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middle east

Mar 2012

Plants-PotsFountains-Garden FurnitureLandscaping and Flower Arrangements

Email: PO Box 4756 Riyadh 11412 KSA Email: PO Box 181581 Dubai UAE Website:

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This Month

Published by:

MEMedia Publishing FZ LLC IMPZ PO Box 485005, Dubai, UAE Telephone: +971 4 4470927 Fax: +971 4 4470928 Managing Editor Nada Abdel Khalek Copy Editor John Hampton Sales Manager Boushra Dinnawi Art Director Andy Mondaya

pring is in the air! When I was younger I always associated spring with the smell of freshly cut grass. It’s that time of year when we can repair and rejuvenate just before the long hot summer starts. That’s why I’ve taken the opportunity in our March issue to showcase some of the world’s best restoration projects that have been literally brought back to bloom from the ashes! Where better to start than with the British holidaymaker’s favourite Spanish resort of Benidorm. Mario Pisani recently visited the seaside city, which is situated in the Valencia region to see first hand how the was modernization works on it’s waterfront have revitalized the tourism industry and brought an old city into the 21st Century. See page 18 for the results where urban landscape meets a traditional seafront. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, OKRA Landscape Architecture transformed the Inktpot Utrecht: The patio as the heart of the railway network. The Inktpot is the largest brick building in the Netherlands that is just next to Utrecht Central Station. For the design of the patio, OKRA was asked to develop the outdoor space of the patio to make it more contemporary whilst keeping in harmony with the static monumentality of the building.

Contributors G. Allison Hedges Fiona Law Elif Bonelli Rochelle Greayer Mario Pisani Jimena Martignoni Eman Kamel Printed by Al Nisr Publishing LLC Webmaster Landscape is distributed free of charge in KSA, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Eqypt, and Lebanon by Emirates Post UAE

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maRch 2012

On a more somber note, our next featured rejuvenation project, ‘a garden in Patagonia’ in the ski resort of Villa La Angostura in Argentina had to be rejuvenated out of necessity after millions of cubic meters of ashes spewed from the Chilean Volcano Puyehue on top of it. Now known as ‘A garden in Patagonia’ after the “ashes season,” the village has historically been a paradise for tourists. Coming not only from Buenos Aires for summer or winter vacations but also from all around the world, tourists want to enjoy the stunning natural surroundings of woods and the relaxed pace of life in this town. The charming village has now returned to its former glory after extensive works have allowed the Greenscape to shine through again. Over in the UK, Bradford city council are all set to unveil a new City Park, designed by Gillespies, which includes the UK’s largest urban water feature and tallest city fountain. City Park stems from a city centre masterplan drawn up in 2003 on Bradford’s behalf, which provided a vision of opening up the city centre and creating a public space that would act as a focal point. The park will be officially launched on March 24th.

Nada Abdel Khalek For free subscription and to view the magazine please visit our website:

The First Specialised Landscape magazine in the Middle East Mar'12 cover.indd 1

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Contents Contents March 2012- Issue 57


08 14 18 26 38 44


Atkins helps shape Oman’s first PGA- standard golf course Lusail Golf Community Benidorm’s seafront lives on

A garden in Patagonia after the “ashes season” Bradford unveils City Park

The patio as the heart of the railway network


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News & Events MEAC & Hunter Bring UAE & Saudi Landscape Irrigation Professionals Together MEAC and Hunter Industries held industry events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh earlier this month, February 2012, bringing together industry leaders from the region in appreciation of their partnership with the valued customers and engineering consultants and to reconfirm their commitment to latest solutions promoting stainable landscaping irrigation technologies.


vents held at the Al Morooj Rotana Hotel Dubai, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and the Riyadh Marriott in Saudi saw a total of 600 of the regions’ top irrigation consultants, managers of the largest contracting companies and landscaping irrigation experts networking and updating each other on the latest industry developments. Success through long-term cooperative business relationships was the theme of the evening’s presentation. Imad Shaar, General Manager of MEAC introduced his local support teams and committed to a continued tradition of the highest standards of technical support. Hunter Industries was represented by their US Vice-President Stephen Abernethy, plus International Sales Director, Regional Manager and Area Managers who are an integral part of the MEAC/Hunter support team to guarantee customer satisfaction.   Hunter and MEAC are introducing innovative new solutions such as highly efficient multistream/multi-trajectory rotators, weatherbased sensor controllers, solar re-chargeable controllers and new sub-surface drip irrigation systems, which together build sustainable solutions for the regions diverse landscaping needs.

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News & Events Broadway Malyan’s Yas Island Masterplan approved

DM marked World Wetlands Day 7/5/11 3:47:06 PM

The Environment Department of the Dubai Municipality joind the rest of the world in observing the World Wetlands Day on February 2nd with a variety of activities to protect the flora and fauna and its development. The initiative is a manifestation of civic body’s support to the worldwide campaign to spread awareness on the significance of wetlands’ protection and conservation. The municipality has charted out various activities to mark the occasion under the title “Wetland Tourism: A Great Experience”. The day is observed responding to the decisions of the Johannesburg convention. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. Many countries have organized World Wetlands Day activities of all sizes and shapes, from lectures and seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, and community clean-up days, to radio and television interviews and letters to newspapers, to the launch of new wetland policies, new Ramsar sites, and new programmes at the national level. The wetlands constitute 6% of the total area of the planet earth and there are more than 1,000 wetlands in the world. Eng. Hamdan Environment Municipality importance of

Al Shaer, Director of Department said the has understood the these natural spots for

human beings and the natural life. “Studies and researches are going on to prepare a national strategy on protecting wetlands with the cooperation and participation of a number of ministries and government and private bodies,” he said. Al Shaer said the department has agreed to take necessary actions to protect the wetlands and as part of this detailed survey, a study is being conducted on the wetlands in the emirate in order to prepare a national strategy on protecting wetlands. It is worth mentioning that the UAE has joined the Ramsar Convention as per the Federal Decree No. 11 of 2007 after the Council of Ministers had agreed and the Supreme Council had approved. The Ral Al Khor Natural Sanctuary was the first such site in the UAE to be included in the wetlands as a place of national and international importance.

The masterplan for a new 680 hectare waterfront community of up to 55,000 inhabitants on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, led by global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan for client Aldar PJSC, has been approved by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. Approval of the masterplan, which won Aldar PJSC the ‘best urban design and masterplanning project’ category at the Abu Dhabi Cityscape Awards 2011, will result in the creation of a series of distinct communities which will become the main residential areas on Yas Island. The project is the latest stage in the continued development of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s leading leisure and entertainment district, which features the F1 motor racing circuit, signature hotels, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park, as well as the underconstruction water-park and Abu Dhabi destination retail development.

“Wetlands are vulnerable to humaninduced climate change but if these are being managed well, wetland ecosystems and their biodiversity can play a vital role in the mitigation of the problems of climate change and will be important in helping humans adapt to climate change through critical role in water and food security. In short, caring for wetlands is part of the solution to climate change,” Al Shaer said.

Practice Director James Rayner said, “The approval of the masterplan is a major milestone in the creation of this major new residential area, with the success testament to close partnering with the client and the world-class skills, expertise and experience of our diverse team of global masterplanning experts.”

The 620-hectare Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, the UAE’s first Ramsar site, is home to thousands of birds of around 67 species. During winter, it acts as a major staging ground for migratory birds from East Africa, West Asia and sometimes even as far as Siberia.

It will result in the delivery of ‘complete’communities, supported by a full range of community facilities including schools, health clinics, extensive sports and recreation facilities, as well as convenience retail and commercial components.

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The masterplan will see the communities linked by a comprehensive open space, road, light rapid transport, pedestrian and cycle network to other notable destinations on the island, with good ‘walkability’ a key factor in the design.

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Golf Course Oman’s Wave Muscat Golf Course designed around the natural landscape.

The 14th hole golf court.

Atkins helps shape Oman’s first PGA-standard golf course   

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The 8th hole golf court.

The Golf Academy


esigned by the Legendary Australian golfer Greg Norman the course is a links style course that takes inspiration from the desert landscape where rugged naturally appearing dunes have been created on land partially reclaimed from the sea. Every effort has been taken to preserve the existing native character of the landscape by retaining the naturally occurring tidal lowlands (locally known as khwars) which add to the stunning seaside setting of this course. Atkins were taken on board during the later part of the design stage to provide input into the design for the native landscape areas occurring between and around the playing areas of the course. “It has been very rewarding to be part of creating such a distinctive course and to be able to add to the biodiversity of this emerging landscape,” said Thomas Swope of Atkins. “Already the khwars are attracting abundant wildlife and are particularly attractive to migratory birds that don’t seem to mind the

odd stray golf ball,” he added. Located along a coastal band as part of The Wave development, this links course is marked out by the high number of holes that will be water-butting. Most golf courses have only a couple of holes that can be considered coastal, whereas The Wave will have a total of five holes along the shoreline where typically light winds will add to the challenge of the course. “ Our client wanted a course which met the same world class standards as the rest of the development at The Wave Muscat and the involvement of Greg Norman has ensured that it will be a terrific place to play golf,” said Scope. Atkins’ landscape design for the native vegetation areas draws inspiration from the natural features of the site and its surrounds, and the planting is in harmony with the coastal environment, featuring native grasses, sedges, salt loving halophytic plants and mangroves. As the saltwater kwhars are tidal, planting had

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Golf Course

Greg Norman conducting a site visit to be native species, while grasses are a predominant characteristic and function to secure the sand dunes. Artificial sand dunes have been created up to 8 metres in height undulating the playing levels and framing a dramatic backdrop against the ocean. In addition to the landscaping of the fringe areas, Atkins work on the course included marine works and the design of around 50 exclusive waterfront villas. The course is part of The Wave development, located just north of Oman’s capital Muscat.

Atkins Recent projects include: • Major infrastructure works, such as the design and programme management of the civil works for the Dubai Metro red and green lines; • Iconic architecture, such as the design, engineering and construction management of the Bahrain World Trade Center. This pioneering design is the World’s first example of large-scale wind turbines being incorporated into a commercial building. • Vital water and power projects that improve essential infrastructure networks, such as the district cooling system of Manama’s north shore, Bahrain.  This is the Kingdom’s first district cooling system.  • Arterial transport schemes, including rail, light rail and road.  The Doha-Dukhan Highway in Qatar will the State’s two primary cities.  Atkins provided transport planning and site supervision.

14th Hole Aerial


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• The delivery of major multidisciplinary projects such as The Wave, Oman. Atkins were commissioned to undertake the masterplanning and design, reclamation, marine engineering, landscape and environmental expertise and site supervision. 

The Golf Academy

WPC protects primeval forests. Our first objective was to develop the technology to create a composite wood superior to natural wood in order to combat the thoughtless lumbering of forest trees.

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Golf Community

7/5/11 3:47:06 PM

A blend of Qatar hospitality and golf greenways, Lusail Golf Community offers a leisure lifestyle within an intimate village setting. By Burt Hill


Lusail Golf

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Community U

pscale town homes and villa clusters surround an eighteen-hole meandering golf course. Bustling retail centers and village square apartments provide an escape to enchanting urban settings. Complete with transit network, the master plan is laced with extensive pedestrian

trails providing opportunities to walk the greens, forming the heart of serene vista living. The housing arrangement ensures that all villas and apartment buildings have a natural view, along with access to either the golf course or part of the extensive green-way system.

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7/5/11 3:47:06 PM

Project Details Type: Destination Development Size: 3,700,000 square meters Services: Master Planning Landscape Architecture


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International Designs

The Spanish city of Benidorm, which is situated in the Valencia region was modernised in 2009, after undergoing major construction works on it’s waterfront.


ith the development of the tourism industry, Benidorm has become an increasingly populous urban area for the Mediterranean climate, almost subtropical, with mild winters and hot summers. Within a few decades the city has undergone a radical transformation; both economically and in terms of urban development. As a result it has about 270,000 inhabitants and is often referred to as the “Spanish Rimini”.

Benidorm’s seafront lives on By Mario Pisani


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International Designs

7/5/11 3:47:06 PM

The city is one of the most paradigmatic examples of an urban center; where Europeans holiday and overindulge in the seafront entertainment. Although the benefits to the economy are undisputed, the downside to so many tourists gathering in a relatively condensed urban area resulted in large scale abandonment and damage to large areas that for a longtime were agricultural. The massive presence of holidaymakers for a few months in the year also makes it difficult to maintain the upkeep of public facilities. Carlos Ferrater known for being the author of the Botanical Garden in 20

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International Designs

7/5/11 3:47:06 PM

Barcelona and now a Professor of Architectural Design at the Technical University in Catalonia, took on the waterfront project with the same strategy in place as he had for the Botanical Garden in Barcelona. ​​ “The idea is to ​organize the waterfront through floors and surfaces that intersect, approach and move away, change the level by producing new platforms from concave and convex courses, a sort of dynamic flowing fluid without invading the sandy surface,” explained Ferrater. The development takes on a very specific nature and size through a series of fabrics that are woven together and follow few certain geometric rules. If you look at one of the first sketches it’s clear that the 22

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initial input was the image of a braid of hair that follows the coastline. Ferrater produced one of the most imaginative responses to redesigning the way tourists can walk in the various seaside resorts, looking at the extraordinary spectacle of the surf and sun cycle movement. In this way, the mile walk on the eastern shore becomes totally different from anything in other parts of the world. The intervention is not only a line of protection, a barrier, a wall between the city and the sea, but a public place for people to exercise or enjoy a stroll with their families. So the memory of the wave forms a natural honeycomb that produces surfaces that play with light and shadow, showing how architecture is a wonderful adventure.



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A garden in Patagonia after the â&#x20AC;&#x153;ashes seasonâ&#x20AC;? By Jimena Martignoni

Villa La Angostura Plan 26

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Villa La Angostura is a small ski resort and mountain town in Patagonia Argentina. Located in the south of the province of Neuquen and on the northern coast of Lake Nahuel Huapi, an impressively large lake with more than 500 km2 of blue water, this charming


adly, Villa La Angostura has been in the spotlight since last June because it´s been the main recipient of millions of cubic meters of ashes spewed from the Chilean Volcano Puyehue. Since the first eruption, the volcano has been spewing ash high into the sky and

village has historically been a paradise for tourists. Coming not only from Buenos Aires for summer or winter vacations but also from all around the world, tourists want to enjoy the stunning natural surroundings of woods and the relaxed pace of life in this town.

due to the prevailing west-east winds the ashes are blown to Argentina and, consequently, have been particularly covering this village and the nearby city of Bariloche. In the urban area of Villa La Angostura alone, which covers almost 8,000 hectares, 1.2 million cubic meters have so far accumulated. As

a result of the airborne ash, sheep and cattle ranches suffered great losses and from the 12,000 inhabitants almost 4,000 decided to leave the town, at least temporarily The village has literally become a grey scene and the landscape has also been covered in this grey ash. For example the

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Cumelen Country Club, a private development of about 75 hectares situated on the coast of Lake Nahuel Huapi which offers golf courses, marinas and large lots framed by native woods is now covered in a blanket of dust. While one of the gardens, designed by Chilean landscape designer Teresa Moller, stands as a clear example of the effects and changes which this natural phenomenon brought along. The construction started of Moller’s garden started in 2007, but the natural evolution of this garden took between three and four years; during these years the blooming of the wild flowers which cover the lake side of the lot had been a gift to the senses as much as the yellow and red of the trees in the fall and the pure white of the winter. After the “ashes season”, the snow became grayish and now, when the spring is arriving in this part of South America, the ground and planting is revealing grayish too. However, the ongoing clean-up


I I March 2012




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Resort it, the site was fully planted with Douglas-fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii) as a result of old forestation processes in Patagonia; these non-native trees, which were blocking the light in the garden and impeding the natural grow of native species as the Southern beech (Nothofagus dombeyi), were removed and became the raw material for the site´s furniture. In fact, a lumber mill was spontaneously built at the entrance of the lot and all the pieces were cut there during the first five or six months of the whole year during the construction period. These pieces appear as different elements on the side of the lot that faces the lake: benches, cots and stairs which negotiate the elevation changes and allow pedestrian access to the lake shore. Of all these components the benches become more significant because they are positioned at different spots creating a rhythm and a strong presence on the landscape of the steep edge that rolls down to the lake.

process in the town is starting, little by little, with the efforts of the local government and of the residents, to show again the original face of the village. In the private gardens, as the case of Moller´s design, the processes are somehow quicker and more effective and the upcoming hot season and the rains are washing the site too. The project for this garden is based not only on the incorporation of native trees and wild flowers but also on the reutilization of discarded lumber for the construction of rustic furniture onsite, something typical of Teresa Moller´s work. It is for this reason that after the ashes the project still looks structured and all these wooden pieces catch the eye of the visitor, diminishing the presence of the grayish landscape. When Moller first visited


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Resort They appear as dark lines that interrupt the green - or the grayish green today - and produce a subtle composition for the eye. Some are positioned at the upper levels, where terraces and expansions open onto the green slopes of the lot and assure great vistas over the water, some are right in the middle of the descending slopes, and some are at the lowest areas, including two shorter ones located at the end of the boardwalk which juts out far into the water; sitting here, the spectator can certainly feel part of the aquatic context. The main stairs, made of long wooden pieces, connect an upper large terrace with the natural slope. The secondary stairs connect a lower terrace with the same slope; located on one of the sides of the house this terrace acts as the natural expansion of a roofed playroom and barbeque area and is completely made of recycled wood. In this case the floor is specially designed with boards set in opposite directions to highlight a central path: long boards placed longitudinally and parallel to the wide stone stairs which connect the upper and lower terraces are interrupted by short boards, perpendicular placed, outlining a path. Aligned


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with this path, and coinciding in width, a series of narrow wooden steps cascade down to the front of the lot, edging an orchard area made of linear wooden planters which produce a geometrical composition. Strawberries, raspberries, basil, celery and other herbs grow here and are used for the house´s kitchen. At the opposite side of this narrow stair and facing the orchard, a row of cherry trees create a natural screen in front of a stone wall which defines this side of the house Negotiating the elevation change of the last portion of the natural slope, much steeper, another stair, basically a series of narrow wooden steps, makes a possible pedestrian connection with the lake shore. This side of the lot is covered with flowers from mid spring to the end of the summer, mostly garden Lupins (Lupinus polyphyllus) and wild daisies, creating a colorful mass which seem to be permanently wanting to reach the lake. These same flowers are planted in the main upper terrace, defining another colorful balcony-like area. Also going down from this terrace and reaching the lowest part of the slope, one last flight of steps appears almost as a sculptural piece framed by two existing large araucaria trees; originally, this piece was planned as a waterfall element but it was not completed as such and it´s now used as another regular stairway. Once at the lowest level, outlined as a small beach and private lake coast, the project offers a rest area underneath a cluster of existing linden trees (Tilia sp), whose wonderful shade provides protection in the summer. A wide cot-like piece of furniture was specially designed and built for


I I March 2012

this spot, which according to the owners has become the most used gathering area during hot days. Right in front of it, Teresa Moller also rescued an elegant existing arrayan tree (Luma apiculata) whose orange skin is a symbol of the Patagonian native woods.

The general layout is completed with groups of mostly native trees such as mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), ñires (Nothofagus antárctica) and cohiues. In the front of the lot, outlining the entrance area, three large circles combine large trees and some formal flowering

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Resort compositions of roses and rhododendron. The first circle, crossed by the entrance road, was defined by the presence of the existing very large cohiues, found on the site and restored after the removal of the Douglas-fir trees. Â What is so interesting about the changes and consequences of the ashes on a garden is how it makes it look so different. We are not used to grey woods; we want them and love them to be green! Therefore the current image of these places is hard to incorporate, but we know it will change again. The good thing is that the land will become better and more fruitful after the ashes become part of the land: completing another strange but great cycle of nature.

Location: Viila La Angostura, Patagonia Argentina Size: 1 hectare Date of Project: 2007 Landscape Architect: Estudio del Paisaje Teresa Moller


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31 37

Water Feature

Bradford unveils City Park, designed by Gillespies, including UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest urban water feature and tallest city fountain


I I March 2012


his landmark public space contains the largest city-centre water feature anywhere in the UK, a 4,000sq m mirror pool, and the UK’s tallest urban fountain which reaches a spectacular 100ft. City Park stems from a city centre masterplan drawn up in 2003 on Bradford’s behalf which provided a vision of opening up the city centre and creating a public space that would act as a focal point. Bradford Council took the lead role in turning this vision into a viable plan and Gillespies, Arup, Sturgeon North, Atoll and The Fountain Workshop developed this early concept into a detailed design which was submitted for planning permission and funding in 2007 before construction started in late 2009.

City Park in Bradford, designed by Gillespies landscape architects and urban designers on behalf of Bradford Council and supported by a multi-disciplinary design team, will be officially launched on March 24th 2012.

The final design builds on the original vision of a city centre for Bradford and has created a flexible dynamic centrepiece in the form of a vibrant 2.4ha public space including the mirror pool, fountains and public art. The park centres on the Grade I Listed, 19th Century City Hall and helps to connect major visitor attractions like the National Media Museum and the Alhambra Theatre with transport hubs and the rest of the city centre. It enhances the overall image of Bradford and helps create a landscape for investment by setting Bradford apart from other cities.

design is water. Water provides a deep-rooted connection to Bradford’s industrial energy. • MIRROR: City Park’s space provides a place to reflect. Its mirror pool provides an architectural mirror to Bradford’s city centre, skies and weather. The mirror pool brings this public space alive and provides a mirror for events, people and culture. Tom Walker, Partner at Gillespies in Leeds who led the design team says: “We designed City Park as a beautiful public space with water at its heart. This new centrepiece for Bradford acts as a pivotal focal point, and gives Bradford a new postcard identity with the unique dynamic mirror pool and high quality landscape. Its magnificent grand public spaces promise to delight both local people and visitors. Water was the engine for the success of Bradford during the industrial revolution and we are confident that water will once again act as the catalyst for the regeneration of the city over the next decade. The scheme is testament to the courage and faith that Bradford Council and others have shown in the regenerative power of really high-quality public realm”. David Green, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “City Park promises to bring great long-term benefits to the city and the Bradford district as a whole.

The development and implementation of City Park’s design by Gillespies from the original masterplan has been founded on three fundamental design concepts:

“It provides a brilliant place for people to relax, meet friends or family and enjoy a breath of fresh air within the city and will also be capable of hosting large and small-scale events.

• HINTERLAND: Bradford’s setting is that of a city surrounded by visible hills and countryside. The design for City Park seeks to suggest the meeting of urban and rural. Gillespies wanted the idea of hinterland to reference the outside towns and villages looking into the City, and the City looking outwards. This concept is borne out not only by the park’s design and built forms, but also how City Park interacts with Bradford’s people – both those within the city, and those on the edges attracted into the city by its regeneration.

“In creating such high-quality public space we aim to make the area more attractive to visitors, residents and businesses. City Park has been designed to act as a magnet for inward investment and forms a key part of our ongoing work to support the city centre economy..”

• WATER: The unifying element of City Park’s

Mirror pool and water features At the heart of the completed City Park is a huge water feature, the 76m by 58m, 4,000sq m reflective mirror pool. Testament to the design by Gillespies engineers Arup and The Fountain Workshop, the mirror pool is a multi-functional space. The body

I I March 2012


Water Feature

of water can drain down fully to provide a large-scale events venue. The water level can also be lowered slightly to reveal causeways, allowing people to walk through the pool between the fountains. The causeway also divides the water into three pools which can be drained in any combination to provide a smaller event space, with water as a backdrop. The pool contains 600 cubic metres of water and over 100 fountains. The central fountain can reach over 30m high making it the tallest in any UK city. Despite the size of the pool, the water is very shallow (220mm max.) changing depth very gradually, which brings benefits for sustainability and functionality for events and safety. The fountains have an elaborate series of pre-set programmes that change depending on the day, the weather and local events. The sequence of fountains will respond to the daily rhythms of the city, marking times such as when people travel to and from work or take their lunch break. The ability to fully drain the pool on a daily basis simplifies the operational and maintenance of the pool. This was a key factor in the design development. It removes the need for specialist cleaning equipment at ground level reducing the annual maintenance costs. City Park and Bradford’s regeneration The background to the creation of Bradford’s City Park is intertwined with the wider aspirations for the regeneration of Bradford. At the outset, the design brief for City Park was driven by the following key regeneration aims for the city: 1. Altering perceptions and celebrating Bradford as a vibrant modern city with an exciting future: To achieve this, it was crucial that the scale of the project was big enough, and that designers Gillespies worked with Bradford Council to create a destination engaging enough to capture people’s imagination. City Park gives Bradford a place to talk about, a new signature postcard image. 2. Attracting inward investment: Creating a destination for new business and job creation in Bradford. 3. Connectivity: City Park is in a pivotal location between the retail heart of Bradford and major visitor attractions like the Alhambra Theatre and the National Media Museum, one of the most visited museums outside London. City Park has created a beautiful new pedestrian route through the city, including removing


two lanes of a six lane highway to create a crossing linking City Park to Bradford’s National Media Museum and university. As well as the creation of City Park, Bradford Council is in the process of creating a growth zone in the city centre which will allow eligible businesses to claim a proportion of their business rates over three years subject to creating training and employment opportunities for local people. The £17.6m of Regional Growth Fund investment combined with £17.2m of Council resources (total £34.8m), will support new and existing businesses that commit to long term investment and growth within the city centre. Public art at City Park Two artists were commissioned to work with City Park’s design team: Wolfgang Buttress designed 10 galvanised steel columns measuring 17m high designed to look like stylised reeds and rushes sitting at the edge of the mirror pool and also three smaller sculptures cast from reconstituted stone that provide interest and stopping points in the café space at the edge of the park. Usman Haque and Jonathan Laventhol of Haque Design + Research designed and installed the interactive display ‘Another Life’ housed in four

I I March 2012

of the lighting columns, bringing an element of the responsive and conversant to City Park. Using computer vision systems the laser display and fountains interact with the people in the space as well as environmental factors such as the time of day, the weather, and the water depth of the mirror pool.  The goal is to affect people and how they move through and use the square, holding their interest and engagement, and to bring animation and movement to the centre of Bradford. Buildings within City Park City Park contains two structures both designed by Sturgeon North Architects: the bus canopy and the Pavilion building. Arup provided the structural engineering design. The bus canopy holds the bus stops relocated when the street running through City Park, now replaced by the mirror pool, was closed. The Pavilion is an earth-covered building complete with a tree planted viewing hill and walkway with a contemporary take on the ha-ha. Inside the building on the ground floor is an office for on-site staff, a control room, commercial space and public toilets. In the basement is the fountain plant room and the water tank which contains the full volume of the mirror pool when drained down. The mirror pool water is filtered, treated and re-cycled. It is also topped up by a water supply from an on-site 230m deep borehole, and

8&0wC&Gg®G`–“CI.Ÿ„|xC&}2Ç¡C rainwater captured within the mirror pool basin. Public realm spaces – Materials Gillespies designed City Park’s mirror pool to be surrounded by a 4m wide south facing, hardwood boardwalk – a “beach” around the pool from which to dip your feet in summer. The rest of the site is constructed in equally high quality materials from the granite sett mirror pool to porphyry and sandstone paving. All paving in the central area is designed to withstand high vehicle and point loading so that the space is suitable for events of all sizes. Gillespies selected hard landscaping materials to tie-in with those used elsewhere in Bradford’s public realm spaces, to embed City Park into the fabric of the city. Project logistics and engineering design The 2.4 hectare project has taken two years to build and has involved the diversion/installation of over 20km of telecommunication utilities alone and around 280,000 hand-laid granite cubes in the mirror pool. Achieving the required paving levels within the mirror pool created a unique engineering challenge for the team. To meet the conflicting requirements of the space as a fountain, public realm and event arena space, Arup created a 3D surface model. Using this model, it was possible to engineer the surface to enable construction to very tight tolerances. The concrete base was facetted

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Water Feature

to allow it to be constructed as a series of planes, relying on standard construction practices. The mortar bedding was then varied in depth to beneath the 280,000 hand-laid granite blocks to achieve the shallow surface gradients.

Lighting has an important role in extending the use of the park after dark. Arup designed the lighting to provide a subtle and understated lit backdrop to the park, allowing the interactive colour and feature lighting to shine.

The layout for the City Park was developed with sound in mind. Arup Acoustics developed aural models of the site to understand the existing soundscape. Using this model the team were able to determine the optimum locations for acoustical structures. With Arup working closely with both Gillespies and Sturgeon North, these acoustical measures informed and shaped the design of the western edge and Norfolk Gardens. The arrangements of the fountains were developed to maximise the positive sound generated by the water feature.

The lighting has been carefully balanced to deliver a flexible playful night-time setting while maintaining the functional requirements for a city centre. Lighting

The central location of the site required the diversion of several strategic utility assets which was the key to unlocking the site for development. This included diversion of telecommunication fibre optics (over 20km of individual fibres) together with foul and potable water infrastructure. This work replaced operational assets dating back to the late 19th Century. Sustainable design features A number of sustainable principles have been embedded in the design from inception to implementation: • design for longevity both in terms of life cost of materials and simplicity of design • flexibility of space allowing the use of the space to be adapted over time • the reduction of water depth to a minimum to reduce usage while maintaining impact • the creation of a mini-water treatment works allowing the water to be re-circulated as much as possible • the use of a borehole and rainwater capture to supplement the water supply • the employment & training of local labour and the use of local suppliers • improvements to public transport as well as key pedestrian and cycle routes Lighting design features


levels have been selected to best balance the differing pedestrian experiences, aiding navigation around the park and challenging the traditional approach to large scale landscaped spaces. The fountains and integrated LED uplights add a dramatic and dynamic feel to the space and present stunning sequences. When combined with Haque Design and Research’s “Another Life” art installation the light show is extended into the evening through the use of low intensity laser projections onto the plaza surface. “Another Life” interacts with the occupants of the park, directing the lasers, fountains and lights to respond to their presence. This delivers a unique experience to members of the public every time they visit the park at night.

PROJECT DATA: Name of Project: City Park, Bradford Client: Bradford Council Project Manager and QS: EC Harris DESIGN TEAM Lead Consultant and Landscape Architect: Gillespies Engineering Design (civil, structural, M&E, geotechnical): Arup Building Architect: Sturgeon North Architects Water Features: The Fountain Workshop Lighting Design and Acoustics Consultancy: Arup Lighting columns and sculpture: Wolfgang Buttress Interactive Public Art: Usman Haque and Jonathan Laventhol of Haque Design + Research Main Contractor: Birse Civils PRE-CONSTRUCTION TEAM (as above plus): Public Art Advisers: Atoll and Beam QS: Davis Langdon Area: Project area: 2.4 hectares (24,000 sq.m) Completion: March 2012 Official Public Launch: March 24th 2012

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The technical challenge facing the design team was how to light a large open space with sufficient flexibility to match the different water level configurations and uses of the site. Early within the design development Arup identified the requirement for a number of tall lighting “masts” surrounding the pool area to provide lighting to the empty pool and causeway. The design team quickly recognised the significance of the structures within the open space and earmarked the elements for inclusion within an artistic commission. Working closely with Arup and Gillespies, Wolfgang Buttress designed the unique 17m tall “reed” columns to provide a flexible mounting platform to serve the multi-functional space. Scale, orientation and positioning of the reeds have been carefully developed to balance the functional requirement of the lighting against a sensitive approach to the park setting. About Gillespies Gillespies is a leading UK and international masterplanning, landscape architecture and urban design firm, with a reputation built on creative design and a track record for delivering high quality projects. Implemented projects include designs for parks, residential, commercial, educational and healthcare developments, and high-profile public realm schemes.

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I I March 2012


International Design

Inktpot Utrecht

The patio as the heart of the railway network By OKRA Landscape Architects


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stripe background.indd 1

Just next to Utrecht Central Station you find ‘De Inktpot’ (the Inkwell), the largest brick building in the Netherlands. More than just a colloquialism or nickname, ‘De Inktpot’ has become a term of endearment for the building. The building is imposing in scale, but has a refined grandeur due to its finishing touches. For the design of the patio, OKRA was asked to develop the outdoor space of the patio to make it more contemporary whilst keeping in harmony with the static monumentality of the building.

The old utilitarian-designed patio reflected a design for the building’s function as a logistical centre of the railway network and emphasises the significance of the railway organisation. In the planned new development, the seeming contradictions and limitations are utilized to create a patio that speaks to the imagination. The current ‘utilitarian’ use is supplemented with more of a ‘use for enjoyment,’ which is nonetheless just as functional, but of another order: sitting in the summer sun, getting outside together and having a break meeting while enjoying the green. The third function is that of ‘green for the eye.’ The roof of the building in the inner courtyard can fulfil this function for the users of the upper floor offices adjacent to the interior space. It becomes a green roof, utilizing the very limited load-bearing capacity of the building.  

Dynamics in design

The patio is ultimately a space for people to relax together and the dynamics in design reflected this- starting with the modular stelcon plate floor and continuing through to the furnishings, which consist of mobile planters on rails and loose patio chairs. Any time more seating is required or there is a need for more seclusion, the furnishings are moved accordingly. If the hoist vehicle requires more space, everything can be simply pushed aside.

I I March 2012


International Design

Overall a variety of uses come together in an area of limited space and limited light. The area is designed to ‘capture light,’ so that cloudy skies don’t dominate and instead light can be trapped. The floor captures and even reflects this light. Meanwhile, the greenery adds a natural element to this otherwise dull area and creates the perfect backdrop against the railway.


The patio plays host to various parties throughout the year and for a short time, it becomes unrecognisable with christmas trees and decorations. This is all part of OKRA’s plans for the place, when they first created this patio area they also organised an events calendar to ensure that the place was always in use beyond staff  popping out to smoke a cigarette or sitting outside for a while during lunch. The redesigned patio is ready for an Easter brunch with opulent table settings just before Easter, the beer garden in high summer, using long tables to transform the interior space into a summer hideout or for the string quartet in the fall. Client: Prorail Address: Postbus 2038, 3500 GA  Utrecht Tel. : 003130–2357104 Contact person: dhr. G.J.W. Wannet Nature and dimensions of area Location of project: Utrecht, The Netherlands Type of entity: Private entity Status: Realized Size: 3000 m2 Competition: Yes, winner Costs public space Costs: 250.000 Euro Date Year: 2004


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I I November 2011


International Design

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I I March 2012

The Irrigation Innovators


I I March 2012


• Landscaping development the hard and soft scape • Irrigation • Horticultural supplies, lawns and specimen plants • email: • PO Box 4756 Riyadh 11412, KSA • email: • PO Box 181581 Dubai, UAE • website:

RIYADH: King Khalid Airport Road: Tel. No.: 00966 (1) 4655555


KHOBAR: Coast Road Tel. No.: 00966 (3) 8590066

I I March 2012

JEDDAH: Al Andalus Tel. No.: 00966 (2) 6686666

DUBAI Sheikh Zayed Road Tel. No. 00971 (4) 3296630

Landscape March 2012  

Landscape Middle East Magazine latest March 2012 edition