scheme A £39m mixed use development, designed by Broadway Malyan and set to revitalise one of Liverpool’s best-known streets, has reached a major construction milestone. A topping out ceremony was held with city dignitaries after construction of the Lime Street development – which includes 28,000sqft of retail and leisure space, an 11-storey, 412-bed student block and a 101-room hotel – reached its highest point. The scheme is being developed by Ion, which was also behind the award-winning Broadway Malyan-designed Mann Island scheme on the city’s waterfront. Director Matt Brook, who has led the project for Broadway Malyan, said the scheme was an important piece in Liverpool’s ongoing regeneration ‘jigsaw’. “This is an exciting project that is bringing timely and necessary investment to a really important area of the city, so it is fantastic to see the strong progress that is being made,” he said. “Lime Street is both a destination in its own right as well as a gateway to the city’s Knowledge Quarter, and has an intense energy and character that has been defined by the diversity of its past uses and businesses.”. www.broadwaymalyan.com

Plans to convert redundant agricultural barns into holiday cottages, on a farm on the North Yorkshire Moors, have been granted full planning permission by Ryedale Council. The barns contained numerous potential roosting features; following endoscope surveys and nocturnal surveys, two bat roosts were identified, as well as evidence of barn owl feeding. The scheme’s aim was to minimise impact to the character and fabric of the building considering the heritage value of the site, with plans to retain the physical features of the original stone structures.

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Through close collaboration with the architects, Peter Rayment Design Ltd, and the client it was possible to retain both roosts. “Farm diversification into tourism is becoming increasingly common in North Yorkshire, and wildlife tourism is a significant part of the offer,” said Andrew Brennan, project leader and principal ecologist at FPCR York. “FPCR is delighted to be able to support this growing industry and farmers in diversification, advising on the incorporation of appropriate and sensitive management of wildlife features to support biodiversity while also providing the necessary reports and plans to support planning applications.”. www.fpcr.co.uk

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:09


NEWS

Ambitious plans unveiled to transform Newcastle city centre

Members approve changes to LI governance at 2017 AGM

Ambitious plans to transform the heart of Newcastle City Centre into a world-class shopping destination have been unveiled. Newcastle City Council plans to spend an initial £3m to improve the area around Northumberland Street, which attracts 13m visitors a year and supports hundreds of jobs. In the new year, the council will open consultation on an experimental scheme to ban buses and taxis from the busy Blackett Street. It is hoped the move would make the area around Fenwick and the Monument safer for shoppers, and improve air quality. “Newcastle is a great city and one that never stands still,” said Ged Bell, the council’s cabinet member for inclusive growth. “Our plans for the city centre set the scene for the type of place we want to be, and we need to be bold and ambitious for its future. “As the regional capital of the North East, our vision for the city centre can only be realised by taking a long term and collaborative approach, working with partners to deliver lasting economic growth that everyone can benefit from. This puts people at the heart of our plans, and helps to make Newcastle a truly accessible city for all.”. www.newcastle.gov.uk

Members of the Landscape Institute have voted in overwhelming support of four motions at this year’s annual general meeting (AGM). These motions will improve flexibility and information sharing, and help to attract a wider variety of candidates to the role of LI president. They are: • To allow the Institute to pay a president’s stipend • To allow increased flexibility in the timing of the election and nomination process • To increase the maximum number of terms of office for trustees and Advisory Council members from two to three • To change the required minimum number of annual Board meetings from six to four. Approximately 90% of the votes cast were done so digitally, in the first year they were able to do so. Many members who voted online expressed their satisfaction with the ease and simplicity of the system. Based on this resounding indicator of success, the LI will continue to use this digital platform in future years. www.landscapeinstitute.org

University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape to celebrate 50th anniversary with international conference The University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape has announced that registration is open for Landscape50. Landscape50 features nine speakers who represent the broad multidisciplinary nature of landscape architecture, and have been responsible for shaping the agenda in their own fields of practice, research and ideas.  Landscape50 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield, the first independent school of landscape architecture to be established in the UK and now one of the leading landscape architecture research and teaching units in the world. The conference takes place in the Grade II* listed Sheffield City Hall, located in the city centre, on Wednesday 21 March 2018. “Landscape50 is a wonderful opportunity to hear the viewpoints on the future of landscape architecture from nine outstanding speakers from North America, Europe and Asia, all in one place,” said Professor Nigel Dunnett, director of impact in the Department of Landscape. “This fantastic international panel means that we will see an exciting ‘big picture’ view of the place of landscape architecture in meeting the serious challenges facing the world.” www.sheffield.ac.uk

www.futurearch.co.uk

News.indd 9

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

9

14/12/2017 11:10


NEWS

Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens revamp moves a step closer Plans to transform Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens into a year-round city destination continue to move forward, as the City Council publishes an amendment to the current detailed planning application for further comment. Improved accessibility is key to the project’s success. The latest plans include a realignment of a proposed new walkway, linking Union Street to the Gardens. This will reduce the potential impact on any future development of the adjacent railway line. Steps have also been taken to provide protection of the views and setting of the Robert Burns and Edward VII statues through redesign of the proposed buildings nearby. Director Kirstin Taylor, leading the project out of LDA Design’s Glasgow office, is delighted with the progress: “These amended plans get us even closer to capturing this and enhancing the existing heritage, enabling us to better balance traditional park enjoyment with new ideas and uses.” www.lda-design.co.uk

Green-tech supplies landscaping materials for new-look Stevenage Town Centre Green-tech has been involved in the regeneration of Stevenage Town Centre, which is one of the early stages of a 15-year regeneration plan for the town, commissioned and managed by Stevenage Borough Council. The decision makers at Stevenage turned to Green-tech for a cost-effective, robust solution for the planting of 11 semi-mature trees, as part of their landscape design for the proposed refurbished town centre area. Green-tech supplied its ArborRaft tree planting system to provide an optimum start for each tree. The ArborRaft System works by absorbing the impact of vehicle and pedestrian load to prevent soil compaction, thus protecting the tree roots and growing media and allowing the tree’s roots to grow within their natural path. The system is simple to install, offers total flexibility, and is suitable for any tree pit size. “I have been delighted with how smoothly this project has gone,” said Russell Sparrow, civil engineer at Stevenage Town Council. “Green-tech has been a great help and delivered everything as specified on the dates requested. Representatives from Green-tech provided advice and provided us with on-site installation training of the ArborRaft system. We are thrilled with the results and the regenerated town centre has been very well received.”. www.green-tech.co.uk

10

News.indd 10

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Professional team appointed for £1bn Northern Gateway Far East Consortium has chosen its professional team for the £1bn Northern Gateway project, including masterplanner Farrells, cost consultant Turner & Townsend, and planning consultant HOW. Landscape architect Planit-IE, engineering, transport, remediation and sustainability consultant Arup, economic development consultant Regeneris, and project manager Buro4 also join the team for the £1bn project, which could deliver more than 10,000 new homes in northern Manchester over the next 10 years. “We are proud to be working with Manchester City Council to deliver the vision for the Northern Gateway,” said Gavin Taylor, regional general manager of Far East Consortium. “At FEC, our aim is to create communities for future generations, and this is made possible by building strategic partnerships and working with highly experienced, globally renowned firms. We are delighted to welcome Farrells on board as masterplanners.” www.planit-ie.com

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:10


NEWS

International ©John Gollings

NEWS

Adelaide Contemporary Design Competition draws global response

designs revealed for Oman Botanic Garden Covering more than 420ha, the Oman Botanic Garden will be one of the largest in the world, and certainly the largest on the Arabian Peninsula. Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design (hsd) have together delivered the engineering, landscaping, architecture and interpretive designs for the project. With guidance from Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the garden will celebrate and conserve the country’s botanic diversity so that it can be enjoyed by the people of Oman for generations to come. Two biomes, mimicking the natural temperature and humidity of the external environment, will house an array of native fauna and flora – many of which are endangered. “At Arup we have enjoyed the many unique challenges presented by the Oman Botanic Garden – from designing natural and authentic landscapes, to recreating the cool mists of the Khareef,” said Arup associate director Ed Clarke. “More than 700 of our multidisciplinary engineers and specialist designers were engaged to explore and find solutions that would befit such an ambitious and creative brief. The Oman Botanic Garden must surely be one of the most marvellous projects in the world.” www.arup.com

www.futurearch.co.uk

News.indd 11

Competition organiser Malcolm Reading Consultants has revealed that the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition has attracted 107 teams, made up of around 525 individual firms from five continents. The global call was designed to encourage both Australian and leading international practices. A new landmark on Adelaide’s celebrated North Terrace boulevard, Adelaide Contemporary will combine a contemporary art gallery with a public sculpture park and meeting place. The initiative will be a focus for the city’s cultural energies and create an accessible community meeting place, integrating art, education, nature and people.

“We are delighted by the response to the competition – it demonstrates the faith shown in the process and this inspirational project,” said competition director Malcolm Reading. “The quality of teams, of talent, is exceptionally high, and includes Pritzker laureates – architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize – as well as Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medallists. But ultimately, teams will be selected on the quality of their submission, their intellectual and aesthetic connection to the project.” The announcement of the winner is anticipated to be in early to mid-June 2018. www.malcolmreading.co.uk

ASLA business survey shows stable conditions for landscape architecture firms Landscape architecture firms experienced stable conditions during the third quarter of 2017, according to the results of the latest Business Quarterly survey to have been released by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Billable hours held steady, although inquiries for new work dipped slightly. A five-year comparison of survey results shows that numbers for the third quarter are well within range. The survey found 85.7% of responding firms reported stable to significantly higher billable hours for the third quarter, about the same as the 85.1% from the previous quarter. This compares favourably with what was reported in 2016’s third quarter (78.4%), but is well within range of reports from the third quarters of 2015 (83.4%), 2014 (84.2%) and 2013 (80.6%).

Fewer than half of firms with two or more employees (49%) say they plan to hire in 2017’s fourth quarter, down on the second quarter 2017 survey (52.3%), but higher than what was reported in third quarter surveys from 2013 (40%), 2014 (48.1%), 2015 (48%) and 2016 (48%). Of firms with more than 100 employees, 66.7% say they will hire either an experienced landscape architect or an entry-level landscape architect. www.asla.org

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

11

14/12/2017 11:11


THE FUTURE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Seminar report

this year’s futurescape saw the return of the futurearch panel debate in which industry experts discussed the present and future challenges facing us all

O

n 14 November, FutureScape attendees were presented with the opportunity to quiz a panel of industry experts on the future of landscape architecture. The panel, chaired by Adam White, president-elect of the Landscape Institute (LI), consisted of: BALI board director Marian Boswell; John Wyer, chartered landscape architect; Julia Finlayson, landscape architect with property developer firm Argent LLP, and retired landscape architect, garden historian and ex-town planner Tom Turner. Adam White opened the debate by explaining his background and his reasons for running to be the president of the LI. He called the role of landscape architects a ‘necessity’, highlighting the importance of improving the public realm and therefore the importance of highlighting the profession to future generations. The opportunity was presented to an audience made up of landscape architects, property developers, town planners and arboricultural consultants, among others, to pose questions to Adam and the panel.

12

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

News Extra FutureScape.indd 12

‘Should landscape architects be investing in BIM?’ The first question posed was regarding BIM and whether it is something that should be invested in. John Wyer was unsure, saying: “What is really interesting about it is the way it devolves down the supply chains – that part hasn’t really come to fruition yet, and it will be interesting to see how it works, right down to nurseries and stone suppliers. But for landscape architects, I believe the jury is out at the moment as to whether it’s worth the investment.” However, Julia Finlayson explained that she feels BIM may be a way to solve the conflicts she regularly finds between buildings and the public realm. Marian Boswell told the audience that, with BIM being relatively new, and something additional to learn, it’s important to ask for advice and help. “I think sometimes we’re worried about looking like we don’t know everything,” she said. “The extraordinary thing about the profession of landscape architecture is that you can never know everything – it’s such a huge and varied thing. You can never be bored.”

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:14


NEWS EXTRA

‘There are so many industry bodies, such as the APL, SGD, BALI, LI – why do we not have one large body?’ Members of the audience took up the opportunity to question Adam White on his plans for the LI by asking about opportunities for collaboration with other industry bodies and professions. Adam agreed that it can be difficult to gain CPD training with so many bodies offering different things, and that greater collaboration could improve that. “I think the issue with CPD is that it can be so difficult to get a day off from work to go to these things, but if there was a way of combining the talks on all the different sectors and organisations then it would make things much easier for everyone.” Marian Boswell gave a possible explanation for a lack of collaboration in the past: “The ego does get in the way of us all working together. When I have worked with architects, they have referred to me as their landscape designer – they don’t want to use the term ‘architect’ because I don’t have the same qualifications as them.” On the topic of unnecessary confusion and overcomplication of the industry, Julia Finlayson looked up the definition of landscape architecture online, after Tom Turner had suggested it had taken 30 years for him to be able to define the profession to himself. “The online definition starts off okay,” Julia said. “‘The design of outdoor areas, landmarks and structures to achieve environmental, social, behavioural and aesthetic outcomes.’ But then it just goes on and on, paragraphs and paragraphs of explanation, which just suggests that we don’t really know what we do.” Adam White agreed that the definition of landscape architecture needs to be clearer. “If you went into a

www.futurearch.co.uk

News Extra FutureScape.indd 13

school and read it all out, how many of them would actually put their hand up and say that’s what they want to do for a career?”

‘How do we encourage more people to join the profession?’ With the need to encourage younger generations to join the profession highlighted, a question was asked about how exactly the industry could help achieve that. Tom Turner explained that what young people want today is a good salary and plenty of job opportunities. “Landscape architecture does compare favourably with architecture in terms of salaries, so I think that is something that the Landscape Institute needs to push and advertise.” The discussion on encouraging young people to take up the profession sparked a wider debate on the role that social media can play within the industry. Adam White is a firm believer in using the tool to engage with a wider audience, but believes that it is wildly underused, with only 10% of over-35s on Instagram. Julia Finlayson noted that when she has been involved in projects, she now looks for the ‘Instagram shot’ during the design, such is the importance of social media in promoting work. Tom then explained to the audience why he believes social media is underused. “Landscape architects tend to be too busy to engage in social media,” he said. “I think they have a natural talent for it, but what they have achieved so far is very little, and there is an extraordinary lack of interest in internet promotion of the profession.” Wrapping up the debate and inviting the audience to speak to the panel afterwards, Adam advised that, as everyone has a smartphone, they should be sharing as many images of their work as possible. “This is our industry, let’s be proud of it.”

FutureScape will return at Sandown Park Racecourse on 20 November 2018. Keep an eye on www.futurescapeevent.com and in the magazine for details on when you can register for tickets.

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

13

14/12/2017 11:24


NEWS EXTRA

REPORT: A SMARTER CITY

Winner ’s event four trailblazing concepts that could shape the future of london were judged at the recent smarter city: winner’s event – we review the evening

O

n 7 December, FutureArch was in attendance at the Smarter City: Winners event, held at The City Centre exhibition venue in London. During 2017, the City Centre has been hosting a series of exhibitions focusing on three key themes: greenspaces, buildings, and infrastructure. The idea was for teams to come forward with new ideas that would take London forward. Within each category a winning entry was chosen, along with a people’s choice award. The winners event saw all four winning teams present their ideas to the audience and jurors, who had the unenviable task of picking out the overall victor.

14

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Smarter City News Extra.indd 14

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:01


NEWS EXTRA

The entries Key to the City – Atkins and Schréder  (Green Space) First to present were Atkins and Schréder, who won the Green Spaces category for their idea Key to the City. Key to the City is an augmented reality app that can be downloaded onto your phone or tablet. The app would be connected to street furniture via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, to provide users with information about the greenspaces and the history of the area that surrounds them. While using the app, the phone would recognise certain landmarks and objects, which would then bring up interactive videos to explain more about the area. The idea is that the app would help to encourage Londoners and tourists to engage more with their surroundings. Rewards would also be offered, with users able to ‘unlock’ a free coffee or other treat when they have done a certain amount of exploration through the app. VR City Timetransporter – BAM (Buildings) BAM also created an app, using virtual reality to show the history of different areas in London. By linking the app and cut-out glasses to a smartphone, the app would immerse users into a 360º virtual world, transporting them back in time to view the city’s history, and forward to see its possible future. Among other scenes, it would allow users to explore the mediaeval city, life during the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz. The idea behind the app is to allow tourists, residents and visitors to gain a better understanding and knowledge of the city’s history, and to share that culture in an engaging way. The app also has the potential to be shared among friends, even allowing two people in completely different areas to ‘meet’ in a virtual part of the city. Grow:City – The Edible Bus Stop (Public Choice) The Edible Bus Stop won the Public Choice award as part of the Smarter City programme earlier in 2017. The idea differed from the other entries in that the project did not focus on new technology to take the city forward. Instead, the idea is to set up a system of portable modular components with biophilic designs that provide accessible and active green space. The design of these ‘instant pocket parks’ intends to encourage socialisation, with the kiosks placed in key locations where parcels for locals could be

www.futurearch.co.uk

Smarter City News Extra.indd 15

delivered. By involving businesses, it is hoped that the businesses would be encouraged to look after the planting and keep the area well-maintained. The portable units are built to deliver an instant transformation and to introduce flexible growing spaces and durable street furniture to London’s streets. The hope is that this will make the streets a place where people congregate and are encouraged to socialise and interact, making London a healthier and happier place to live and work. Smart Carpet – Momentum Transport and McGregor Coxall (Infrastructure) Rounding off the presentations was the team behind the Smart Carpet concept, a surface treatment that responds to user demand. The team identified that, in London, surfaces need to be durable enough to meet the high degree of traffic (including foot traffic) that uses it every day. In addition, they decided to create a durable surface that could also provide entertainment to the public, and adapt to meet the different demands of an area that arise throughout the week. On this basis, the idea for the Smart Carpet was born. The concept brings to life the idea of a flexible street, supported by a variety of paving modules that incorporate modular street furniture, LED lighting and technology that adapts the different road areas – adding in zebra crossings when necessary, lighting up for street parties, or simply highlighting cycle and pedestrian lanes. During peak traffic hours, the surface would act as a normal road, but at quieter times, the surface would accommodate the likes of street parties, markets, and exhibitions by adapting to the needs of the area. The idea driving the Smart Carpet is that if London’s streets become more flexible, it will be easier to set up social events and activities that encourage interaction. After all of the presentations, there was an opportunity for the audience to question the teams before the jurors went off to make their decision. After a break for refreshments and an opportunity to view the model of London that had been set up in the exhibition centre, the Smart Carpet by Momentum Transport and McGregor Coxall was announced as the overall winner. All of the entries were well-presented, and all have a chance of being made into a reality. More information on all of the entries can be found on the Smarter City website. www.asmartercity.london

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

15

14/12/2017 11:01


OPINION

OPINION

Can London become the UK’s first national park city?

Jonathan Ramsay, principal landscape architect at Mott MacDonald, considers what would need to be done to make london a national park city – and why it’s important

L

ike many, I have a mixed relationship with London. A walk around the streets surrounding my place of work offers a sense of awe and exasperation in equal measure. One frustration is the decline in flora and fauna, which is not considered as important as competing interests. So, when hearing that a national park city designation was being floated in the media, my reaction was one of scepticism. Delving a little deeper into the proposal, though, I came across the initiators of the idea, the London National Park City Foundation. This group believes that England’s capital meets most of the criteria to be considered suitable for national park status, with the exception that it is not continuous open countryside. A working definition of a national park city is ‘a large urban area that is managed and semi-protected through both formal and informal means to enhance the natural capital of its living landscape. A defining feature is the widespread and significant commitment of residents, visitors and decision-makers to allow natural processes to provide a foundation for a better quality of life for wildlife and people.’

1 How would this apply to London? There will inevitably be differing voices during the debate. With the city home to more than 8m people, the proposal has the potential to affect many lives. Within the clamour of opinion, one fact is the major decline in the diversity and number of the city’s flora and fauna. Reversing this to exceed the highest levels on record would be a genuine triumph for the initiative. If this isn’t achieved, posterity could judge the 21st century city as falling behind previous generations. 16

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Opinion Mott MacDonald.indd 16

It is encouraging that natural capital thinking and the promotion of green infrastructure are becoming more common tools in major projects. Policy and guidance from the Greater London Authority makes clear the importance of habitat and biodiversity, while professional bodies such as the Landscape Institute are active in promoting an ecological approach. While top-down strategies are commendable, it is often ground level activity that makes a difference. During the economic instability in the years following 2008, professionals from urban design and architectural backgrounds started expanding to include public realm, becoming leaders in the field. While skilful in many areas, they are often underequipped to tackle biodiversity challenges, or give high levels of importance to the issue. Statistics show that London’s habitats are declining through this non-prioritisation. The restoration of London’s habitats will require qualified experts in decision-making capacities, who can have a substantial input in the future briefs and designs of open spaces and developments. A ‘business as usual’ approach is likely to result in further degradation. These experts could come from from a wide range of sources – local government biodiversity officers, consultant ecologists, ecologically minded landscape consultants, community members or local wildlife groups. A proposal such as the national park city may well further their cause and encourage an increased role in developing project briefs and design. The London National Park City Foundation has expressed the importance of retaining a bottom-up approach. Currently a volunteer body, it includes a national park chief executive officer and a former authority member of Exmoor National Park, giving it strong knowledge of how national parks operate. This is no doubt part of the reason it is being considered by the Mayor of London. The challenge the foundation faces is making a genuine difference in London that can be reflected in future ecological survey records. Areas of ecological value often don’t satisfy a culture that favours bold architectural statements to garner philanthropic support – but they may be just what future generations respect us for.

2

3

“IT IS ENCOURAGING THAT NATURAL CAPITAL THINKING AND THE PROMOTION OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON TOOLS IN MAJOR PROJECTS”

1 R  ichmond Park deer herds ©Davide D’Amico 2 P  onds at Richmond Park ©Jan Kraus 3 H  eadstones enveloped within the woodland of Abney Park Cemetery ©Malcolm Murdoch

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:38


Helping you achieve the perfect outdoor space

Stevenage Town Square Client: Stevenage Borough Council Landscape Architect: BDP : London Materials: Bespoke Benches

Showrooms Nationwide enquiries@ced.ltd.uk London East (West Thurrock)

01708 867237

www.ced.ltd.uk

London West

Midlands

North West

Scotland

01895 422411

01773 769916

01513 275555

01324 841321

(West Drayton)

Advert template.indd 3 11. ProLandscaper - December - fP .indd 1

(Langley Mill)

(Corfe Stone)

(Castlecary)

Ireland

(Omagh)

02882 258457 13/12/2017 15:30 30/11/2017 15:59:45


9 FEBRUARY 2018 EAST WINTERGARDEN, CANARY WHARF LONDON E14 5NX

Supported by

Architecture Categories  Landscape Company • <£1m turnover • >£1m turnover • Design and Build  Commercial Landscape Company  Landscape Architect Practice  Industry Partnership  Apprenticeship Scheme  Supplier – Adding greatest value to the landscape sector

“New cross-industry awards, rewarding consistent excellence” Headline sponsor

Category sponsors

Horticulture CAREERS

How to enter... To find out more about the Pro Landscaper Business Awards contact laura.harris@eljays44.com or call 01903 777 570

PL Awards.indd 16

14/12/2017 14:37


INTERVIEW

Interview

JANE DOBSON

“I HAD A DESIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND CREATE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE CAN ENJOY LIVING”

CHARTERED LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Jane Dobson discusses finding design inspiration everywhere, how her early years affected her career path, and making the transition from working for a practice to becoming sole principal at her own company

How did you get started in landscape architecture? I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2007 and then completed a year in Newcastle at Colour Urban Design Ltd. That shaped my formative design principles and research skills, and was a very important part of my studies. Straight out of university, I went to work for Brindley Associates, where I stayed for 10 years, reaching associate level. I gained fantastic experience in a broad range of landscape architecture aspects, such as landscape assessment, masterplanning, plant and design, and project management – not to mention everything that goes with running a company and managing staff. I got into landscape architecture through a love of plants and gardening, and had a love of the outdoors from an early age. I grew up on the shores of Strangford Loch in County Down and always had a strong interest in architecture and design, particularly problem solving with what the environment had to offer. I had a desire to make a difference and create

places where people can enjoy living. That is what motivated me to get into the profession, and still motivates me to this day. Were you aware of the profession at school? I was very fortunate that my dad is an architect, so he had knowledge of landscape architecture. He could see that it was possibly a career option for me, but the school had no idea what it was. I just went for it and never looked back. When did you start your own company, and what inspired you to take that step? I started up as sole principal on 1 October this year, so I have not been going long. Before I started, I made the conscious decision to give it six months to see if I could make a success of trading solo. I suppose the hardest part has been deciding what services I can offer and what strengths set me apart. Up until this point, I have been leading and managing a team of landscape architects. I felt

˿

1 www.futurearch.co.uk

Interview.indd 19

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

19

14/12/2017 11:26


INTERVIEW

2

“THERE IS A MUCH GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROFESSION NOW, WHICH HAS LED TO THE ROLE GROWING”

that I could take the experience I had and set myself up with new challenges, making a difference and exploring the direction I wanted to. A bonus is that it provides me with an opportunity to structure my working lifestyle differently – I am no longer tied to the nine-to-five. That’s very recent – are you enjoying it? It is a lot of front end stuff, a lot of meetings and networking where I’m just telling people what I am doing. I have a bit more flexibility in what I can do, being a sole trader as opposed to part of a company. It is an exciting time. What are your main design inspirations? I get my planting design inspiration from Piet Oudolf and his private gardens, and, more recently, from the High Line in New York. My design inspiration for large public parks comes from Michael Van Valkenburgh, particularly the Brooklyn Bridge Park – I really like that. In terms of masterplanning and urban design, I have a lot of respect for the way the Dutch see the landscape and examine it. They have got a very

20

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Interview.indd 20

clinical, precise way of looking at the landscape and revealing what is there. Recently, I was involved in a high density mixed use project in Glasgow, and a good bit of inspiration for that was the urban realm at St Pancras in London, which looks exciting. Ideas for a site often come from the site itself – the local surroundings and what grows well in the area, for example. I also like to consider the site’s past uses – what is its history? What was it used for? What is its heritage? Can any of that information be used in the design? Each site is different, so you must examine them on a case by case basis. Ideas can come from all over the place – for example, I might see a planting scheme in Glasgow that works well, or a certain granite paving detail, or even, on a broader scale, something like the summer wildflower meadows at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London; they are inspirational. I love going to see tree nurseries in the Netherlands and Germany, just to see the trees and the plants themselves. Traveling to Europe is also hugely influential for me – I love going to the classic destinations, such as Barcelona and Amsterdam, but also to more

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:27


INTERVIEW

“I HAVE A BIT MORE FLEXIBILITY IN WHAT I CAN DO, BEING A SOLE TRADER AS OPPOSED TO PART OF A COMPANY”

unusual places, such as Vienna and Hamburg. I am really keen to go and explore the Scandinavian countries next, as many of their outdoor spaces appear to be designed to be used all year round in a cooler climate. What is the next step for you? I am looking to grow my business based on my experience. I want to get involved in different types of projects, such as parks and recreation, and the interpretation of the landscape. I am also looking to take a more active role in the management of landscape, particularly post-completion. I want to go back after completion and discuss the management with the team. What’s going well? Does the grass maintenance regime work? Are changes needed to suit the conditions? Is the design working? Is it sustainable for the long term? The aftercare and maintenance are such important parts of landscape architecture. It is something I am keen to champion where possible. What makes you stand out? I am always happy to turn my hand to any area of work, but I specialise in housing landscapes and care home landscapes, because I am interested in how they can contribute to wellbeing. I always try to put myself in the place of the resident, and imagine what it would be like to live there and what view you get from lying in bed. I have built up a bit of a reputation for site contracts and supervision. Clients come to rely on me for getting what they pay for; things like making sure I am there when the soil goes in to make sure it is right. That sort of thing is important to me.

How has the role of landscape architects changed, over the years? There is a much greater understanding of the profession now, which has led to the role growing. I would say that is largely down to projects such as the Olympic Park and the High Line in New York – those projects showcased landscape architecture to the public. It is still often the last discipline to be appointed in many traditional contracts, but developers and project managers are quickly realising the benefit of having a landscape architect on board at the outset, doing the initial site assessment and masterplanning. The public is also becoming more aware of the benefits of time spent outdoors, and certain stakeholders are starting to expect that their parks will be designed by landscape architects. Planning authorities and community councils have got their requirements and want us to be involved so that there is a connection with nature and urban life. We are being engaged earlier on. Are you seeing any trends? There is an encouraging trend for wildflower meadows. People are wanting to increase wildlife and are realising the benefit of attracting the birds and the bees and the butterflies, creating a habitat that doesn’t require too much initial investment – although I am always keen to point out that they are not maintenance-free. We

˿

3

www.futurearch.co.uk

Interview.indd 21

4

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

21

14/12/2017 11:27


INTERVIEW

shouldn’t be afraid of species failure, we should learn from what works well on the site and enjoy the transient nature of the habitat. There is an idea that they look fantastic all year round, but actually part of the ebb and flow is that they come and go. Another encouraging trend is specification of indigenous plant species. That is great, especially when it comes to larger size tree species. More clients and stakeholders are appreciating the value of enhancing biodiversity, recognising that what is on our doorstep can be incorporated into the design. It is heading in the right direction. What is the biggest issue in the industry at present? Transportation strategies are long due an overhaul; the wider infrastructure of our towns and cities needs to be examined, and we need to try to move away from the heavy reliance on four wheels. That is particularly important in commercial housing projects that I have come across – urban and semiurban situations where time, quality of space and landscape is dictated by roads, parking provision and out of date planning standards. Finally, could you tell us about some of the projects you have worked on? I was involved in the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village in Glasgow – I was the lead landscape architect, working as part of a team. That was a fantastic experience, working

collaboratively on 700 new homes, infrastructure, SUDS and cycleways, from design right through to implementation. It was a site with many challenges, from contaminated land to flood storage, which all made the landscape a crucial part of the project. We decided quite early on to make the public open spaces relate to the River Clyde, and to be for use not only by the residents, but also by the wider community; that made it a unique and exciting project to be involved in. At the same site, there was a care home for dementia patients, and we created three selfcontained outdoor courtyards that were accessed directly from the rooms. They were lovely, with individual seating and community seating, gravel gardens, and sensory planting that involved bamboos and grasses. We had to be careful about not attracting too many insects close to the building. That was a bit of a paradox for the assessor, who was an ecologist, but the compromise was to put the wildlife-attractive shrubs along the outer edge of the courtyard. A more recent project was at Richmond Park in Glasgow. It was a regeneration and revitalisation of an 18th century urban park, with a boating pond and pavilion. There was substantial tree removal and stripping back of the park’s layers to reveal its layout, as well as adapting it to its current use and thinking long term with new avenue tree planting. We are also making the most of the wildlife pond, which previously you couldn’t access, or even see. That has only just started on-site, so it will be a fascinating journey to see that come to life before its opening day in 2020. Those are the highlights of my projects so far.

1 G  lasgow Commonwealth Athletes Village ©City Legacy Ltd 2  Glasgow Commonwealth Village Care Home Courtyard ©Stewart Stevenson Architects 3 R  ichmond Park, Glasgow Model Boat Pond 4 G  lasgow Commonwealth Village Care Home ©Stewart Stevenson Architects 5 S  trangford Lough, County Down

Jane Dobson

5

22

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Interview.indd 22

Jane is a Chartered landscape architect with more than 10 years’ experience working in private practice with a commercial background. She holds an MA(hons) in Landscape Architecture from Edinburgh College of Art. W: www.janedobson.co.uk

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:27


https://platipusdirect.co.uk

Proudly Supporting

Kits With Anchors

Home

Kits Without Anchors

Tree Irrigation & Aeration

Ground Cover Solutions

Piddler Tree Irrigation System - PID0

Piddler® Tree Irrigation System - PID0

Largest range of professional tree anchoring & irrigation systems in the UK

£6.49

Next day delivery - UK mainland (order before 11am) Free delivery (orders over £300)

1

HOTLINE support from the pioneer of tree anchoring with 35yrs experience

ADD TO CART

A donation from every order will go to help Cancer Research & Perennial

CALL OUR FREE HOTLINE TODAY

£7.79 inc. VAT

Quantity

0808 169 5060

www.platipusdirect.co.uk

Cart

Rootball Fixing System - Strap

Drought stress is one of the biggest contributors to high mortality rates of transplanted trees in the first few years after planting. Water is vital for tree growth and sustainability and without regular watering the tree will suffer irreparable damage.

Flowpoint ECO Environmentally friendly flowable grout

Boost your sustainability credentials • Contains 20% recycled materials • Reduce your consumption of virgin aggregates • Ideal for schemes looking to achieve a CEEQUAL award

a

• Improve your BREEAM rating

For more information call 01827 254402 or email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk

Advert template.indd 4

ultrascape.co.uk

13/12/2017 15:33


TRANSFORM THE WORLD.

DESIGN WITH VECTORWORKS. Vectorworks® Landmark design software delivers a robust suite of capabilities that will advance your site design, simplify your workflows, and help you transition from CAD to BIM. FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN SAVE WITH OUR CURRENT MAKE THE SWITCH PROMOTION AT VECTORWORKS.NET/FUTUREARCH. CALL 01635 580318 OR EMAIL UKSALES@VECTORWORKS.NET. IMAGE COURTESY OF MCGREGOR COXALL

Advert template.indd 5

13/12/2017 15:36


INTERVIEW

FOR THE LOVE OF GARDENS MARISA VARMA of North London luxury developer Harrison Varma explains why landscaping is central to both her projects and her passions

M

arisa Varma lights up when she talks about gardens. Her passion shines through in her voice, and in every development that she and her husband Anil have created over the years. Forget green space as you know it – for the duo behind luxury property specialists Harrison Varma, landscaping is a labour of love. “It’s just such a thrill, it brings me great joy,” says Marisa. “I just love when you walk through a garden and see the alliums have just arrived, and you’re looking at them and thinking: ‘Wow, that’s incredible!’ I love it so much. I feel very fortunate to be able to work in this realm.” Alongside feeding her own personal interest, though, Marisa believes well-designed green space is an asset for any development. “It’s difficult to quantify it in monetary terms, but the enhancement it brings to the building and the enjoyment of residents is enormous. It adds something you can’t really put a price on,” she says. “It also works very well within the local community. It means you are taking care of something and looking to the future, because you’re putting back into the environment.” Harrison Varma’s approach to landscaping is centred on respecting and enhancing what’s already available on a site, and in the surrounding area. “We’re always looking to work with the existing space,” Marisa explains. “You are guided by planning, obviously, and there will be constraints, but once that’s in place, it’s really important for me to maintain what’s in the local environment. You want to look after the trees that are there, you want to build up around that. I’m not the kind of developer that will go in and take everything out. I’m always crying: ‘Keep it, keep it, keep it!’” However, she adds, it’s also vital to ensure that the landscaping works with and for the development itself. “You may want to be selecting strategic planting areas so that you have a nice view or, if you are trying to create privacy from the road, you would do it in a very sympathetic way. Our approach is about looking at the whole, the bigger picture, looking at longevity and how you are going to settle that development into a local streetscape.” Because most of Harrison Varma’s developments are in north London, remaining true to the streetscape often means referencing

˿

www.futurearch.co.uk

Property Harrison Varma.indd 25

14/12/2017 10:57


INTERVIEW

“I’M NOT THE KIND OF DEVELOPER THAT WILL GO IN AND TAKE EVERYTHING OUT. I’M ALWAYS CRYING: KEEP IT!”

2

classic English designs. “I always like to draw on more traditional English themes that will anchor the development into the local environment. I like to work with the plants and trees that are going to survive well in the area and work well in the area.” This vision comes across clearly at the company’s latest development, Buxmead, in North London. This former nursing home on The Bishops Avenue, off Hampstead Heath, was converted into three apartments, with 17 more created across three other buildings, all set in 2.5 acres of striking, free-flowing gardens. Marisa admits that this was a particularly challenging project. “We were looking at the streetscape and what was going to work well with the buildings, but, because it’s a development of 20 apartments and we had a large area that’s available for everyone who lives there to use, we had to look at lots of different aspects, at how private spaces and communal spaces would work together.” Planning requirements added an extra hurdle, as a meadow had to be incorporated into the scheme. Initially, Marisa and Anil thought Buxmead would be best served by choosing a formal design, but the more they looked at it, the less they liked it. “It didn’t actually sit well within the site – so instead of having structured, oblong or square shapes, we moved towards more rounded, naturally flowing shapes.” Today, the green space at Buxmead combines an organic feel with some more formal areas. “We were very fortunate in that we had some beautiful oak trees already on site,” Marisa recalls. “We had perimeter areas that were quite wooded, so we worked on a seam of woodland garden and that petered into the meadow. Then, in the centre, we were able to

1 include a more manicured lawn. It was a constant thought process. In the end, we are very happy with the natural and formal mix, but it wasn’t something that just came to us overnight – it had to evolve. As an independent developer, we are able to revisit. It’s about having the budget to do that, but it’s also about always trying to do the right thing.” In line with Marisa’s preferences, Buxmead’s planting scheme is inspired by the local area. Oaks, birches and maple trees provide the key structure, rhododendrons echo the gardens at nearby Kenwood House, and there’s plenty of box, which grew originally on the site (hence the name Buxmead).

3

26

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Property Harrison Varma.indd 26

4

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:56


INTERVIEW

5 “Where we ramped the planting up – at the entrances, for example, to create a sense of arrival – we have used bay trees, Buxus, and plants such as alliums and hydrangeas, which can be quite dramatic and have a long flowering life,” Marisa explains. “We also tried to create a seasonal garden: the autumn colours are a rich red, with beautiful leaves everywhere, and in summer we go more into pinks, purples and whites.” The company’s attention to detail is nothing short of painstaking. Having opted to create a free-form path that circled its way around Buxmead, they felt it needed a focal point – so they commissioned sculptor David Harber to create a large water feature, plus two smaller matching ones to frame the entrance. “When we started talking to him we were able to incorporate themes into the piece that were running through the development. So for example, our logo is a B (for Buxmead) back to front, and he incorporated that into the sphere. We also have a lot of gold running through the development, and thought it would be great to have that reflected in the sculpture.”

www.futurearch.co.uk

Property Harrison Varma.indd 27

The way Harrison Varma selected David Harber is indicative of how they find contractors they like to work with. “I’m a big fan of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and am very aware of people who are exhibiting,” Marisa explains. “I had seen David Harber a lot and had been to quite a few of his exhibitions. When we started this process, he was one of the first people we thought of. If you’re out and about and you see something you really like, you try and find out who has done that work or that planting scheme. It’s a note to self to think: ‘Where did I see that? I’m going to go back and find that person.’” That said, the company has primarily worked with the same local landscaper since 1995, as Marisa explains he understands their approach and how the construction process works. “With Buxmead, we felt more comfortable working with someone who knew how we worked. There was flexibility and it came together in the best way.” Ultimately, she continues, selecting green space contractors is a fine balance between being open to suggestions and making the most of the relationships you already have. “I like to work with people long term, I like to build up trust. You evolve together, which is great. But it’s also about not being afraid to try somebody new.”

1 T  he secure entrance and signage for Buxmead 2 B  espoke branded railings encircle the scheme 3 C  oncierge entrance at Buxmead 4 B  espoke water sculpture by David Harper 5 T  he Grade II Listed BeJacobean Manor House, Bishopsmead, which has been converted into luxury apartments

Harrison Varma Founded in 2000 by husband and wife team Anil and Marisa Varma, Harrison Varma is a boutique developer of individually crafted, contemporary, luxury homes built to the highest standards. W: www.harrisonvarma.co.uk

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018 27

14/12/2017 10:57


STONE

STEEL

COMPOSITES

THE PLANTER SPECIALIST

We offer a wide range of stocked designs, plus a trusted bespoke THE PLANTER SPECIALIST manufacturing service for projects large and small. We offer a wide range of stocked designs, plus a trusted bespoke manufacturing service for projects large and small.

T. 01934 522617 W. WWW.IOTAGARDEN.COM T. 01934 522617 W. WWW.IOTAGARDEN.COM

Advert template.indd 6

13/12/2017 15:38


FEATURE

New town

NEW RULES

as a ‘new town’, milton keynes is ideally placed to experiment and innovate with its development. at the heart of its ongoing design is the council’s urban design and landscape architecture team

M

1

ilton Keynes sits in the county of Buckinghamshire and was designated a ‘new town’ in 1967, with the design brief that it was to become a ‘city’ in scale. A number of new towns were created in the Sixties as a means to reduce housing congestion in London – while housing is still an issue across the UK, Milton Keynes has seen a rapid increase in population, from 53,000 in 1961 to 248,800 at the time of the most recent census. Prior to the development, the area was open countryside and included 13 villages. Fast forward to the present, and it is the role of Milton Keynes Council’s Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (UDLA) team to design and deliver the high quality spaces that people want to live, work and play in.

2

3

www.futurearch.co.uk

Council feature Milton Keynes.indd 29

4

Projects The UDLA team is made up of eight people: four urban designers and four landscape architects. The landscape architects on the team specialise in the provision of a range of planning, design and landscape architectural services to both public and private sector clients, as well as providing landscape amenity and visual impact studies. Principal landscape architect Sue Brown provides an overview on some of the projects the team has

˿

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018 29

14/12/2017 10:49


FEATURE

5

6

“OUR SERVICE CONTINUES TO EXPAND AND PROVIDE VALUE. IT IS CONSISTENT AND OUR PROJECTS ARE DIVERSE” 30

been working on in recent times. “We tend to have one or two long term, large scale projects on the go at any one time. These can extend over a long timeframe, the most recent being Stanton Low Park, which we’ve been involved with for the past five years. “We’ve been working as landscape consultants for Crest Nicholson on its Campbell Park Canalside and Newlands Marina developments for the past two years. Our urban design colleagues prepared the development briefs for these sites; we have been part of the design team from the initial concept stage, and our involvement continues now in the preparation of the detailed design to enable construction to progress early next year. Both developments promise to become dynamic places within Milton Keynes, and we are looking forward to seeing the development progress.” When asked about what it is like to work within a council, as opposed to a private practice, Sue explains that, like any other line of work, there will always be moments of frustration as well as achievements. She describes Milton Keynes as an “extremely challenging, dynamic and rewarding” place to work. “As with all local authorities these days, there is a degree of pressure, and performance is key to survival,” Sue explains. “Failure to generate an income, poor performance, contract overspend or not delivering the council priorities can potentially

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Council feature Milton Keynes.indd 30

put the service at risk, just like in the private sector. UDLA has evolved and adapted with the changes imposed on it over the past five years; our service continues to expand and provide value, it is consistent and our projects are diverse. We are able to draw on many years of experience working within both the private and public sector, and the future looks bright.” UDLA sits within the Growth, Economy and Culture directorate at the council, meaning it works closely with planning policy and development management colleagues. Sue explains that the team regularly draws on knowledge from wider colleagues within the council, including Highways, Countryside, Conservation and Archaeology, Heritage and Public Art, on a project-specific basis. “Over the years, this cross-discipline working has provided us with an insight into the requirements and priorities of many related disciplines. Our knowledge helps us to pre-empt potential issues and design in mitigation where required, and ensures a smoother design and delivery process. “We are working within a political environment, bound by the rules and regulations which govern local authorities. The financial constraints placed on local authorities demand that every penny counts and this can make delivering a council-funded project a very challenging process.” New town Milton Keynes is unique. As a new town, it has not evolved in the same way as a traditional town or city, designed and built instead on a grid system to improve traffic movement. While its uniqueness and individual qualities are often admired, Sue says it doesn’t come without its challenges. “Milton Keynes’s unique qualities are, in some cases, also the cause of some weaknesses, and we have to balance these conflicting demands. For example, the landscaped grid road corridors contribute significantly to the character of the city, but they are expensive to maintain, and low density developments make viable public transport difficult to sustain.” Despite these challenges, Milton Keynes has provided an opportunity to try new ideas. “It’s a new town with a history of innovation, which gives us the opportunity to be braver and more ambitious in terms of encouraging more contemporary and innovative architecture. While we do have a number of historic villages and market towns within the borough, Milton Keynes is not bound or restricted by historic

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:49


FEATURE

7 character. That said, a number of the early council housing estates are now 50 years old, and are in urgent need of regeneration to provide sustainable homes for future generations. These areas have great regeneration potential, but also significant new town heritage value. “Planning within our growth areas, essentially on greenfield sites, also presents challenges. We must balance the demands of modern day development and the need for new homes with the planning policies and values of Milton Keynes, in terms of providing generous landscape buffer zones and meaningful open spaces. The long term management cost of new landscape is not a material planning consideration, although some believe it should be.” Green spaces Plenty of green spaces and park areas are built into the fabric of the town, with a number having won Green Flag awards. Sue tells us that the town would be a very different place without this network of linear parks and green infrastructure. “Around 25% of the new city area qualifies as green space, comprising

approximately 6,000 acres of river valleys, woodlands, lakesides, parks and green infrastructure. “The role of maintaining our green spaces is shared between the Parks Trust and the council. The trust was set up as an independent charity in 1992 to care for the majority of the city’s linear parks, while the council maintains the green infrastructure to our grid roads and other green spaces. UDLA works closely with the Parks Trust on a number of projects, most recently the delivery of Stanton Low Park, which was transferred to the care of the trust last year.” MK Future 2050 The MK Future 2050 Commission, supported by council officers, was established in 2015 to create a long term vision for the future of Milton Keynes. The commission published a report and created the MK 2050 programme, detailing a number of projects that the council team is helping to deliver in order to fulfil the vision for Milton Keynes by the year 2050. The projects aim to deliver new opportunities for everyone who lives, works, receives education, or simply visits Milton Keynes; they include a new university and plans to improve the creativity and culture of the area. Sue explains that this programme will play a large part in the team’s work going forward. “Focusing on the MK Futures 2050 Delivery agenda, the UDLA team is looking at ways to drive growth within central Milton Keynes. This includes an ambitious project to regenerate the public realm of Midsummer Boulevard East. UDLA is now ideally placed to coordinate the allocation, design and delivery of key projects within the borough, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by growth and deliver this agenda.”

9

www.futurearch.co.uk

Council feature Milton Keynes.indd 31

8

“IT’S A NEW TOWN WITH A HISTORY OF INNOVATION, WHICH GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE BRAVER AND MORE AMBITIOUS”

1 City centre night view 2 Large Milton Keynes homes 3 Stanton Low Park play area 4 Willen Lake 5 Broughton Bridge 6 A5 road 7  Milton Keynes from above 8 City centre view 9 Midsummer Boulevard

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018 31

14/12/2017 10:49


FEATURE

SOIL CONTAMINATION:

Is it your responsibility? Tim O’Hare explains why landscape architects need to be more involved in the soil remediation process – and what action they need to be taking

T

he worlds of landscape design and land remediation come together on many brownfield development projects, and the interface between these two disciplines is very often the ‘soil’. Over the last few years, landscape architects have unsuspectingly found themselves in trouble when told the soil they have specified and approved is contaminated and must be removed from site. Landscape architects should be aware of the responsibilities and risks when specifying soils for such sites, as they go far beyond simply making sure the plants are happy. Soil remediation treatments Most brownfield developments require a degree of remediation,

whereby historical contamination has to be ‘treated’ in some way to clean up the site and allow it to be reused. Such treatment, 20 years ago, usually involved digging up the contaminated soil and dumping it in the nearest landfill – the so-called ‘dig and dump’ method. These days, unless the ground is grossly contaminated or the contaminant is mobile, remediation methods leave the contaminated soil in place and cover it over with a layer of ‘clean’ soil, isolating the contamination from end-users. This is known as the ‘clean cover system’ treatment option. A typical scenario these days would be to place imported clean topsoil and subsoil over the existing ground to a depth of

1

32

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Tim O'Hare.indd 32

up to 600mm. The responsibility for sourcing and placing this soil has often belonged to the groundworks contractor, with the landscape contractor only becoming involved with cultivation, planting, seeding and turfing. Increasingly, however, this task is given to the landscape contractor, and this is where problems can occur. The details of a clean cover system usually come under the responsibility of the developer’s environmental consultant. This will be documented in a remediation strategy, and will include items such as Site-Specific Assessment Criteria (SSAC) and validating testing requirements. SSACs are essentially a list of contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, phenol, asbestos) to which maximum permissible levels have been set for each parameter. Any soil that is to form the clean cover system will be required to have levels below the limits set; to prove this, testing should be undertaken both before the soils are imported and after the soils have been placed. Which document to use? Problems arise when the site remediation strategy is not

coordinated with the landscape design – when, for example, the clean cover system soil depths do not match the landscape design’s soil profile, and also when the SSAC information is not included within the landscape architect’s soft landscape specification. Very often, the landscape design only considers soil depths for different vegetation types (e.g. 150mm of topsoil for grass) and the specification for imported soils will simply list a range of horticultural soil parameters (pH, organic matter, plant nutrients, salinity), giving no other information on soil contamination – and, more importantly, the SSACs for the individual project. How many landscape specifications mention a clean cover system? In this scenario, the first the landscape architect knows about a problem is when the soil, plants and turf are all in place and the validation testing finds unacceptable levels of contaminants. This can result in the whole lot having to come out! Such non-compliance is a serious issue, as it means that associated planning conditions cannot be signed off, mortgage lenders will not release funds and building warranties will not be issued (e.g. NHBC).

www.futurearch.co.uk

13/12/2017 16:30


FEATURE

British Standards for soil The British Standards for topsoil (BS3882:2015) and subsoil (BS8601:2013) are the most widely used standards for imported topsoil in landscaping. Both do include a requirement for the soils to be uncontaminated, but the details are somewhat in the small print. For example, the Notes in Table 1 of BS3882:2015 state:

NOTE 3 Attention is drawn to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 [3] (EPA) and to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) [4], under which there is a requirement for topsoil to contain no concentrations of chemical contaminants that would cause a significant risk to human health and the environment. NOTE 4 Attention is drawn to the possibility that Site Specific Assessment Criteria (SSAC) or Generic Assessment Criteria (GAC) might have been set for the intended recipient site under the EPA or NPPF.

Soil testing laboratories Part of the confusion is caused because there is no definitive list of contaminant parameters for each and every site (these have to be agreed as part of the remediation strategy). This is compelled by many soil testing laboratories that also ignore the small print – by requesting a ‘BS soil test’, these laboratories simply offer to test the horticultural parameters (e.g. pH, organic matter, plant nutrients), but don’t include any contaminants (except Cu, NI, Zn), and they

www.futurearch.co.uk

Tim O'Hare.indd 33

2 don’t advise their customers to undertake such contamination testing as part of the BS test. As a consequence, many laboratory test certificates that proclaim to cover the requirements of the British Standard are incomplete and misleading. If you are offered a test certificate for British Standard soil that doesn’t include a suite of contaminants, do not rely on that document or sign off the soil as acceptable. The table to the right is an example of the test parameters that are included for contamination assessment. This is not an absolute list, and each development site may have more or less compounds. There are also no standard set of values that each parameter must achieve – it is dependent on criteria such as the history of the site and its proposed end-use.

˿

• Inorganic arsenic • Boron (soluble) • Cadmium • Chromium (III) • Chromium (IV) • Copper • Lead • Mercury • Nickel • Selenium • Zinc • Phenol • Cyanide • Benzene • Toluene • Ethylbenzene • Xylene - m • Xylene - o • Xylene - p • Aliphatics C5-C6 • Aliphatics C6-C8 • Aliphatics C8-C10 • Aliphatics C10-C12 • Aliphatics C12-C26

• Aliphatics C16-C35 • Aromatics C5-C7 • Aromatics C7-C8 • Aromatics C8-C10 • Aromatics C10-C12 • Aromatics C12-C16 • Aromatics C16-C21 • Aromatics C21-C35 • Acenaphthene • Acenaphthylene • Anthracene • Benzo(a)anthracene • Benzo[a]pyrene • Benzo(b)fluoranthene • Benzo(g,h,i)perylene • Benzo(k)fluoranthene • Chrysene • Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene • Fluoranthene • Fluorene • Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene • Naphthalene • Phenanthrene • Pyrene

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018 33

13/12/2017 16:35


FEATURE

3 Recommendations If you are tasked with specifying or approving soils (site-won or imported) for a landscape project, check that you have the necessary information from the client or their design team so that the Soft Landscape Specification matches the requirements of the Remediation Strategy. •A  sk whether the project has a Remediation Strategy, any Site-Specific Assessment Criteria, or a Validation Testing requirement. If so, check that your proposed soil depths are at least the same, if not deeper, than those required for the clean cover system, and make sure you coordinate your soil specification with that of the environmental consultant’s.

34

• Check the Testing Frequency requirements of the Remediation Strategy. This will stipulate how many samples need to be tested on each source of soil (e.g. one sample per 250m³, per 500m³, per 1,000m³, minimum of three samples, etc). The frequency could be significantly more than normally allowed for a greenfield job. • Do not accept or rely on a soil test certificate that just shows the horticultural test parameters (i.e. as published in Table 1 of BS3882 or BS8601). It should also include a suite of contamination parameters (see table above). • Do not rely on test certificates that have been ‘doctored’ to remove any information (e.g. the

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Tim O'Hare.indd 34

date, the client details). You can always request a top copy from the laboratory. • Do not rely solely on the soil supplier’s soil test report – it may be six months old! Use it as a way to initially evaluate each potential source, but take your own sample(s) and have the soil tested independently.

1  Clean cover system, showing clean topsoil and subsoil over contaminated ground 2  Soil remediation 3  V  alidation tests – checking soil depths

Tim O’Hare Tim O’Hare, principal consultant at Tim O’Hare Associates LLP, has advised on soil specification and soil testing within the landscape industry for more than 20 years and sits on the British Standards committee responsible for topsoil and subsoil. W: www.toha.co.uk

www.futurearch.co.uk

13/12/2017 16:35


FEATURE

Wildlife-friendly FutureArch investigates the rising trend for creating wildlifefriendly developments, looking in particular at the innovative kingsbrook development in Aylesbury

www.futurearch.co.uk

Wildlife friendly development.indd 35

DEVELOPMENTS W ith the need for more housing in the UK becoming increasingly pressing, new spaces have to be found for them. Inevitably, this means that sites such as greenfield land will be used where necessary – but building developments that are eco and wildlifefriendly can help to mitigate this contentious issue. Sarah MacKinnon, an ecologist at the Landscape Planning Group, conducts ecological and environmental surveys before land is used for housing or building development. She explains that the surveys are done to support builders and architects through the development process, and to help them identify potential environmental or ecological problems with the land being used.

1

What does an ecological appraisal involve? “We will visit a site and do a primary assessment to find out what habitants are present. The site might include anything – buildings, hard landscapes, grassland areas, woodlands, waterways and so on. From that, we will identify the need for what we call a phase 2 survey – if there is any potential for protective species, such as bats, reptiles and water voles, to be present. We will identify the habitats onsite and report protective species that anyone developing the area would need to be aware of. This is not only to stop them from falling foul of the law, but also to ensure that they don’t cause any undue harm to the natural world.” We ask Sarah how the information from the survey is then used. “We will put together a plan for our

˿

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

35

14/12/2017 10:44


FEATURE

clients, showing the areas occupied by each of the different habitats identified,” she explains. “Providing this awareness allows us to give our clients guidance on the working practices or mitigation that needs to be put in place as part of their developments. That may be as simple as saying that any removal of trees or hedgerows needs to be done outside of bird nesting season. It is simple things like that which are sometimes not thought about.” One of the most common things holding up developments is surveys not being completed, and the subsequent discovery of endangered or protected species when work is underway. “Our message is that it’s important to get your preliminary ecological appraisal sorted at the first possible opportunity, so you can plan for any eventualities that might come up from an ecological standpoint, and plan them into your schedule from the outset.” Wildlife-friendly homes At their Kingsbrook development in Aylesbury, Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Thames are taking wildlife-friendly homes to the next level. According to the RSPCA, 60% of the UK’s wildlife is declining. Could creating homes that are able to house wildlife be the solution to the problem? The properties at Kingsbrook are designed to do just that, and have recently won an award at the prestigious WhatHouse? awards. Scooping Silver for Best Partnership Scheme, Oakfield Village, the first phase of the wildlife-friendly development, is full of features that are designed to attract wildlife. The Best Partnership Scheme award highlights excellent partnerships forged between developers and other bodies. The groundbreaking partnership between Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Thames and the RSPB is the first of its kind in the UK, and aims to set a new benchmark for nature-friendly housing developments in Britain. Kingsbrook is the first scheme to try out this new approach, with the whole development designed to enable wildlife to thrive alongside the new housing and the residents. Oakfield Village will account for 492 homes out of Kingsbrook’s total of 2,450, and many of the properties include wildlife-friendly features such as swift bricks, bat boxes and hedgehog highways. The overall Kingsbrook development benefits from wildlife corridors, which will allow the local wildlife to move around and through the greenspace and residential areas; it also features an abundance of open greenspace, including ponds, parks, meadows and orchards. In addition, the development boasts

36

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Wildlife friendly development.indd 36

a sustainable urban drainage system, with rainwater directed along rills and swales on the surface; these will also create a home for wildlife. “We are thrilled that Oakfield Village, part of our flagship Kingsbrook development, has won Silver for ‘Best Partnership Scheme’ in the WhatHouse? Awards this year,” says Ian Sadler, managing director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Thames. “At Kingsbrook, we’re working alongside the RSPB to create a new nature-friendly community, and we’re proud of the progress we are making together.” Emma Marsh, Midlands regional director at the RSPB, said: “We’re so pleased that this partnership has been recognised by the industry. The work that the RSPB and Barratt and David Wilson Homes have been delivering at Kingsbrook shows that housing needs do not have to come at the expense of wildlife. “By taking a nature-led approach to landscaping and building features, developers can not only offer an inspiring way to live, but also help with protecting and encouraging the natural world to flourish. We hope that this award will raise awareness of what can be achieved when conservation is included in development plans.” The development is designed so that wildlife can move freely around the greenspace and residential areas. It is also hoped that being surrounded by local wildlife will encourage residents to plant more, helping to green the development further.

3

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:44


FEATURE

2 4

1 Wildflowers for the wildlife 2 Planting in residential garden 3 A street scene at Kingsbrook 4 Spaces for bats and birds

www.futurearch.co.uk

Wildlife friendly development.indd 37

The RSPB on the Kingsbrook development “Kingsbrook is being created on what was mainly agricultural land, where there were fields of grass and cereals divided by some mature hedgerows and scattered pools. Inevitably, wildlife around the site will change as the homes, schools and roads are built. “We hope some species, such as hedgehogs, will move in, and that others, such as house sparrows, starlings and bees, will increase in number. “In order to be sure that Kingsbrook delivers more wildlife once it is built, the RSPB extensively surveyed the site prior to the start of the build; the charity will return and re-survey Kingsbrook over the years to see how wildlife responds. We won’t count our chicks before they hatch, though – our surveys will tell us if we are right. “The conservation lessons being learned with Barratt at Kingsbrook are being used to influence decision-makers nationally, to change the way things are done and give nature a home across the UK.”

The future With wildlife declining and the need for housing increasing, it is hoped that this kind of development will become more popular in the future. There are some concerns that the general public may take more convincing to live in homes that attract wildlife. Sarah has noticed a movement towards this kind of development, though. “One trend I have noticed is that people are preferring to develop by making use of what is already onsite, rather than trampling on everything and starting again,” she tells us. “By enhancing sites in this way, there is far more to gain – not to mention the costs you have saved by not getting rid of everything. “We are finding a lot more interest in this from our clients, and some really interesting aspects are being built into developments – things such as putting up bird and bat boxes, and planting more native species. I think that’s an interesting trend, and it’s great to see more of it.”

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

37

14/12/2017 10:44


FEATURE

1

Sally Bower worked for international practice, Building Design Partnership, for over a decade before deciding to start up her own practice. FutureArch speaks to Sally to gain an insight into the trials and challenges she faced in doing so

M

GOING solo

any people dream of working for themselves – managing their own time, finding the work they want to do, taking more control over their own lives. To make the jump is a risk; it will take dedication, hard work, and commitment. For those of you who may currently be working as part of a company, we spoke to Sally to learn from her first-hand experiences and to pick up on all the tips she could give us. Sally’s own studio is based in Liverpool, and describes itself on its website as ‘an enthusiastic, inspired landscape architecture practice specialising in creating and realising sustainable landscapes that work and delight’.

“I LOVE THE DIVERSITY OF PROJECTS THAT I AM NOW ABLE TO DO UNDER MY OWN UMBRELLA – I FIND IT ENORMOUSLY SATISFYING” When did you decide it was the right time? I started thinking about opening my own practice and ‘flexing my muscles’ around four years ago. I wanted to have more control over the projects that I was working on, and to control the balance of design against productivity. Setting up my own practice provided me with the opportunity to follow and develop my own ethos, instead of following the structure of larger business. One of the things that I really like doing is telling a story within a space, and connecting with the people who are going to use that space. One of the first projects I did after leaving BDP was a community space around a church called St Michael’s, which had

38

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Setting up a practice.indd 38

a rich multi-cultural history. The project was about trying to integrate that history and tell that story, as well as responding to the spiritual dimension. I valued being able to spend the time doing that and developing it. It is fantastic to be directly involved in the whole of the project. It means I am able to control it myself and decide which problems and projects deserve a lot of thought, design and creativity, and then to spend the time doing it. Did you use your experience at BDP to help you get started? The experience of working for a multidisciplinary practice certainly helped me. BDP is a large multidisciplinary design practice; it gave me a rigorous backbone for delivering projects. What helped me most was learning the process that you follow, running jobs, using computers and doing the technical design. I was there for more than 13 years in total, and gained a really strong experience in how to do that side of things. That meant that there wasn’t that learning curve for me when I set up on my own. What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business? The beauty of being part of a big organisation is that a lot of jobs are delegated out to lots of different people. If I want to send something out in the mail, then we actually had a post room, whereas I now have to do things like that myself. You have to learn to manage your own time sheets, and make sure profitability is good. At somewhere like BDP, you are used to that all being dealt with and done. Another thing that has been challenging is keeping up to date with my continued professional development – I have to be more proactive than I was at BDP. One of the biggest challenges is that you

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:07


FEATURE

2 can get a little bit isolated. I like having a dialogue with people and bouncing ideas around in design, and that is not as straightforward. There is scope to do that, and one of the ways that I get around that problem is by collaborating with other talented designers. There are a lot of people out there in the same position as myself, who also need to network and communicate, so it hasn’t been as hard as I thought that it might be. What have you found to be the most rewarding part? I am a lot more confident now, and I like the balance of the way I approach projects. One of the things I often felt frustrated by, as part of a larger company, was that I sometimes wanted to do a CDP, but didn’t have the time to follow it up due to work pressures. Now I am able to make sure that I develop the things I am interested in. One of the

things I really wanted to do more of was gain a better understanding of plants and planting design. I spent a lot of time on it, taking an extra course and completing a lot of background research to improve my understanding, and grew a lot of plants myself just to put it into practice. I now have that flexibility to do that, which I find very rewarding. Also, I love the diversity of projects that I am now able to do under my own umbrella – I find it enormously satisfying. What would your tips be to someone considering starting their own practice? Talk to as many people as possible. You have this fear that you’re bothering people, but in reality, you have to remember that we are all human beings and approachable. The more you network and build up your confidence, the more it strengthens you and helps you to gain a different perspective.

˿

3 www.futurearch.co.uk

Setting up a practice.indd 39

“STARTING MY OWN PRACTICE PROVIDED ME WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW AND DEVELOP MY OWN ETHOS”

1 Warp and weft of interlocking garden spaces 2 Plan of garden which had to be contemporary and frog-friendly 3 Visual to frog-friendly garden 4 Office barn conversion within countryside setting

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

39

14/12/2017 11:04


FEATURE

I came from one specific approach and culture of working but there are lots of different ways of doing things, and you only find out those methods by talking to people and asking questions. Continuing to network and collaborate is invaluable. What projects have you worked on since setting up on your own? The most recent one has been really interesting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is a community of Muslim families who have bought a plot of land and built their own houses. They had almost finished the houses when they approached me, wanting a shared community space in the middle and then their own private back gardens. I had never done a project with so many different individuals who all have strong interests in the space, but also very specific ideas about what they want. It has been a very rewarding project to do. Another recent project has been the landscape around a barn conversion to a light modern office. The setting already had a very strong sense of place within the countryside. What was really nice about that was trying to integrate and tell a story so that people working in the office would be drawn out into the landscape. I have walked around the grounds with lots of different incidental events on the journey. It is about doing it all sensitively so that it all feels like it is a continuation of the landscape beyond. All the different projects come with their own challenges. Each time, I like to try and connect the local community and think about the people using it, as well as what story you are trying to tell through the design.

Sally Bower Landscape Design

4 40

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Setting up a practice.indd 40

Sally Bower Landscape Design offers a range of services including masterplanning and urban design, site assessment, and landscape planning. W: www.sallybower.co.uk

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 11:05


Soft Landscape Workshop

Taking Gardens & Landscapes to a Whole New Level Podium deck planting – the new Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Dan Pearson (Photo: Sir Paul Smith)

Bosco Verticale, Milan

FOLLOW US!

DAILY UPDATES FROM THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE INDUSTRY

Professor Nigel Dunnett

Tim O’Hare

Hear from award winning designer Dan Pearson, Laura Gatti planting designer for Bosco Verticale and new speaker Professor Nigel Dunnett designer of the Barbican Roof Gardens plus Tim O’Hare on soil issues with podium landscapes Visit www.palmstead.co.uk/events for full details and to book online Tickets are £39 (inc. VAT), which includes buffet lunch and a stimulating exhibition from a range of selected suppliers

“Excellent value & CPD” @futurearchuk @FutureArchUK @FutureArchUK

Advert template.indd 7

13/12/2017 15:46


FEATURE

1

THE BENEFITS OF

artificial grass molly arnold, project coordinator at lazylawn, discusses why artificial grass is soaring in popularity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as the pitfalls to watch out for when selecting and installing it

42

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Artificial Grass.indd 42

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:29


FEATURE

C

ompleting a project is never just about the finished design – maintenance is a huge factor for clients who perhaps don’t have the time or the funding to ensure that the project remains in top condition throughout the years. An increasingly popular product, with this in mind, is artificial grass; it’s quality has come a long way over the years, becoming a genuine alternative to natural turf. Molly Arnold, project coordinator at LazyLawn, explains that maintaining artificial grass is as simple as applying weed killer twice a year to protect the turf from airborne weeds, and brushing the surface to rid it of leaves and debris. Unlike natural turf, it does not need to be watered, mown or treated; over large areas, this not only saves on the cost of hiring staff to maintain the lawn, but also on the cost of water and fuel. With so many different variations of the turf on offer, it is easy to see why it has become an attractive option. “Artificial grass provides a consistent all-weather surface with performance that excels in areas that pose a problem for traditional natural turf – such as areas that are waterlogged, shaded, sunburnt, or have poor soil,” says Molly. “It also provides a safe environment for children and pets. The result is a low-maintenance, year-round green lawn.” Increased use Molly has seen a rise in the use of artificial grass in commercial projects. “It is tried and tested, and thus becoming more common and accepted. It’s fair to say it is becoming a ‘mainstream’ product. The industry is recognising the versatility and ease of use of the product, and the added benefit of it being able to be trafficked, unlike its natural alternative. “LazyLawn systems work best when incorporated with other materials, such as in the recent St Luke’s project, where it is used alongside hard landscaping, decking, rockery, water features and planting. When used in the right place and installed correctly, it really does bring an area to life, offering a fantastic looking and highly practical solution to end users.” Molly believes this is down to the advances seen in making the surfaces feel and look more realistic. “It has come on leaps and bounds. There is a lot of choice in the market now, but the professional items must not be mistaken for the entry level retail options that are currently on offer. “The key aspect of getting a project right is not only in choosing a high grade and high quality surface from a reputable supplier, but also in how it is installed. I would urge anyone considering artificial turf to truly

www.futurearch.co.uk

Artificial Grass.indd 43

2 research the firm installing it – site visits, testimonials, credentials, financials and so on. We have seen some shortfalls in our time where we have been called in to replace another’s inferior product or work.” Addressing concerns Despite the advances that artificial grass has made over the years, there are still a number of concerns that people may have about installing it. One is that, while its maintenance may be easier that natural turf, it does not last forever, and so you will have to pay for it to be re-layed once it gets worn out. On large commercial projects, especially in busy urban areas, it is likely that the surface will see a lot of use and be continuously walked across. Can artificial grass live up to that challenge? “We have a 10-year product warranty on our LazyLawn professional range, so after 10 years this would be the time to review,” Molly explains. “It also depends on traffic demands, how the grass is configured and how the public is manoeuvred around the grassed areas. “In extreme circumstances, and to maintain the best look, then you could look at replacing it sooner. If it is exclusively a walkway, a tight knit polypropylene or polyamide surface would be recommended, as opposed to a softer polyethylene grassy look surface – or we would recommend a hard landscaped pathway be installed within the area.” Should we be looking out for anything exciting from LazyLawn in the near future? “We are launching several new systems next year for different applications,” Molly tells us. “Watch this space.”

“I WOULD URGE ANYONE CONSIDERING ARTIFICIAL TURF TO RESEARCH THE FIRM INSTALLING IT – SITE VISITS, TESTIMONIALS, FINANCIALS AND SO ON”

1 & 2 LazyLawn’s award winning Wonder Yarn artificial grass installed at St Luke’s Square in Canning Town

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

43

14/12/2017 10:29


PORCELAIN PAVING

ideal for roof terraces

Global stone is an industry leading, innovative supplier of premium porcelain and natural stone paving, setts, accessories and features FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SEE OUR FULL RANGE VISIT: WWW.GLOBALSTONEPAVING.CO.UK/PRODUCTS OR CALL 0845 60 60 240 (LO-CALL RATE) CPD-JCN-qtr-120917.qxp_Layout 1 12/09/2017 12:28 Page 1

TREES & SHRUBS

For UK Commercial & Amenity Planting

“The UK’s Largest Amenity Grower”

Premier

Planting Soil

A free CPD accredited presentation on

“An Awareness of the National Plant Specification (NPS)”

 Shrub beds  Raised beds  Planting trees and ornamentals  Vegetable planting projects

Call us now on:

0870 240 2314

www.bstopsoil.co.uk topsoil@britishsugar.com

Valuable horticultural properties Optimum nutrient levels Fully analysed Compliant to BS3882:2015

Delivered by Coles Nurseries at your own premises please contact us now for further details.

Contact: nps@colesnurseries.co.uk SPONSOR

Advert template.indd 8

7

+44 (0) 116 241 2115 www.colesnurseries.co.uk

13/12/2017 15:49


FEATURE

PLANTERS

planters can provide the perfect finishing touch to a scheme. we round up some of the best contemporary styles used in projects around the country

IOTA Bedford Hotel • Sizes 1,980mm asymmetric cones • Materials used Zintec steel

The planters are asymmetric cones, step-folded to create the complex form. These planters were designed by Green Zone Design, and commissioned by Scotscape Landscaping – responsible for the green wall installation and pavement remodelling that also formed part of the hotel’s exterior refurbishment.

OUTDOOR DESIGN

The concept proposed by Urban Planters and WOODBLOCX Westfield included large timber planters, seating Westfield Shopping Centre and walkways, to bring green country life to a large urban city area. One of the larger planters • Materials used was to step down the main staircases to the Pressure-treated entrance of the shopping centre, which was Scots pine easily achievable using WoodBlocX. The install team was able to store the WoodBlocX pallets away from the general public and work neatly in sections, avoiding health and safety hazards.

www.futurearch.co.uk

Planters.indd 45

OUTDOOR DESIGN Central London • Sizes 2.5m x 2.5m • Materials used Mild steel, tough powder-coated finish

The planter needed to be moveable, even when fully planted, so it was designed as two separate structures. The inner framework is fitted with lifting eyes, which were tested prior to installation: with plants and soil, the structure weighs over 3t. The framework is designed to prevent casual access, in line with security requirements. Around the top edge of the outer box, the rows were welded with tasteful steel studs to deter skateboarders and BMX riders.

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

45

14/12/2017 10:36


FEATURE

PLANTERS continued THE POT CO. East of Eden •S  izes From 40cm x 40cm x 40cm H, to 120cm x 120cm x 100cm H • Materials used Fibreglass

IOTA University College Hospital • Sizes 4m x 6m • Materials used 316-grade stainless steel

46

The fibreglass material is durable, lightweight and frost-resistant, making the planter suitable for internal and external use. This range is used for a contemporary finish, fitting easily into a design with easy installation due to its lightweight nature. The planters are manufactured with additional reinforcement to the corners and coloured throughout the entire material, ensuring a high-quality finish that is resistant to bumps and scuffs.

Iota was contracted to supply, install and plant bespoke stainless steel tree planters at University College Hospital. The original design concept was for the planters to be of doubleskin construction, and to sit on top of pre-laid concrete foundations, but Iota proposed a valueengineered solution based around a reinforced, single-skin construction, with integral steel plinths. The plinths were designed to include a 25 x 55mm vertical recess to house LED lighting.

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Planters.indd 46

EUROPLANTERS Library of Birmingham • Unique features Teardrop shape • Size 5.2m diameter

OUTDOOR DESIGN 3 Merchant Square, London • Materials used Galvanised steel, powdercoated in bronze effect finish

The building’s circular pattern of the metal frieze honours the city’s industrial heritage, and the terrace is laid out in patterns derived from the facade design. The bespoke teardrop and semi-circular GRP planters, boarded by curved Iroko-clad seats, guide you through these different spaces and provide the opportunity to wander over the terrace.

The overall scheme was divided into 34 manageable sections to allow for both manufacturing limitations and ease of installation by crane to the completed roof terrace. Each section was unique with no common parts, featuring complex and progressive curves bolted together below the planter surface. A galvanised liner system ensured there was no contact between the planting material and the face of the planter.

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:36


FEATURE

OUTDOOR DESIGN 1 Merchant Square, London • Sizes 0.1m-1.1m high •M  aterials used Galvanised steel

The overall plan was divided into 14 manageable sections, each measuring 2.4m long. This fabrication would have been impossible to achieve without Outdoor Design’s ability to generate 3D models of every section, ensuring all levels were maintained. Its method of connecting planters below the planting surface ensured the lip detail was continuous around the total radius.

The planters feature in a garden arranged over two roof terraces of an office redevelopment. Given their scale, they were manufactured from • Sizes Lengths between 1.2mm zinc clad onto 2mm Zintec steel, to give sufficient strength and stiffness. They were 3,500mm and supplied with a patinated finish that would age 5,100mm •M  aterials used naturally; the images here show the planters at a Zinc cladding relatively early stage of natural ageing; over time, the planters will become generally lighter, with increasing levels of tonal variation and highlights. IOTA Verde, SW1

www.futurearch.co.uk

Planters.indd 47

IOTA Cheltenham Borough Council • Material Zintec steel, resin bound gravel lids • Sizes L 1,200 x W 1,200 x H 850mm

EUROPLANTERS Floating Park • Sizes Varying • Materials used Timber seating

Steel tree planters were commissioned in a scheme to green two pedestrianised areas of Cheltenham High Street. The design concept was developed by the council’s Public Realm Design Team, with constructional detailing by Iota. Bespoke design elements included pressed panels on all four sides, a separate lid in two sections, including removable resinbound gravel infills, and lifting eyes in base of planter for tree anchor attachment.

“We wanted something lightweight because of the nature of the project – we had to be careful with the amount of weight we subjected the platform to. Because of the bespoke nature of the planters we were able to get a pretty accurate fit, which not only looked good but was also easy to transport. On the planters we included floating benches, providing a space for people to sit down and socialise.” Ben Dewhirst, Garden Club London

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

47

14/12/2017 10:37


Advertising feature

“BEAUTIFICATION OF THE CITY OF CULTURE”

DERRY CITY CENTRE The beautification of the ‘city of culture’ was a huge public realm scheme in the heart of Londonderry. With its origins as a settlement in an Oak Grove it is fitting that upgrades to the centre of Derry (Londonderry) have recognised the importance of long term planning for healthy trees. The brief included retaining as many of the existing trees as possible and integrating them visually with the new planting. The Landscape Architect – BDP, who specialise in enhancing the natural landscape consulted Greenleaf Ireland for advice on a tree pit design to ensure the establishment and longevity of the trees while working within the budget available. Planted in the winter of 2009/10 using RootDirectors the new trees roots were diverted downwards into a root friendly zone created by RootCells below the hard surface. Long term aeration and irrigation was provided for by the RootRain Precinct system with bespoke bronze inlets incorporated into the surface. The existing and new trees were bought together visually using Arboresin support frames, fabricated to bespoke sizes to strengthen the porous resin bound tree pit surfacing. The finished result was such that the same formula was then applied to other existing trees within the city as part of an expanded program of environmental improvements. Arboresin is a well proven hardwearing attractive surface ideal for retrofitting around existing trees to reduce trip hazards.

GreenBlue.indd 18

14/12/2017 10:25


Advertising feature

Greenleaf Ireland, GreenBlueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long established partner in Ireland, are proud to have played a key part of such an amazing transformation to Derry City Centre - providing green canopy cover and the opportunity for the trees to reach their full potential. Client: Local Authority Landscape Architect: BDP Contractor: Civil Engineering Group For more information contact: GreenBlue Urban Ltd Greenblue.com e. enquiries@greenblueurban.com Tel: 01580 830 800 @GreenBlueUrban

GreenBlue.indd 19

14/12/2017 10:25


A Piece of History. The Piece Hall, Halifax.

Hardscape supplied 5,500 square metres of Forest Pennant paving and setts for the central courtyard. A blend of four Portuguese granites and also Carlow Irish Blue Limestone. Portuguese Alpendurada granite steps were installed around the central square. Twelve solid granite benches and forty euroform-w Iroko timber-topped granite benches, featuring a galvanised steel framework, which was left exposed beneath the Iroko timber to reveal The Piece Hall logo.

For further information on this project and all our paving products please visit: www.hardscape.co.uk or telephone: 01204 565 500.

Advert template.indd 9

13/12/2017 15:52


PORTFOLIO

PIECE HALL HALIFAX Gillespies

1 Size of project 1.7-acre public realm area, including a reimagined courtyard Build time October 2014-August 2017

T

he Grade I listed Piece Hall has been restored, and its central courtyard reimagined as a new attraction and catalyst for future investment at the heart of a new cultural centre for Halifax. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the multimillion-pound scheme includes the restoration of the Piece Hall, a new Central Library and conference centre and new theatre. The project has transformed the former Northern cloth hall into a new visitor destination that has multiple levels of colonnade walkaways, leading to new units that can accommodate shops, restaurants, bars, cafĂŠs and new start-up businesses, all overlooking the vibrant new courtyard. At its opening in 1779, the Piece Hall was the most ambitious and prestigious building of its type in Northern England, and is now a Grade I listed building. It is the only remaining example in the UK of the great 18th century Northern cloth halls that

Ëż

www.futurearch.co.uk

Gillespies.indd 51

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

51

13/12/2017 16:39


PORTFOLIO

2 1 The reimagined courtyard at night ©Paul White 2  The reimagined courtyard at the Piece Hall ©Paul White 3  The cascading water features in the central courtyard ©Paul White 4 Feature steps and bespoke furniture overlooking the courtyard ©Paul White

52

were built to support the trading of ‘pieces’ of woollen cloth. Working closely with LDN Architects, Calderdale Council, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic England, Gillespies has delivered a courtyard space and new public realm that is historically responsive and appropriate to its extraordinary architectural setting. The courtyard fulfils the brief of being able to accommodate a year-round programme of events and festivals, providing a new attribute for Halifax. Gillespies was commissioned to significantly update and improve the quality of the public realm experience, which has been achieved through the introduction of high quality materials, a new lighting scheme and water features. A new gateway has been created through the east wing of the Piece Hall, providing a pedestrian link

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Gillespies.indd 52

between the town centre and the railway station, passing the new Halifax Central Library en route. Gillespies has also delivered the public realm around the New Central Library, ensuring that there is a coherent scheme along this route. The courtyard has been reimagined as an attractive, open and accessible ‘town square’ that offers a contemporary and flexible space for an established seasonal programme of events and festivals. A particular challenge for the project was to accommodate the 3.5m level change across the central courtyard, as well as ensuring that the new public space met modern accessibility standards. This required the courtyard to accommodate steps and ramped access, which has been sympathetically incorporated into the new public realm. The feature steps and ramps have also

www.futurearch.co.uk

13/12/2017 16:40


PORTFOLIO

Suppliers Surface materials (flags, setts, cubes, tactile paving, edges, step units, wheeling channels, granite walls) and bespoke (timber and granite) seating Hardscape www.hardscape.co.uk Lighting contractor Buro Happold www.burohappold.com Cycle stands and litter bins Broxap www.broxap.com Telescopic bollards Furnitubes www.furnitubes.com Feature stainless steel planters to front of new library Kinley Systems www.kinley.co.uk

3

4

www.futurearch.co.uk

Gillespies.indd 53

been used to help articulate the space, as well as orienting routes and spill-out areas for restaurants, bars and cafés. In addition to the high-quality natural stone paving (predominantly sandstone and granite), feature fountains, bespoke furniture and lighting have been used to provide a contemporary design language that is sensitive and appropriate to the impressive architecture of the Piece Hall’s Georgian façades and architecture. To animate and to overcome the level changes across the central courtyard, cascading water features have been introduced. These fountains interpret the importance of water in the production of cloth, with cascades and rills hewn out of stone. In this redevelopment, particular consideration has been given to the night time economy, to ensure that the Piece Hall remains active, safe and attractive during the evening. The dramatic building façades have been uplit with ground lights, and these are extended across the central courtyard to help define the public space. The expressive lighting design helps to redefine the public space, and announces it as one of the town’s most exciting night-time destinations.

Gillespies Gillespies is a leading UK and international masterplanning, landscape and urban design firm, with a reputation built on creative design and a track record for delivering high quality projects. W: www.gillespies.co.uk

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

53

13/12/2017 16:41


PORTFOLIO

MUSEUM IN THE PARK STROUD

Austin Design Works

Project value £145k Size of project 2,000m2 Build time August 2015-April 2016

54

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Austin Design Works.indd 54

1

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:12


PORTFOLIO

2

3

T

4

5

www.futurearch.co.uk

Austin Design Works.indd 55

he Museum in the Park’s Walled Garden project sought to reclaim a garden which, over 50 years, had been allowed to fall derelict. The intention was to create a ‘secret garden’ that could host community events, and in which visitors could further explore the museum artefacts. At its centre, there was to be a pavilion building that could accommodate visiting school parties. While the pavilion had attracted funding, the Entrance Way scheme connecting the building to the museum itself, as proposed by Land Use Consultants, was struggling. Austin Design Works’s initial role was to devise a ‘marketable’ design to attract funding. Its proposals replaced the previous scheme – a lift and steps – with a ramped route representing a journey into the garden, the paths forming a multi-use amphitheatre space. This scheme was awarded funding, and the ‘missing link’ to the building was realised. Significantly, Austin Design Works engaged with the volunteer group that worked alongside the contractor to the west of the garden, creating the community space and orchard area from a ‘how-to’ handbook that Austin Design Works had produced. Throughout the implementation of the project, the practice worked in collaboration with a client team that included the artist Cleo Mussi, who donated many of the plants from her garden. The museum now has a ‘living experience’ for its visitors and a space in which to educate and entertain throughout the seasons, and the town has its very own secret garden – crammed full of

˿

6 1  View from the entrance terrace, showing the LED lighting scheme ©Mark Welsh 2  Reflection of orchard area and steps into the pavilion façade – blending building and landscape ©Mark Welsh 3  New fruit tunnel from the dipping pond, with main gate in background ©Rachael Emous-Austin 4  Planting donated by Cleo Mussi 5  Panoramic view with pavilion in the background ©Rachael Emous-Austin 6  Close-up of pollinators in the gardens ©Mark Welsh

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

55

14/12/2017 10:13


PORTFOLIO

7

8

9 7  Volunteers in the community garden area ©Rachael Emous-Austin 8  LED lighting scheme step detail ©Mark Welsh 9  Staff meeting in the garden ©Rachael Emous-Austin 10  View towards the pavilion between colorful planting bed towards the east wall ©Mark Welsh 11  Walled garden entrance way at night from middle terrace ©Mark Welsh 12  Gathering of visitors at an event ©Rachael Emous-Austin 13  View towards the Georgian gates with a sculpture installation ©Mark Welsh

56

10 beautiful, colourful plants, fully accessible and free to visit throughout the year. This garden is contemporary in feel, yet domestic in scale, having many attributes of a private garden. In terms of displaying what landscape architecture can achieve in a public realm, it is very different to the more usual town square or parking scheme. The practice’s clients have found many more uses for the garden and pavilion than they could have imagined. Sustainability and robustness were considered when choosing materials for the scheme, including local sweet chestnut wood for the benches and re-use of the old stone pavers; the new copper detailing and French-sourced limestone is fully recyclable. The orchard trees are heritage varieties sourced from Gloucestershire Orchard Trust and

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Austin Design Works.indd 56

under-sown with wildflower mix, while the majority of herbaceous plants have been donated from the Stroud area. All craftspeople involved were local to the area: for example, Paul Deakin Furniture, which made the benches, is based in Cirencester, while main contractor DJP Construction is located in Cheltenham. The problem of getting safely and elegantly from the museum entrance to the 3.5m-high pavilion within a relatively small space was a challenge. Additionally, Austin Design Works was designing a scheme that had no funding at the time and a very high spec brief, so financial control was a huge consideration when designing the space. However, the practice encouraged its client to spend some money on an electrical supply circuit, which would futureproof the garden. Money was found to implement the sensitive lighting scheme,

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:14


PORTFOLIO

Suppliers Main contractor DJP Construction www.djpconstruction.co.uk Lighting installer Phillex Electrical Ltd www.phillex.co.uk Benches Paul Deakin Furniture www.pauldeakin.co.uk Tunnel Gloucester Street Forge www.gsforge.co.uk

consultant team Quantity surveyor Broadhursts http://broadhurstscqs.co.uk/ contact-us Structural engineer Richard Jackson www.richardjackson.uk.com

11

Services engineer Greengauge Building Energy Consultants www.ggbec.co.uk Funding body Friends of Stroud Museum www.museuminthepark.org.uk/ friends-contributions

12 installed by local company Phillex Electrical Ltd, and the garden is now being used for evening events and corporate entertainment. This provides the museum with a much needed additional income stream, thus allowing it to remain free to the public. Visitors audibly express a sense of awe when entering the space for the first time, and continue to visit in order to see the planting evolve through the seasons – often taking ideas away to recreate at home. The garden has become a real community resource, which will continue to develop for years to come. Landscape architect Rachael Emous-Austin commented: “The real joy of this project has been to work with our client’s team, and a host of stakeholders and volunteers, to develop and evolve their project through the challenges of funding,

www.futurearch.co.uk

Austin Design Works.indd 57

13 detailing and procurement, delivering a completed project which offers far more than was thought possible at the outset.” “Leading a capital project was new territory for the Museum in the Park team, but Austin Design Works has certainly been the right choice for us,” said museum development manager Kevin Ward. “The practice has guided, advised and delivered on everything we specified. The beautifully designed entranceway and planting beds gently lead visitors up into the contemporary Walled Garden, where, at the top terrace, they will come upon an architectural gem in the new Learning Pavilion – now at the heart of our learning programmes. None of this would have been possible without the knowledge and experience of the team at Austin Design Works.”

Austin Design Works Austin Design Works is an experienced firm of chartered architects and landscape architects based in the Cotswolds. W: www.austindw.co.uk

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

57

14/12/2017 10:15


PORTFOLIO

1

2

58

Sweco.indd 58

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

3

4

www.futurearch.co.uk

13/12/2017 16:43


PORTFOLIO

PHYSIC GARDEN NOVARTIS CAMPUS, BASEL, SWITZERLAND Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco architects 5

T

he Physic Garden at Novartis Campus is a place to celebrate sensuous phenomena of all kinds. It is a place where mystic scents, changing colors, and seasonal variety can be enjoyed and studied. It is also a test bed for pharmacological research. Thorbjörn Andersson and Sweco based the garden on the monastery gardens of the past, where, in times gone by, monks developed their knowledge of the pharmaceutical properties inherent in many plants – a knowledge base that provided the foundation for many of today’s medical research efforts. These gardens were often hidden places, laboratories of the outdoors, secluded from public life and containing secrets of utmost importance.

www.futurearch.co.uk

Sweco.indd 59

Consequently, the Physic Garden at Novartis Campus is hidden, spatially organized as a theatre, or as a labyrinth, or as an onion with many layers to explore. The garden is semi-enclosed, and the visitor enters by zig-zagging between tall hedges of yew and beech. The garden reveals itself step by step. The one who searches will find – a statement that is as relevant to the researcher of today as it was to the mediaeval monk. In the centre, a sunken planting bed opens up, containing 31 species of pharmaceutical plants organized in a striped pattern. The slightly sunken basin adds to the preciousness of the plants; placed inside the frame of a low granite wall, these fragile specimens become untouchable. They are viewed

˿

Project value €3m Size of project 2,800sq m Build time One year

1T  he Physic Garden is designed as a sunken plant basin, hidden behind high hedges 2  On both sides of the plant collection, bronze bars with engraved names indicate the different species 3  Granite amphoras with dripping water supplies sound and bird life in the garden 4  All species have a pharmaceutical relevance and reflect the activity of the drug company 5 Early image of the built garden Photographs ©Jan Raeber and Sweco Architects

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

59

13/12/2017 16:44


PORTFOLIO

6

8 from slightly above, so that visitors read the flower bed as a colourful, textured painting, or a striped carpet. Bridges of light construction, without railings, span the sunken bed, permitting the daring visitor a closer examination of the plants – each of which is labeled with an engraved bronze plaque mounted at the edge of the bed.

7

6  Alchemilla mollis is one of the selected plants 7  Surrounding flowerbeds have plants indicated with plaques 8  Trees with pharmaceutical value are cut up as logs and announced with bold letters; here, “juglans” 9  The logs are placed in racks, seen in the background, acting as spatial screens 10  The plant basin, fly over bridges and log racks Photographs ©Jan Raeber and Sweco Architects

9 Along the sides of the sunken bed are four ‘log racks’, a collection of logs stacked in piles whose forms complement the screens of hedges, and are reminiscent of a library. The types of wood selected represent tree species from which substances have been extracted and used in ethnopharmacology. All in all, 70 plant species are on display in the Physic Garden.

thorbjörn andersson Thorbjorn Andersson has practiced landscape architecture since 1981. He is most known for his work in the planning and design of public spaces in cities. W: thorbjorn-andersson.com

SWECO Architects

10

60

Sweco.indd 60

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Sweco plans and designs the communities and cities of the future, offering qualified services in the fields of consulting engineering, environmental technology and architecture. W: www.sweco.co.uk

www.futurearch.co.uk

13/12/2017 16:45


PORTFOLIO

1

UNIVERSITY OF

2

LIVERPOOL ADP

Contract value Jubilee Quad £750k, Chatham Street £650k Size of project Jubilee Quad 0.4ha, Chatham Street 0.29ha Contract period Jubilee Quad nine months, Chatham Street nine months

www.futurearch.co.uk

ADP Architecture.indd 61

A

DP Landscape was commissioned by the University of Liverpool to improve the public realm along the length of Chatham Street, and between Abercromby Square and Myrtle Street. Various areas had been previously identified for redevelopment and, by working closely with the client and stakeholders, ADP was able to identify the most urgent areas for redevelopment, proposing future links within the campus. Chatham Street has been transformed from a busy tarmac vehicular route to a pedestrianised street with a dedicated cycle route, based upon the materials outlined within the University of Liverpool’s masterplan. Natural stone and granite setts were used to complement the Georgian buildings of Abercromby Square at the northern end of the street,

which falls into the Mount Pleasant Conservation Area. The scheme utilises ‘islands’ of stone setts to denote a zone of seating and cycle parking, these being softened with an avenue of ornamental pear trees. Steel gabion baskets are used to form structures in which box hedging will grow. On completion of the upgrade, ADP was asked to turn its attention to designing railings, which would complete the fourth side of Abercromby Square. This part of the project involved an application for Conservation Area consent, which was granted. The works continued from Abercromby Square to the Oliver Lodge Delivery Area, strengthening the pedestrian route through to the new Central Teaching Laboratories and campus beyond. The next phase of work involved repaving the tree-lined avenue next to the Central

˿

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

61

14/12/2017 08:30


PORTFOLIO

4

3 1 Jubilee Quad 2  New public realm, Chatham Street 3  Pleached trees in Jubilee Quad 4  New railings to Abercromby Square 5 New hard landscaping between avenue of mature trees 6  New pedestrian walkway and cycle path in Chatham Street

5

Teaching Laboratory building, also designed by ADP. This scheme looked at extending a pedestrian walkway and cycle path through an avenue of existing trees. Following completion of these works, ADP was commissioned to landscape the quad that is situated in front of the listed Victoria Gallery and Museum, which was renamed the Jubilee Quad. The quad, which was previously used as a car park, is surrounded by a number of Grade II listed buildings – notably the Victoria Gallery and Museum, the Ashton Building, the Johnson Building, the Thompson Yates Building and the Whelan Building. Located in the heart of Liverpool, the quad also has views of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. As such, the sensitivity of the area was taken into account at all stages of the design process. The brief ADP Landscape’s brief was to regenerate the quad in order to create an aspirational outdoor space that could be used by the university and the wider public. This meant that the scheme had to be robust enough to withstand a plethora of visitors every day, while

62

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

ADP Architecture.indd 62

having suitable impact for special occasions, such as graduations, weddings and events. Photographic vistas were considered, so that views over the rooftops from the quad to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King beyond could be captured on camera. The space also had to be symbolic of the university as a whole. Particularly crucial was that the new quad design should complement and enhance the historic character of the surrounding Grade II listed buildings, while providing a link to the newly completed Running Man Quad. The existing Victorian clock tower, designed by Alfred Waterhouse, was dedicated to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897. Commissioned to be delivered in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, it was important that the design of the new quad commemorated this occasion and provided a solution that was robust enough to stand the test of time. While conducting historic research in the university archive, ADP uncovered a photograph of the area from the Thirties, which revealed the original oval shape of the quad. This, together with the form of

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 08:31


PORTFOLIO

6 spun sugar – inspired by Sir Henry Tate, who was a significant donor to the university – was a major influence on the redesign. The central green ring of the Jubilee Quad has 60 LED lights integrated into the steps, commemorating each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Paving stones around the green include etchings depicting significant local events that have occurred over these 60 years. Local schoolchildren can take rubbings of these stones and match them to key dates in Liverpool’s history – fulfilling the client’s desire to use the quad as an educational tool. The quad contains a number of sculptures that had previously been in storage at the Victoria Gallery and Museum; placing these in the quad has extended the gallery space to the public realm. The sculptures complement the different textures, layers and materials used in the quad, including the new bespoke benches and commemorative central stone. The sculpture ‘Red Between’, by Phillip King, encourages visitors to move around it, giving a dynamism to the space. The planting was carefully chosen to provide cover throughout the seasons. Globe shapes complement

www.futurearch.co.uk

ADP Architecture.indd 63

the oval geometry of the quad, and the planting includes ‘regal’ blooms and the hardy Lavendula angustifolia ‘Elizabeth’. The trees selected make reference to the vertical elements of the space as well as the buildings, with the central ring of pleached trees set out in an unusual way in order to reflect the spires of the neighbouring Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The position of the oval is set to the same orientation as the cathedral, and the pleached trees let light through the central seating area, as well as maintaining CCTV sight lines across the site. The crown shape of the tree planting also pays reference to both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. The use of fastigiate trees further reflects the striking apexes and towers of the buildings that form the edges to the Jubilee Quad. They also act as signposts to guide the visitors through the space. The Jubilee Quad provides a new focus in this part of Liverpool’s ‘Knowledge Quarter’, turning a previously underused car park into a lively gathering place that connects with public spaces around the University of Liverpool campus.

ADP ADP is an employee-owned practice with a 50+ year heritage. It has a national reputation, but delivers its service from seven local studios based in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Sherborne. W: www.adp-architecture.com

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

63

14/12/2017 08:31


PORTFOLIO

MONEYPENNY HQ WREXHAM CW Studio

1

C

W Studio designed the landscape for Moneypenny’s £15m headquarters in Wrexham. The striking new building, designed by AEW Architects, is designed to accommodate over 1,000 staff. Set in a 10-acre landscape, it has its own ‘village pub’, a treehouse for meetings and dramatic views over meadows, orchard, woodland and the countryside beyond, all designed to create a happy, relaxing and inspirational setting for employees and visitors.

Project value £660k Size of project 43,500m2 Build time Two years

The concept The concept for the landscape design was to work with and enhance the incredible rural setting for the new building and to create a relaxing and inspiring landscape for the employees of Moneypenny.

2

64

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

CW Studio.indd 64

The frontage A contemporary blue Irish limestone walkway leads to the entrance through a landscape of tall swaying grasses, echoing the natural landscape of the meadow beyond. Directional paths pre-empt desire lines towards

www.futurearch.co.uk

14/12/2017 10:08


PORTFOLIO

Suppliers Stone paving and benches Hardscape www.hardscape.co.uk Timber deck John Brash www.johnbrash.co.uk Trees and plants Crowders Nursery www.crowdersnurseries.co.uk Wildflower seed Phoenix Amenity Supplies www.phoenixamenity.co.uk Bulbs Boston Bulbs www.bostonbulbswholesale.co.uk

3 the entrance and create spaces for seating within the planting. Planting beds feature an ‘ornamental meadow’ planting style, incorporating swathes of grasses with highlights of flowering perennials. Layers of spring bulbs complete the seasonal transformations against a background of hornbeam hedges and evergreen Quercus ilex trees. The meadows The 1841 Tithe map of the site shows a ‘Garden Meadow’ in this location, which we have recreated with five different wildflower mixes. They cover a variety of locations from wetland and woodland edges to sunny grass mixes and a cornfield meadow mix beneath the orchard. A hoggin path meanders through the meadow and groves of trees, while mown paths in the long grass offer additional routes for a lunchtime stroll. A circle of cropped stone blocks in the meadow provides an unusual seating option for a sunny day. An orchard, planted on a grid of mown paths in the meadow, adds a contemporary feel to a rural feature. The trees provide apples, damsons, plums and black cherries; all species were chosen to provide fruit for the staff to enjoy. The wetland The timber deck to the rear of the building leads out to a wetland, which incorporates the existing small, seasonal pond on site. Deeper micropools and

www.futurearch.co.uk

CW Studio.indd 65

4 islands were created within the shallow wetland to provide a variety of habitats for wildlife. Sustainable drainage (SuDS) is used to collect the surface water from the car park and building, filter it and discharge it into the wetland, while also encouraging biodiversity and creating a pleasant environment for employees. A wet meadow detention basin is designed to hold any overflow in severe weather. The extremely wet winter of 2015/16 created delays on site as the clay soil to the rear of the building was too wet to work on with heavy machinery, delaying some of the tree planting until November 2016.

CW STUDIO CW Studio is a design-led landscape architecture practice passionate about creating bold, beautiful and thoughtful landscapes and celebrating creative outdoor places. W: www.cwstudio.co.uk 1T  all swaying ornamental grasses frame the entrance ©Aliva UK 2  Ornamental planting creates a special setting for this office headquarters 3  Bespoke welcome benches with etched typewriter font ©CW Studio 4  A granite pathway leads to the car park ©CW Studio

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

65

14/12/2017 10:08


FEATURE

SUPPLIER FOCUS:

Green-tech leading landscape supplier GREEN-TECH has provided products for a number of prestigious projects around the uk

Glasgow Fort Retail Park Green-tech supplied more than 1,000T of Green-tree soils and growing media for Glasgow Fort Retail Park

TOPSOIL

The £15m Glasgow Fort Retail Park is one of Scotland’s largest and most popular ‘out of town’ shopping destinations, with 100 outlets and a catchment area covering in the region of 2m people. Green-tech supplied in excess of 1,000T of Green-tree Topsoil, Green-tree Intensive Roof Garden Substrate and Green-tree Amenity tree soil, which was used throughout the entire landscaping scheme for the planting of 12m-tall semi-mature birch and pine trees. Landscaped borders surrounding the park were also included in the scheme, and were top dressed with 210m3 of bark mulch, also supplied by Green-tech. Award-winning commercial landscaper Grace Landscapes completed the landscaping contract. “This was a prestigious project and one which we were proud to have won,” said Darren Hardman, regional contract manager (NE) for Grace Landscapes

Dakota Deluxe Hotel The Mona Plant System was installed at the Leeds hotel

MONA PLANT SYSTEM

66

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

Supplier focus Green-tech.indd 66

Opened in May 2017, the luxury Dakota Deluxe hotel is the focal point of the £25m facelift of the Bond Court area in Leeds city centre. The interior and exterior of the hotel is finished to the highest possible standard, reflecting the image of the hotel and its surrounding development. Green-tech was commissioned by Grace Landscapes to supply essential lightweight growing medium and the Mona Plant System, to support the containerised planting surrounding the hotel. More than 70 Mona Tanks were incorporated into the planting scheme to assist with the early development of the shrubs and plants installed outside the hotel. The Mona Plant System offers a subterranean irrigation solution, which ensures that essential water and nutrients are delivered in the correct quantity to the roots of the plants and shrubs. The tanks are installed at the base of a planter, where they act as a reservoir, holding water and letting the plant feed naturally to its own cycle. The Mona system has been installed on many interior and exterior landscaping projects worldwide. It is a discreet but effective system that doesn’t require any mechanical or electrical input, and is proven to work alongside the plant’s own needs.

www.futurearch.co.uk

13/12/2017 16:50


FEATURE

Stevenage town centre Green-tech supplied landscaping materials for the new-look Stevenage Town Centre Stevenage Town Centre has committed to a 15-year regeneration plan for the town, including the planting of 11 semi-mature trees in a refurbished town centre. The decision makers turned to Green-tech for a costeffective, robust solution for this planting. Green-tech supplied its ArborRaft tree planting system to provide the optimum start for each tree. The ArborRaft System works to prevent soil compaction by absorbing the impact of vehicle and pedestrian load, thus protecting the tree roots and growing media and allowing the roots to grow within their natural path. The system is simple to install, offers total flexibility, and is suitable for any tree pit size. Green-tech also supplied 80T of Green-tree Subsoil, 40T of Greentree ArborRaft soil, the tree anchoring and irrigation systems, gt Rootbarrier 325, and Resi-Grille, providing a contemporary finish while also offering a robust and clean surface. “I have been delighted with how smoothly this project has gone,” said Russell Sparrow, civil engineer at Stevenage Town Council. “Green-tech has been a great help and delivered everything as specified on the dates requested. Representatives from Greentech provided advice and provided us with on-site installation training of the ArborRaft system. We are thrilled with the results, and the regenerated town centre has been very well received.”

ARBORRAFT

GREEN-TECH Green-tech is a leading UK supplier of landscaping supplies and consumables, with more than 6,000 products in its range. It also offers a specification service under the brand gtspecifier, to assist with product specification and selection. W: www.green-tech.co.uk

GREEN SCREENS

Liverpool Green-tech provided this urban greening solution for Liverpool's city centre Situated on land between Great Homer Street and Kirkdale Road, on a major route in and out of Liverpool's city centre, the Liverpool Mutual Homes development had 68 ivy (Hedera helix ‘Woerner’) green screens installed. Simple to install and instantly effective, the living walls provided much-needed screening from the main road for the car park and the access areas to the housing block. The green screens played a part in the wider regeneration of the prominent tower block, which brought the rundown accommodation back into use and provided residents with modern, high quality apartments and a range of community facilities.

www.futurearch.co.uk

Supplier focus Green-tech.indd 67

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018

67

13/12/2017 16:51


se le D ab CP ail ee av Fr rs a in

m

Landscape solutions for architects and specifiers Request your Brochure today

C

M

Y

CM

MY

gtSpecifier offers tailored solutions for the landscape industry. Providing technical information and experience in the following areas:

CY

MY

K

• • • • •

www.gtspecifier.co.uk

Green Roof Installations Wildflowers Urban Tree Planting Soils and Growing Media Tree and Plant Irrigation

• • • •

Root Protection Ground Stabilisation & Support Soft Landscaping Street Furniture

Log on to gtspecifier.co.uk for: • CAD Drawings • British Standards • On-site Installation Assistance • CPD Seminar Programme • Live Chat with tree planting experts • Download technical specifications

For more information call Richard on 01423 332 114 or email info@gtspecifier.co.uk Advert template.indd 10

13/12/2017 15:56

FutureArch December 2017/January 2018  
FutureArch December 2017/January 2018  
Advertisement