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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

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June 2019


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The First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East

Editor’s Note TIME FOR CHANGE We often hear the word sustainable touted in various landscape articles but is it enough for our landscape designs to be sustainable if the construction practices behind them are not? In this issue, Daniel McNamara throws down the gauntlet to challenge industry professionals to adopt smarter, more energy efficient practices in a bit to transform the industry in the GCC so it can continue to compete with modern economies. He starts by suggesting that unskilled workers should be better utilised, instead of continuing with old fashioned construction methods and habits, it’s time to modernise equipment and move away from doing jobs by hand. The result he says will be a more efficient, more energised workforce as well as lower costs for clients. And of course smarter landscapes. (see page 32) Staying with smart landscape designs, we take you to Thailand to showcase a new hospital garden that promotes calm and aids recovery! (page 24). We also feature a residential project outside of Buenos Aires a luxury residential gated community on page 44 and a Venetian style in the capital. (page 20) From our family to yours, Eid Mubarak!

I hope you enjoy the issue!

John Hampton

Managing Partner: Ziad Maarouf Amine Copy Editor: John Hampton Sales Manager: Boushra Dinnawi Administrative Assistance: Sarry Gan Art Director: Ramon Andaya Contributors: Jimena Martignoni, Henry Duck, Shaaista Ahmed, Stephanie Kowalski, Daniel McNamara, Watcharapon Nimwatanagul, Jean-Claude Melone, Joe Gooden Printed by: Al Nisr Publishing LLC Webmaster:

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contents June 2019 - Issue 144

16 20

An Angel on the Coast


Thailand’s hospitals are blossoming

28 32 36

The Faux Amis

Venetian Charm in the Capital

Out with the Old Matured Accent Trees


Inverell’s town centre transformed with healthy street trees and sustainable infrastructure


Strips of Wild Nature

20 2

24 44


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AUS student architecture designs selected for Expo 2020 Visitors to the highly anticipated Expo 2020 will be able to interact with and explore the work of three students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS), who have recently been awarded up to 20,000 Euros each to develop their projects as part of the Design Competition Expo Dubai 2020. The competition aims to bring together young designers under the age of 35 and companies based in Lombardy, Italy to create innovative projects that will be displayed in both Dubai at Expo 2020 and in various important venues across Italy. Twenty projects received the coveted prize in an award ceremony during Milan Design Week last month, each being eligible to receive up to 20,000 Euros (AED 82,500) to produce their projects, which will serve as “connecting spaces” between the main pavilions on the Dubai Expo 2020 site. AUS architecture students Nohair Elmessalami, Sarah AlMaddah and Omer Alraee collaborated with other young international designers and Lombardy-based companies to create their winning projects. Each of the AUS students initially developed ideas for the competition while enrolled in the senior architecture studio Fight-orFlight: Models of Design under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Architecture Gregory Spaw. “It is an incredible achievement for any architect or designer to be part of an event as important as the World Expo, especially considering the kind of global exposure they will receive,” said Spaw. “Because of this initiative, CAAD students have had the opportunity to collaborate with international students, designers and fabricators to present


truly world-class entries, and we are thrilled with the results,” he said. Layers was designed by Nohair Elmessalami in partnership with Jiyoon Kim and in collaboration with Lombardy-based Alitim Laser Srl. The structure is comprised of a series of partition walls and a canopy that will, over time, become a oneof-a-kind public art piece, inspired by the concept of sticker exchange. “Sticker exchange is a common activity that takes place in many regions in Europe. Stickers in Italy can be found on light poles, signs and even walls. This simple activity allows for communication between people from different backgrounds and of different ages. In that region, sticker exchange acts as a tool for marketing or selfexpression. This simple yet interesting idea was incorporated into the project to act as a universal language that connects people. The pavilion is designed to allow for social intervention by behaving as a blank canvas for people to modify,”” said Elmessalami. Sarah AlMaddah created MONDINE in partnership with Isato Gariel Prugger, Sarah Joy Giacomelli and Alberto Ciccale and in collaboration with Met Company Srl. The sculptural installation aspired to represent ears of rice swaying in the fields of northern Italy’s Po Valley, drawing on the commonalities found between Italian and UAE culinary traditions. “This project is a symbolic narration of the profound relationship of respect and sharing between our two countries,” said AlMaddah. “Each base of the installation houses three semi-rigid structures cradled by the wind. At sunset, these ‘ears’ will be internally lit, acting as kinetic sculptures, lighting fixtures and way-finding elements. The lighting of the three structures is powered by a LED RGB, which, depending on the type of the function performed, can take on a different color. MONDINE will stand tall in Expo 2020 to greet its visitors and share its story,” she said. Corolla was created by Omer Alraee in partnership with Ofir Elazar Albag and Martin Huba, and in collaboration with Maco Technology Srl. It is an innovative prototype for a weather-responsive coworking pod. “Using soft-robotic principles, we developed a lightweight and flexible skin that is able to adapt itself to changing outdoor conditions. Corolla is a technological oasis; it is a hybrid between indoor and outdoor, providing a comfortable and efficient space for meeting, working and sharing ideas all year round, and in any location,” said Alraee. The Design Competition Expo Dubai 2020 is promoted by the Lombardy Regional Authority, the Chamber of Commerce of MilanMonza-Brianza-Lodi and Unioncamere Lombardia in Italy, with the coordination of the Polytechnic University of Milan. The competition is held in collaboration with the General Commissioner’s Office for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano foundation, ADI (Industrial Design Association), Fiera Milano S.p.A., as well as American University of Sharjah and Expo 2020 Dubai– Construction Department.

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International Experts Commend Riyadh’s Lifestyle Transformation Projects A panel of experts has met at the SME Forum: ‘Riyadh’s Lifestyle Transformation’ to discuss the 4 Wellbeing Projects and to offer advice and suggestions on the USD23 billion initiative that will enhance the lives of millions of Saudi citizens. A panel of prominent International experts from various academic and professional fields convened yesterday to discuss Riyadh’s USD23 billion investment in the recently announced 4 Grand Projects that will transform the city and improve the wellbeing of millions of citizens in the capital city. The Subject Matter Expert (SME) Forum took place at the Exhibition Centre King Fahad Library Plaza on 1st and 2nd May 2019. Discussion centered on a number of topics, including sustainable urban development, conservation, socio-economic well-being, art and culture, and the facilitation of a healthy lifestyle for all citizens. The 4 Wellbeing Projects will greatly improve Saudis’ way of life by providing a greener, healthier environment and by encouraging participation in cultural and sporting life, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. These four projects are part of a massive development plan for the capital Riyadh, highlighting the Kingdom’s leadership in sustainable urbanization and environmental management. The Projects are: King Salman Park – one of the world’s largest urban parks with a land area of 13 km2, roughly four times that of Central Park in New York. The park, in addition to its large green spaces, will include a national theatre, opera house and art academy, and will host entertainment, environmental and cultural events. Green Riyadh – an urban greening project that will reduce CO2 levels and cool the city by up to 2°C. Green Riyadh will see 7.5 million trees planted in gardens, parks, mosques,


schools and around the capital’s governmental and health sectors. Riyadh Art – a citywide gallery that will include 1,000 works of art and interactive installations, placed in residential areas, public parks, transport facilities and on Riyadh’s roads. Sports Boulevard – the first of its kind in the region, will feature 135 km of multi-purpose track for walking, running, cycling and horse riding. “What I’ve seen over these two days is very much at the cutting edge and redefines what a city could be. What Riyadh is doing here I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world – where the planning is so integrated and well thought through, and innovative thinking is so evident. Riyadh is setting the standard. I commend these 4 Grand Projects”, John Rossant, Chairman & Founder, New Cities Foundation. “Every one of these Wellbeing Projects is quite extraordinary. Riyadh will be transformed in ways that you and I can’t fully understand. They will transform this city not just in its infrastructure and facilities, but will transform health, culture and the very way citizens live their lives.” Said Dr. David Griggs, Professor, Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University. “The scale of these city projects is really impressive. Planting a few trees is nice. Maybe planting a couple of blocks is worthy. But it’s only when you get to the scale of 7.5 million trees and 9% green coverage of the city that you can actually change the climate and cool the city down.” John Englander, Oceanographer & Author, commenting on the 7.5 million trees that will be planted as part of the Riyadh Green Project.

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ESF supplied over 700 products to the Dubai Arena project including bollards, benches, tree grates and litter bins.

NEWTOWNABBEY-based Environmental Street Furniture (ESF) has completed their largest contract to date at the new stateof-the-art Dubai Arena, supplying a range of customised street furniture and security products in a deal worth £600k. Known for their award-winning exporting capabilities, which include some of the world’s largest theme parks and government organisations, ESF supplied over 700 products to the project including bollards, benches, tree grates and litter bins. Speaking about ESF’s work at the impressive new arena, Managing Director, Alan Lowry said, “Dubai Arena has been ESF’s largest project to date and we’re delighted to have contributed to what is sure to be one of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions. Having the opportunity to showcase our products to the millions of tourists, estimated to be 25 million per year by 2025, is a great achievement for a small company from Northern Ireland. “We supplied a number of products, most of which were manufactured in Northern Ireland, including security bollards to go around the perimeter to ensure its protection as well as benches, litter bins and tree grates.

ESF Completes £600k Dubai Arena Project

ESF has completed their largest contract to date at the new state-of-the-art Dubai Arena, supplying a range of customised street furniture and security products in a deal worth £600k.

ESF has completed their largest contract to date at the new state-of-the-art Dubai Arena, supplying a range of customised street furniture and security products in a deal worth £600k.

“A greater focus is being placed on perimeter security across the globe due to the increase of attacks, especially where large crowds gather, so it’s important to ensure each product installed at the Dubai Arena is fit for purpose. All ESF’s security bollards are PAS 68 tested and certified and due to our recent acquisition of Sentry Posts, we have the technical ability to design and deliver a global project of this scale.” Alan continued, “We have been very fortunate to deliver a number of projects across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recent years with our street, themed and solar powered products, including IMG Worlds of Adventure, Warner Brothers Park and Global Village. We are hopeful to continue that growth, with the addition of our security products, throughout the UAE and Middle East in the months and years ahead.” Both the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Invest Northern Ireland were instrumental in enabling ESF to quote for this prestigious project at Dubai Arena.


Speaking about ESF’s work at Dubai Arena, Swathi Sri, Head of Territory – India, Middle East and Africa at Invest Northern Ireland said, “We are delighted to see the ESF team build on their recent successes in the UAE and to work on such a significant project as the Dubai Arena. Northern Ireland has a world class reputation for design capabilities, and ESF’s success stands as a testimony to their commitment to highclass quality and ongoing innovation.” Dubai Arena, officially named the Coca-Cola Arena following a ten-year deal with Coca Cola, is due to open in June 2019 and will span half-a-million square feet. The multi-purpose arena, located at City Walk, will have the capacity to accommodate 17,000 people and will host a variety of events all year round. ESF has experienced an array of global success since breaking into the export market in 2013. In 2018, the company supplied products to 22 countries globally and opened their first American office, which will allow them to better service their American customers. Alan Lowry has also been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Institute of Directors ‘Director of the Year’ awards where he is shortlisted in both the International and Innovation categories.

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Emirates Environmental Group successfully completes Project Green Call! Embracing the United Nations Sustainability Goal Number 12 to move towards a more circular economy in the United Arab Emirates! Emirates Environmental Group successfully closed its one-month long Mobile Collection Campaign – “Project Green Call”, that began on the 19th of March in honour of the Global Recycling Day! A total of 2,433 phones were collected from all over the UAE in just 30 days and will be sent for recycling to partnering facilities across the UAE. EEG launched “Project Green Call” in 2016 to engage the Student Members during their Spring Break and simultaneously boost the mobile phone collection Press Release to reach the set target for 2016. In 2017, EEG decided Emirates Environmental Group successfully completes Project Green Call! to open the programme to all sectors of society to Embracing the United Nations Sustainability Goal Number 12 to move towards a more circular engage and promote the activity among the wider UAE economy in the United Arab Emirates! society. In 2019, the project saw the registration of 131 Emirates Environmental Group successfully closed its one-month long Mobile Collection Campaign – th entities (Including and Academic in honour of the Global Recycling Day! A total of “Project Green Call”, that began on students, the 19 of March Corporates 2,433 phones were collected all over the UAE indeposited just 30 days and will be sent formobile recycling to Members) who from collectively 2,433 partnering facilities across the UAE. phones during the one-month period. There was a 152 EEG launched “Project Green Call” in 2016 to engage the Student Members during their Spring Break and % increase in mobile the phone collection of Mobile and simultaneously boost the collection to reach the set targetPhones for 2016. In 2017, EEG 107 decided to%openincrease the programme to all sectors of society to engage and promote the activity among the UAE in participation compared to 2018.wider The society. In 2019, the project saw the registration of 131 entities (Including students, Corporates and successful campaign in 2019 also saw an increase of Academic Members) who collectively deposited 2,433 mobile phones during the one-month period. There 40a 152 % %inincrease thein number trees beinplanted underto was the collection ofof Mobile Phonesthat and 107will % increase participation compared 2018. The successful campaign in 2019 also saw an increase of 40 % in the number of trees that will be this project as compared to 2018.

Tonne of e-waste contains more precious metals than one tonne of ore! Recycling mobile phones conserves these valuable materials, it also prevents air and water pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that occur during manufacturing, extracting and processing of raw materials. EEG is delighted to support and promote this urban mining culture to reduce the impact on our environment. All successful participants who met the targets will plant trees in their name on the 19th of December for achieving their targets! EEG encourages everyone to reach out to learn how they can receive trees local native trees in their name for recycling through EEG!

planted under this project as compared to 2018.

The collectors from are each category are as follows: The toptop collectors from each category as follows: Company Name Six Construct Ltd. Al Naboodah Construction Group LLC Cofely Besix Facility Management

Phones Collected 191 150 101

Trees Secured 3 3 2

Academic Institution Our Own High School, Al Warqa'a, Dubai Delhi Private School, Sharjah Rosary Private School

Phones Collected 325 140 92

Trees Secured 5 2 1

Student Name Justanne Jibin Shivani Adduri Sivadurga Adduri

Phones Collected 111 91 62

Trees Secured 7 6 4

Home Is Where Your Pool Is

The chairperson of EEG, Habiba Al Mar’ashi stated that, “The quantity of e-waste generated per capita in The oftheEEG, Habiba Al Mar’ashi stated that, the UAEchairperson is significantly lower than global top offenders, additionally UAE also performs better than its GCC neighbours. We must continue to work to decrease our annual e per waste per capita fromin the the current “The quantity of e-waste generated capita 13.6 Kg/ person to significantly lower numbers.” Mobile phones comprise of various materials, such as, UAEgold, is mercury, significantly lower than global topcontains offenders, plastic, zinc, lead, cadmium, bromine, etc. the One Tonne of e-waste more precious

additionally UAE also performs better than its GCC neighbours. We must continue to work to decrease our annual e waste per capita from the current 13.6 Kg/ person to significantly lower numbers.” Mobile phones comprise of various materials, such as, plastic, gold, mercury, zinc, lead, cadmium, bromine, etc. One

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I news & events “The main value of this experience was having the chance to bring together four students from different programs within CAAD and create a bond between them that would let them consider future collaborations on other projects after they graduate,” said Saqfalhait. The bold monochrome designs will be painted directly onto the exterior walls of the four 50-meter-high cement silos of the Fujairah JK White Cement factory and will be visible to the public from various vantage points across the emirate. “The art pieces are rendered in a black color that requires low maintenance and does not overpower the sensitive landscapes yet stands out like a beacon in the midst of the desert. Additionally, the use of simple geometric shapes allows for more simple production techniques, challenging traditional approaches to mural design and application. The result is a visual language that is both iconic as well as sustainable,” said Saqfalhait. Amit Kothari, CEO of JK White Cement said, “JK White Cement UAE is the first cement company to organize such a competition in the region. Being one of the most advanced and modern technology UAE plants, we cater to white cement aesthetics and architectural applications in over 40 countries,” he said. “JK White Cement, as a part of its CSR initiatives, has been associated with leading design and architectural colleges in GCC countries, and since 2014 we have been providing a platform for students as far as training and development is concerned,” said Kothari. He added, “We wanted from this unique competition to urge the young generation to express themselves in the exceptional work that reflects the UAE culture and heritage, and appreciate the progress achieved by the leaders of this country and spread it to the future generations. It is an initiative that helps university students showcase their brilliance, creativity and artistry.” “We would like to congratulate the American University of Sharjah for landing the first prize and the four students guided by Dr. Saqfalhait for the exceptional work they’ve done,” said Kothari. The CAAD students worked together to submit their designs as a group and were selected based on their outstanding performance in their chosen major of study. Multimedia design student Ahmad Geaissa said, “It’s a privilege to be able to represent CAAD in such a competition. Once complete, the murals will be a permanent mark that not only represents the beauty and heritage of Fujairah but also the quality of work that CAAD students can produce with the right guidance from their professors.” Architecture major Mark Shehata said, “The real impact of this competition is the collaboration between CAAD and JK White Cement that can potentially host architectural and cementbased research. I think that this is a real and positive opportunity for not only the UAE but potentially also the region.”

Murals created by AUS students will be a “beacon in the desert” in Fujairah The mountainous Fujairah landscape will soon feature a series of original murals created by students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS), which will be painted onto four cement silos on the site of the JK White Cement plant. The four murals will serve as a “beacon in the midst of the desert,” breaking up the rugged landscape surrounding the site, which is located on the border of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. The murals are the winning entries of a competition initiated by JK White Cement as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program. JK White Cement is the second largest white cement producer in the world, meeting the supply demands of more than 40 countries across the world. In March this year, architecture and design students from selected universities from across the UAE were invited to submit four original mural designs which would promote the UAE’s cultural heritage with main focus on core values, traditions, and progress made over the years. The winning designs representing Fujairah’s unique architecture, heritage, natural resources and poetry were created by AUS students Ahmed Geaissa, Leen Jameel, Mark Shehata and Reem Elwazeer. The students worked together to complete the designs, taking full advantage of their multidisciplinary skills of multimedia design, visual communication, architecture and interior design to secure a shared prize of AED 40,000. The students created their designs under the guidance of visiting lecturer Ahmad Saqfalhait from the Department of Art and Design at CAAD. Saqfalhait said the opportunity to be part of this competition adds long-term value to the students’ educational experience at AUS


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Towards the sixth edition, spotlight on internationality and growth Myplant & Garden, International Green Expo, is warming up the engines for the sixth edition: 26-27-28 February 2020.

The goal for 2020 is to outclass itself, by confirming and reinforcing the role of the trade fair as the place to be for the international jet set of the garden industry. The fifth edition has recorded the satisfaction of both exhibitors and visitors. The master trade fair for the garden industry in Italy is getting ready for a new, inspiring rendezvous with an international flavour. Internationality has indeed main relevance for the organisers of the trade fair, who are working to increase the presence of visitors from the whole world – professionals, experts, shop owners, contractors, wholesalers, producers, technicians, architects, import-export managers, designers, journalists, trend setters and public administrations. The international participation of buyers in February 2019 has been represented by 200 official delegations (+30% than 2018) from 48 countries (among which Russia, Romania, France, Germany, Spain, China, UK, Turkey, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Portugal, Asia, Middle East, Africa and the Americas), selected and divided into 56 purchase categories, 120 international sales channels, the big names in large distribution chains, and the participation


of urban landscape managers from European capital cities. In the context of landscape planning and redevelopment, Myplant & Garden is consolidating the participation of public administrations, considering the positive feedback received from public bodies managing urban green areas, mayors and park, garden and national park managers from all over Italy during the last edition. “One of the aims for 2020 is to create a piazza for public green areas in which landscapers, plant producers, public administrations and service providers can share their ideas freely”. Back to the international buyers invited, they operated mainly in the following sectors: wholesale, import-export of flowers and plants, landscape architecture, garden centres, garden and outdoor items, DIY, large distribution chains, floristry, institutions, public bodies, nurseries. “Myplant is a beautiful window for the Italian excellence that faces and embraces international markets. It is at the same time a hub and marketplace for foreign production that finds in Italy an interesting market, and in Myplant the place where they can meet professionals and buyers from other countries”.

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Flashes of light for a precious interior: Diametro 35 by Ritmonio in gold finish for the Three Gardens House by AGi architect s (Kuwait) Continuous innovation, attention to the social and environmental aspects in the interventions, research. These are the founding pillars of the AGi architects studio, able to stand out for design solutions of high quality, characterized by creativity and exclusive design.

For the Three Gardens House project, a residential building located in Al Funaitees (Kuwait), the architectural studio had to face a double request: to create an outdoor space to be used 365 days a year and, at the same time, a subdivision of the environments and the levels able to fully embrace the needs for usability and privacy expressed by customers. For the first, considering the complex climatic situation of Kuwait, it was necessary to develop a particular strategy, dividing the exterior into different levels, which evaluates both the seasonality and the different activities to be carried out. As a result, three gardens have been designed. The first is a Wet Garden on the ground floor, equipped with swimming pool and fountains and surrounded by the main


“social spaces” of the house; the summer garden is located in the coldest layer of the complex, four meters below street level. Protected by the thermal mass of the earth and by the shadows made by the building, it includes a large sheet of water designed to catalyze the evapotranspiration that - with convection - refreshes the air that rises towards the upper part of the house. The third garden is located on the roof, an ideal place to spend winter days and warm summer evenings. The perforated skin cover in anodized aluminium filters the sunlight, acting as a shelter for the vegetation. The three gardens are connected by external stairs: the rest of the house was developed exactly starting from the voids created around these structures. The movement inside the building is conceived in a fluid way, with multiple paths and the possibility of reaching the rooms in a more or less direct way: in this way the public spaces are visually connected to each other, while the rooms dedicated to the family enjoy greater privacy. The exterior, completely covered in stone, contrasts the walls transparency facing the inner courtyard, covered with white ceramic tiles, which reflect light and help illuminate the rooms in a natural way. Diametro 35, iconic product of Ritmonio, has been chosen to enhance the sophisticated elegance of the bathrooms, in line with the mood that characterizes the interiors of the house. The gold finish fits perfectly with the warm nuances of the coverings, adding a precious touch to the rooms dedicated to wellness. Thanks to its metallic glow, this furnishing element warms the environment and responds to the most contemporary tastes. A must for those who want an interior of authentic class. Technical features: The Diametro 35 series is one of the Ritmonio’s product with water saving features, characterized by the ECO water flow, less than 9 l/m, and it is designed to encourage to use the environmental resources responsibly. Name of the project: Three Gardens House Place: Al Funaitees, Kuwait Project: AGi architects - Customer: private Name project/system: Diametro 35 – gold finish Pictures: Three Gardens House by AGi architects – © Fernando Guerra – FG+SG –

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Angel on the Coast 16

By: Daniel Lawton, Senior Landscape Architect at Vero

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The Vero Studio worked alongside internationally renowned architects RMJM and a multi-disciplinary team of international consultants to design the landscape for Angel Bay, a public realm scheme located on Hayat Island in Ras Al Khaimah. The island is located within the Mina Al Arab district developed by RAK Properties and is part of an exciting and ambitious masterplan, which includes various components such as luxury beachside villas and townhouses, five-star hospitality destinations as well as beachside leisure, F&B and retail offerings. The landscape project design encompasses a beachside public realm destination covering more than 40,000m2 as well as the streetscape design of the main artery access road which extends over approximately 2km in length and occupies an area of more than 60,000m2. The streetscape will ultimately form the spine of the island and connects the various components of the masterplan back to the main land and the Mina Al Arab area.  The concept for the landscape was born out of a cultural exploration into the history of RAK and the UAE in general. Vero carefully studied how this

concept could be interpreted and applied it into a modern and vibrant setting. Vero knew the design had to be unique if it was to stand out in a crowded market, creating features which add value to the landscape that will result in a premium destination with international reach. This design philosophy was constantly tested throughout the eighteen-month pre-contract design phase and subtle reminders of the overall story behind the design are located throughout the project. The streetscape zone contains a generous landscape buffer either side of the main roadway, this landscape would act as a linear park for the residents on the island and allow connectivity from the beach side public realm to the wider landscape. The landscape contained an expansive range of components such as integrated jogging and cycling tracks as well as pocket parks with fitness equipment and play areas. Vero passionately believes that Landscape Architecture is an integral tool to foster a healthy and active lifestyle and the streetscape would seek to embrace and offer this lifestyle for residents.



The main pedestrian connection linking the streetscape to the beachside public realm presented numerous challenges, one being the level change of almost 8m and also the close proximity of the adjacent residential beach side apartments within the neighbouring plots. Vero designed this landscape to be an extension of the linear park of the streetscape which would lead people into the public realm landscape with stunning views. Vero also added a zip wire in this location to connect the streetscape zone to the beach zone so that if people choose, they can arrive in a memorable fashion. The design of the zip wire was carefully developed with a specialist in order to ensure it was actually feasible and not just a fun dea which would never make it past concept. The beachside landscape contains a range of retail and F&B offerings to not only add value to the project but also introduce a revenue earning component into the development. Vero worked closely with RMJM to strategically distribute the F&B and retail elements within the landscape to create the feeling that they were pearls which were washed up on the beach. The landscape itself would act as a ribbon which would wrap itself around the buildings and create a seamless interface between the landscape and architecture. In addition to the usual F&B offerings, RAK Properties had a clear vision that the landscape had to contain certain features which would make the Angel Bay project different to other public realm schemes in the region and result in a unique identity and character. This vision and ambition for the project would end up being one of Vero’s most challenging commissions since its formation in 2010 and presented the opportunity to really push the envelope in terms of design.


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The iconic shade structures which were located in the heart of the landscape are just one of the unique features of this project. The concept for the shade structures took inspiration from the Canna plant, which is widely used throughout the UAE, and was developed by Vero with the help of a local Emirati artist who will ultimately oversee the procurement and construction of the shade structures. The shade structures will rise above the architectural pods with the intention of becoming nodal beacons in the landscape to create a truly breath taking public realm experience way beyond the norm. In addition to the shade structures, one of the crowning jewels of the project is the unusual pier feature. Vero’s visionary designers reflected upon their own childhoods and thought deeply about what it meant to go to the beach. A recurring memory and experience amongst the Vero team was that of a pier and the value and happiness such a component can add to experience of going to the beach. The Vero team also acknowledged that apart from the odd boardwalk here and there, the UAE does not contain an authentic pier on any of its beach destinations. The design for the pier was developed to form part of the overall story of the landscape and bespoke touches such as seating nets formed of old fishing nets would be integrated into the design and create a unique experience from start to finish. The pier has an overall length of approximately 90m with the crowning feature being a viewing tower complete with its own water slide to allow people a fully immersive experience. The viewing tower will provide the perfect view back to the mainland and create that perfect “instagramable” moment. The canna inspired shade structures will have the in-built capability to allow people to take a picture at the end of the pier and then walk back to the main area and download the picture onto their smartphone. The pier also explores the idea

of being the perfect vantage point for a floating cinema which would add to the night time use and function of the public realm landscape. The material selection for the project utilised a very simplistic palette of materials as Vero felt the extensive use of natural stone was not necessary as significant cost of doing so would not actually add any value to both the client or the project by doing so. Vero instead proposed to use cast in situ concrete for most of the beach side public realm and worked closely with suppliers to provide bespoke solutions such as adding shells into the concrete mix prior to installation to enhance the beach feel to the project. The project is currently at tender stage and Vero will continue their services to offer full construction supervision and upon commencement of the construction works, a full site team will be deployed to oversee the implementation of the design.



Venetian Charm in the Capital Surrounded by water, The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi exudes Venetian style Designed by Francis Landscapes


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is a professional firm comprised of landscape architects, architects and planners. Founded in 1987, the firm provides full planning, design and supervision services in landscape architecture, environmental planning and urban design. The firm’s national and international projects are spread out in the Middle East, Africa and Europe and are located in numerous countries including Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Syria, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Kuwait, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, France, Belgium and England. They include a wide range of urban design, mountain and beach resorts, public parks, hotels, university campuses, sports clubs and office buildings as well as state-of-the-art residences, palaces and government buildings. To shape a clearer idea about us, log into



Facing the famous Maqtaa channel, the Ritz Carlton sits with its arms embracing the waterfront, inspired by the cultural heritage that is Venice. The mood this space embodies is a Venetian one; from the hotel, to the VIP area, chalets, Venetian village, and spa, the Ritz Carlton is a destination for those seeking bliss. Sinusoidal, fluid, organic, and green, with viewpoints lush and luxurious, the project is diverse in its functions and multitude of facilities and services provided to ensure that visitors have a good time. Children’s play areas, outdoor swimming pools, and recreational facilities, allow for a complete and unique experience. The bungalows dispersed along the surrounding manmade hills of the project contain their own private gardens with views towards the sea and the artificial


lagoon introduced in the landscape design to augment the water front area and enhance the vantage points available. Inviting walkways trigger curiosity and transport the visitor on a promenade along the water channel; transparent and luminous, through what can be described as a Mediterranean village into a realm of discovery, en route to the sandy beaches planted with sculptural coconut trees. The 250,000 m2 resort is accessible by vehicles only to hotel drop-off area, the rest of the resort is experienced via golf carts aiming to ensure a LEED, sustainable, and green design through the reduction of noise pollution. On the coast, the Ritz Carlton sits majestically, a pocket of lush green and fresh blue lagoons it invites one to indulge and relax Venetian style.

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I Healing Hub

Thailand’s hospitals are blossoming By: LANDPROCESS and Nanticha Ocharoenchai

Most people want to be comforted by a peaceful and calming environment when there ill and in pain in hospital but for patients in Thailand they are often met with stressedout faces, dull white walls and fluorescent lights in the country’s public hospitals. That’s not to mention the long queues, the huge crowds, and the limited space. But what if we can turn that around? What if recovering from your sickness was less like a tough hurdle, and more like a walk in the park? Welcome to the Ramathibodi Healing Garden. On the 10th floor of the Somdech Phra Debaratana Medical Center at the Ramathibodi Hospital, a green lawn flourishes


amidst the other grey concrete rooftops of Bangkok’s buildings. Once a helipad, the hot cement surface was transformed into a lush and colorful 2,400 square meter garden by landscape architecture firm LANDPROCESS. Kotchakorn Voraakhom, founder of LANDPROCESS and a highly-active advocate for green public space, believes parks like this should not only serve as a recreational space, but also as a productive one. What if one park could heal, not only sick hospital patients, but also Bangkok’s deteriorating environment? By utilizing the hospital’s unused concrete rooftop, the garden creates a healthy environment for both the people and the city.

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Healing people Nature might not fix your broken leg or cure your cold, but studies have shown it can reduce levels of pain and stress, and so, boosting immune systems for better and quicker recovery in physical and mental illnesses. The touch of sunlight, the sight of trees, the smell of flowers and the taste of fresh air—these are all the elements that reconnect humans back to nature, and it would make sense why Ecotherapy provides patients a soothing sense of serenity and comfort, as if they were back home.

The Healing Garden is an experience for everyone, whether patients, families, visitors or staff. All trees, thornless and non-toxic, are safe for visitors. There are braille surfaces on handrails for visually-impaired patients. Trees are raised up from the ground, so elderlies don’t have to bend down to run their hands through the leaves or the grass. Embracing the universal design concept, it serves as a relaxation space for patients of all kinds and ages. To address five factors in therapeutic process for well-being—cognitive, emotional, physical, social and communicational—there are 14 activities available in the garden including the circular meditation walkway, physical therapy walkway, aroma therapy, urban farm, amphitheater, sandbox and picnic area. In the center, the circular shape from the former helipad remains, but instead, as a green open field to accommodate around 200 people for events and activities. Around it, a smooth pavement creates a circular path for peaceful meditation walks. Natural clay walls gently line up the edges, with flower illustrations hand-painted on them by hospital staff, the Ramathibodi watercolor club, volunteers and students. Like other purple-colored elements around the garden, 10 flower species are painted, each symbolic of the Mahidol University, the owner of the hospital, and Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn. Nearby, another section of the garden, offers another unique walking experience. Stones and gravel of various textures and sizes lay out the rehabilitation walkway for patients to feel out the therapeutic physical sensation of different shapes and pressure points under their feet. Handrails with braille messages line up the corridor for visually-impaired patients, singing out the lyrics of a melodic song written by HRH Princess Sirindhorn called “Rak”, or “Love”. Throughout the rooftop garden, a wide variety of plants and flowers create a fragrant and aesthetic


I Healing Hub

atmosphere, engaging visitors’ senses with a range of forms, colors, scents and textures for a refreshing getaway from the hospital’s monochromatic indoors. Some of the foliage is grown in more than 700 reused saline bags hung together to form a tree wall. Clean and free of contamination, the saline bags are a way to reduce waste by repurposing disposable medical items.


Not only beautiful plants flourish in the garden, but also edible ones. An area is dedicated to urban farming for patients, caregivers, families, staff and visitors to grow safe and nutritious vegetables together. In addition to producing food, the farm also offers several physical and mental health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease and other life-threatening diseases by the sole act of planting.

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Inclusive of all kinds of visitors, there is both a zone for kids and elderlies. A circular amphitheater brings everyone together for outdoor performances and events, aimed to improve mental health through entertainment and social interaction. While the garden is an effort to help patients recover better away from the hospital’s indoors, it is also a green architecture intended to heal the city from its dry and hot concrete environment. By replacing the former cement helipad with greenery, the garden reduces the effects of

urban heat island typically produced by the heat absorption of concrete rooftops. Solar panels have been installed nearby to save electricity and lower the bills for the hospital. Zero stormwater discharge and zero waste management is incorporated into the design to put a focus on sustainability while simultaneously improving public healthcare. This healing garden, the biggest one yet in Thailand, demonstrates the potential in repurposing unused urban spaces for public use with an inclusive and environmentally-friendly approach. Because of its location, one of the biggest challenges was not the design, but rather the construction management. Though limited to only one elevator to carry all construction materials in a hospital operating 24/7, the project was undoubtedly a worthy success to create a healthy environment for social impact to improve Thailand’s public healthcare.


I Plants

Prosopis juliflora has been recognized as one of the most problematic invasive species in the world.


Faux Amis By Jean-Claude Melone

We should be thankful to Facebook for reminding us periodically that we are friends with our spouse and lifetime partner, our children and our siblings. We are also, often by default, friends with many people we don’t even know, have never met but who happen to belong to the same extended social media groups as we do. But are all these self-occurring “e-Friends or i-Friends” trustworthy, just because they appear to share some common ground with us?


In the world-wide flora, unfortunately, there is a fastgrowing number of plant species which, having been introduced by mankind, often in small numbers originally, in a new country far away from their original habitat, have made themselves at home. These “faux-amis” have taken advantage of the prevailing hospitable conditions, multiplying and expanding fast and wide. They are now threatening the survival of established native species, in their own backyards.

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A lot has been written already, in previous articles, about Prosopis juliflora alias Mesquite alias “Ghweif”. Originally native from Mexico, this desperado of a tree was first introduced in the gulf region by Texan Oil workers to provide shade and greenery in their base camps. It became widely used in the seventies due to its ability to resist high levels of salinity and drought conditions. This made it a prime candidate for forestry projects in the desert where only brackish water wells were available and local species were struggling to grow. The Ghweif is rapidly taking over natural desert habitats traditionally occupied by his friendly native cousin, Prosopis cineraria or “Ghaf”, the national tree of the UAE. Specimens of both species can be observed in the sand dunes, growing side by side on the E311 and the E611 North bound, once passed Sharjah. The Ghweif seems to be getting the upper hand, growing faster, stronger and in larger numbers. Having already invaded large areas in Southern United States, Africa, Asia and Australia, Prosopis juliflora has been recognized as one of the most problematic invasive species in the world. As if this was not bad enough, there is now a new threat in the region: Phragmites australis. This “faux ami” is a 5m high weed with an Australian name but probably from American origin. Phragmites is creating havoc in low level areas that hold moisture after the winter rains, agricultural farmland and even established landscape projects. Introduced as a friendly plant with stagnant water filtering properties in ponds, the “common reed” has taken over many areas in the region, preventing any form of bio diversity in the process due to its extremely dense growth of up to 200 canes per square meter.

Phragmites australis is extremely hard to eradicate or even control.

This small “die hard” Ficus benghalensis is growing in a narrow paving gap on my front door step.


I Plants

Ulex europaeus (gorse) has taken over large territories that have become almost inaccessible.

Concentrated occurrences of Phragmites can be observed on both sides of the E311. It is competing with Phoenix dactylifera and Salvadora persica planting, taking advantage of patches of wet sand generated by the adjacent drip irrigation. At the heart of the Arabian Ranches junction, under the road bridges, 4m high green walls of canes obliterate any potential vista of the landscaped area for motorists. Phragmites is extremely hard to eradicate or even control. It can reproduce by seeds carried by the wind and, if cut, it can also regenerate from deep rhizomes and fragments rooting. Considered extremely invasive, it is already threatening to take over parts of the Everglades marshland in Florida. Some botanists consider that it has now “changed its behaviour” (quote), decreasing biodiversity amongst other marshland species. We can also find specimens of several naturalized exotic species, not quite as invasive but often occurring at odd places, issued from seeds carried by birds and ants. Several introduced species of Ficus have adapted very well to the local conditions growing even between interlock pavers in road medians and sikkas. I have given up trying to chop and uproot a small “die hard” Ficus benghalensis, growing in a narrow paving gap on my front door step. After a few pruning scissors punitive attempts, I ended up recognizing the merits of this baby Banyan tree’s quest for survival.


Just wanting to live in a concrete environment (literally) despite all odds and not taking no for an answer. Far away New Zealand is renowned for the many species of birds and plants that can be found living exclusively in its territory. The land of the long white cloud is, however, experiencing its unfair share of extremely threatening green invaders. Not least, the gorse (Ulex europaeus), originally introduced by settlers from Scotland to form dense hedges between grazing animals’ paddocks, it has literally gone wild and taken over large territories that have become almost inaccessible. Ulex is a dense evergreen shrub with spine-like leaves, and fragrant yellow, pea-like flowers prised by honey bees and tourists. Gorse can grow rapidly for the first 15 years, reach a mature height of over 3 metres and live up to 45 years. Maturing seedpods explode and can disperse up to 20,000 seeds per plant. The seeds are then easily distributed by insects, animals and machinery. Since gorse grows mainly by the ocean, water is also a common carrier for seeds. Dense patches can hinder re-vegetation of harvested areas and the recreational use of land. Gorse is also considered a fire hazard, containing volatile oils and producing large amounts of dry litter, displacing native vegetation, thereby decreasing forage for wildlife and native plant biodiversity

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More than ten introduced species of conifers, mainly pine, referred to as “wilding conifers” are also threatening to permanently alter the unique natural landscape of New Zealand. Conservationists estimate that up to 20% of its territory could be invaded by wilding conifer forests within 20 years without rapid action. Pinus contorta (Lodgepole) is the most aggressive species with the youngest coning age and the farthest spread. Declared an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act, it cannot be bred, propagated, distributed or sold. Wilding conifers currently cover more than 1.8 million ha of land. They are spreading at an estimated rate of 5% a year, overwhelming native landscapes, killing the native flora, and evicting native animals. They also have a huge impact on the country’s economy, sucking valuable water out of catchments, they add huge costs to farming and have a negative impact on tourism and recreational opportunities.

Wilding conifers are threatening to permanently alter the unique natural landscape of New Zealand.

To finish this article on a colourful and floral note, what better way than to mention the Russel lupin (Lupinus polyphyllus). Made world famous by the scenic filming of “Lord of the Rings”, New Zealand’s favourite weed is still classed as an invasive species. The lupin, introduced in the Fifties for people’s front gardens, now covers large open areas next to roadsides, pastures and riverbeds, especially in the Canterbury region of the South Island. They can be found in an array of colours from white to pink and purple, even yellow, during the New Zealand Summer, between late November and February. They provide a surreal background setting for a selfie to share with family and real friends (la vie en rose).

The colourful Canterbury lupins provide a surreal background setting for a selfie



Out with theOld Why the mindset of the landscape industry in the GCC needs to change By: Daniel McNamara The GCC landscape industry is unique in the way that it presents a specific set of challenges, which combined with an abundance of projects make it stand apart from most modern economies around the world. The region’s unparalleled economic success which has resulted in multiple landscape construction projects is beneficial in the wider sense; however the problem prevails that there is a shortage of skilled workers to carry out these projects to the desired standard and timeframe. For example, I believe that methods of construction for civil works currently employed in the landscape sector leave a lot to be desired. The workforce which is mainly from countries where labor costs and experience is low has created a drag on efficiency. The effect of which is directly leading to escalated & unnecessary costs for landscape construction. The workers limited training and inefficient methods of work require upgrading. The workforce has mainly been recruited from countries where sometimes the hand skills of the vast majority of these workers has not reached to the level that is required to produce good quality, efficient work on a consistent basis. The current procedures in use to create landscapes usually lead to a much longer construction period than practically necessary. Additionally, the quality of work does quite often not reach to the highest possible standard because the number of highly skilled workers


available simply cannot meet demand. This adds to extra costs and lower quality for the clients who must ultimately pay for these inefficiencies. Introducing Taylorism Due to the GCC’s strong economic growth over the past 20 years and pursuing financial wealth it has been possible for an expansive landscape sector to flourish. There are solutions available for improvements which could be made during the execution of many projects. ‘Taylorism’ (named after its founder Frederick Winslow Taylor) is a tried, tested and proven set of working principles that if introduced would greatly reduce the skill requirement, time requirement and increase the quality and consistent accuracy of the work. If these methods are employed, it’s possible to increase productivity and quality of work with lower skilled individuals. These principles were first discovered by extensive government-backed research more than a century ago at the beginning of the industrial age. This research (Taylorism) studied, created and implemented the rules of scientific management with great success into a range of industries. One of the earliest major successes of Taylorism was the setting up of the Ford motor company. This initiative in creating the assembly line of the first vehicle (Model T) was a huge success economically. The principles were then used in many businesses and on many continents

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in the following years with continued success. What Taylorism suggests is that one should ‘take the thinking out of the work and put it into the system’. Taylorism proved that when the system was strictly followed there were much less delays caused by human error and the inconsistency of human movement was greatly reduced. This process worked extremely well due to the inexperienced nature of the workforce at that time which could be likened to the workforce in the GCC in 2019. Therefore, I suggest if these measures were implemented in the local environment a similar positive outcome could be achieved. Time for change GCC growth in the past has been impressive. However, as time passes a more sustainable model must be created as the Middle East will have to compete with other major cities for market share in the supply of various services. To achieve this, development costs must be reduced in all sectors to increase competitiveness. Building construction technology has developed very impressively. I never fail to be astounded how quickly towers can rise into the Middle Eastern sky or how quickly entire developments of villas can be constructed. This bodes well for the future. Inspiration The same cannot be said for the landscape sector. The same inefficient methods of construction are being used repetitively and there seems to be little initiative for change. This is surprising due to the fact of the sheer number of highly qualified and experienced individuals operating in the market. They appear to be more reactive than proactive. People seem to be trapped in a state which I shall call ‘traditional thinking’ (the way we always did it). Everyone understands that to waste materials will add cost to any given

project. But surprisingly the same consideration is not given to the waste of worker’s energy. To have an energized worker arrive at site is a cost. If that worker is not utilized correctly his energy is wasted. It is my view that this is the single biggest factor which leads to unnecessary overspending. Proper planning should not only go into the designing of projects. Planning should also consider the order of the work and apparatus which could be created to simplify various tasks. Additionally each new method of work should be evaluated regularly and document what has been learned and what can be improved further. This knowledge can then be implemented on future projects. Some people may say this is already being done to an extent. But in my opinion this is very much ‘in the box thinking’. I suggest you don’t have to just think outside the box. In my opinion ‘there is no box’. The mindset of the industry needs to change to try to achieve the absolute maximum from all available resources. The workers energy is the most important of these resources. Once it has been wasted it cannot be retrieved and leads to a direct cost escalation. It is therefore vital that advancements be made in the planning process to include the most efficient and cost-effective methods of work that are possible. If work procedures are modernized it would undoubtedly lead to substantial cost savings for individual clients and the wider GCC in general. Machinery Machinery is currently underutilized in the landscape sector. The machinery available is sufficient to an extent on larger projects. But for accuracy of excavation and ground preparation on smaller projects, there is insufficient machinery available for the purpose. Too much reliance is placed on handwork. Manpower with all the associated costs is not an economical or




time efficient method to use for excavation in many instances. Add to this the unsuitable climate for heavy physical work for a substantial part of the year and it becomes apparent that there are much better methods of work available. One such method for excavating or ground preparation is with the assistance of small excavators. These machines are marvelously versatile and with a competent operator, the amount of accurate work which can be produce in a day is truly impressive. This method can lead to substantial labor cost and time savings in what is one of the most unpleasant activities related to landscape works.

accuracy of the structure while reducing the time, skill and cost requirement. Each frame can be adjustable in size and may be used many times for specific tasks. Construction frames can be used for a multitude of structures as basically the same principles apply to all. With this system, a high level of accuracy can be consistently achieved without a high degree of skill or experience. This system is easy to teach and once a workforce becomes more familiar with this method the whole process would become much more efficient. It will also be much easier to calculate the required duration to construct individual structures.

Construction frames Another method which would greatly expedite the works in relation to various garden structures from swimming pools to water features and from underground pump rooms to retaining walls is with the assistance of ‘construction frames’. A typical construction frame for an underground pump room for example consists of an inner and outer frame in 4cm angle bar that is designed with everything considered in CAD. It is designed to be erected in two phases. Firstly, the outer frame is erected, and then the outer shutter is fitted. Afterwards, the structural reinforcing (rebar) can be accurately placed without any impediment. Once the reinforcing has been completed the inner frame can be attached or hung off the outer frame (which allows floor and wall completion simultaneously) as per requirement. Pipe works & other MEP materials can then be added specifically where needed. If the structure is to be formed with standard concrete an inner shutter must be fitted to the inner frame. If guniting is the chosen method then the inner shutter will be replaced with removable screeding bars. This method of construction greatly increases the

Summary These are just two of my ideas which I know from my experience would be of great benefit to the local landscape industry. Like any new method of construction, it may take a little time to train a workforce to perfect the methods and some perseverance may be required. However, moving forward, familiarity (repetition is the mother of skill) should lead to further improvements and even greater efficiency. With continual use many benefits would be accrued for contractors and clients alike. In life, we should always try new things. We should be continually in search of improvement. We cannot allow ourselves as an industry to become bogged down in old familiar methods of work where we do things because this is how we have always done it. I strongly believe these suggestions would create a marked improvement in how landscape works are executed. I welcome anyone who can expand further on my suggestions. Please “do’ bring your ideas to the market. Our industry seems to be severely lacking in innovation at the moment, once that mindset changes and our thoughts go in a different direction, anything is possible!

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I trees

Acacia LLC nurseries - Dubai, UAE Acacia LLC nurseries - Dubai, UAE AcaciaLLC LLCnurseries nurseries- -Dubai, Dubai,UAE UAE Acacia


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Acacia is currently the nurseries leading supplier of maturedLLC ornamental for landscaping Acaciatrees LLC - Dubai, UAE Acacia LLC is currently the leading supplier of was started by Mr Naser Ahmed. matured trees for landscaping projects inornamental thecurrently GCC, and one of the subsidiary Acacia LLC is the leading supplier of was started by Mr Naser Ahmed. matured ornamental trees for landscaping Thestarted ornamental produced projects in the GCC, and one of the subsidiary companies under Tanseeq Investment Group of was by Mrtrees Naser Ahmed. by Cottonwood matured ornamental trees landscaping projects in the GCC, and onefor of the subsidiary The ornamental trees produced by Cottonwood are grown to comply with BS (British Standard) companies under Tanseeq Investment Group of Companies. 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Figure 1.1 Plumeria Rubra

Figure 1.2 Plumeria Rubra

Figure 1.1 Plumeria Obtusa flowers

Figure 1.2 Plumeria Rubra flowers

green-scapes. They are typically medium to small trees and are characterized by multiple branches starting from the base of the trunk.

There are currently no standards available for

The most common accent trees in the UAE are the Plumeria tree and Olive tree, the second of which will be covered in the next article of this series. The majority of Plumeria trees are grown and imported from India and Thailand. There are several species indigenous to India and Thailand and Acacia LLC supplies the two types of Plumeria trees that are most popular in the UAE for landscaping. These are Plumeria Obtusa, which bears white flowers, and Plumeria Rubra, which bears red flowers (see figure 1.1 and 1.2).

Figure 2 Specifcations illustration

accent trees to inform their suitability for landscaping projects. The BS 3936 :1992 3936 11:1992 criterion is a very valuable standard for avenue trees but cannot be similarly applied to accent trees. Hence, under the guidance of Mr Naser Ahmed, Acacia LLC has devised its own set of specifications for both Plumeria trees and Olive trees. For Plumeria trees, the parameters are:

1. 1 Stem Stemgirth girth 2. Number of branches (minimum) 3. Overall height 4. Container size (see figures 2, 3 and Table 1)

Figure 3 Plumeria Obtusa


I trees

1. Girth measured at 30 cm above nursery line. 2. Minimum number of branches - 3 3. Clear trunk - 30 to 50 cm. Table 1 SpeciďŹ cations of specimen Plumeria trees

Plumeria owers are well known for their fragrance and blossom in early summer. Plumeria trees, themselves, are well suited to the local climate. They are resilient trees which

Acacia LLC nurseries - Dubai, UAE


Figure 4 Plumeria Obtusa Tree

can withstand the harsh summers of the gulf and require minimal maintenance, all of which make the Plumeria tree an ideal ornamental tree for the GCC.

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I sustainable landscape

Inverell’s town centre transformed with healthy street trees and sustainable infrastructure By: Joe Gooden The town of Inverell is nestled in a picturesque valley near the Macintyre River in northern New South Wales. Renowned for its proud pioneering history, beautiful restored buildings, boutique shopping and cultural endeavours, it’s also the centre of the Inverell Shire. In 2014, Inverell Shire Council adopted an ambitious plan to rejuvenate the town centre. As well as making it more attractive, more functional and more profitable for local businesses, the plan sought to replace the old London Plane Trees that had been inappropriately planted along Otho Street.


In this case study, we explore how Citygreen collaborated with Inverell Shire Council, design consultants King & Campbell and other key stakeholders to revive this site, which is now home to large, healthy trees – and is much loved by the community. Project goals As well as creating a first-class public space for people to live, work, shop and visit, a primary goal of the renewal project was to repair infrastructure on Otho Street. The existing London Plane Trees were poorly planted in concrete pipes, resulting in significant damage.

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As Justin Pay, Civil Engineering Manager from Inverell Shire Council, explained, “Our main goals were to repair damaged infrastructure, replace trees to provide a functional and aesthetically pleasing town centre, and to improve road safety and access for pedestrians.” “It was important to substitute the old Plane Trees with a suitable new species that would deliver high and immediate impact on the street.” Project solutions To enable Council to meet these goals, King & Campbell proposed a permeable pavement in conjunction with a continuous refuge in the centre of Otho Street. The

innovative design allowed for construction of permeable and trafficable pavement over buried modules filled with soil, plus strategic placement of open planting beds for the new Pin Oak trees. According to David Tooby, Urban Designer and Landscape Architect at King & Campbell, this advanced solution combining permeable pavers with a concrete slab is unique to the Inverell project. “We had to devise a way of putting holes in the slab to allow for the delivery of air and water nutrients. We applied one hole per square meter as a means of permitting permeability through the pavement. The solution is unique”, he said.


I sustainable landscape

“Citygreen provided valuable input into structural requirements and advice on the most suitable soil cell systems. The whole system was developed through a collaborative design process between Council, Citygreen, a horticulturalist and King & Campbell”, David added. In terms of the soil cell system, Citygreen’s Stratavault was chosen as it adequately addressed the project goals. Plus, as Justin Pay pointed out, Stratavault was the “most cost-effective solution and simple to install.” Indeed, Stratavault has been specifically designed to achieve major reductions in time and installation costs. Modules snap together, with no zip ties, screws or


ground spikes required, allowing for fast and hassle-free assembly. Stratavault’s outstanding strength, engineered designed and 100% recycled materials also impressed project stakeholders, including David Tooby from King & Campbell. “In my opinion, Citygreen are offering technologies that no other competitors are. I’ve worked with Citygreen on several projects and their soil cell technology goes beyond the capability of structural soil. Citygreen have been instrumental in providing advanced and sustainable solutions for delivering large, healthy, beautiful trees in hard urban environments”, David said.

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“Post construction, there has been an overwhelming amount of positive comment from all stakeholders. So far, the results of the project can only be described as fantastic”, Justin Pay said. David Tooby echoed this view, saying, “Inverell is a very successful project. The detailing is exceptional, the trees have had a high initial impact, and the community is quite enamoured with the result. I can’t commend Council and Citygreen highly enough. It really is a job well done.”

Project challenges Like any project of this scale, there were some challenges involved in the Inverell renewal. The technical obstacles – which included providing adequate water, drainage, growing matrixes and pavement support – were overcome with thoughtful design, together with Citygreen’s technology and service. “Given that Council had not used Stratavault before, we were unsure about its application. Citygreen were great at explaining the process, outlining the benefits of the system, and providing examples of previous work for us to review and evaluate. Throughout the entire process – from inception, design and construction – Citygreen always made themselves available to answer questions and provide information to ensure that we achieved the required outcomes”, said Justin Pay from Council. In addition to the technical challenges, the project posed some further obstacles – mostly around community support. Council advised that the project received significant negative push back during the initial planning stages. David Tooby confirmed this view, saying “The masterplan was controversial. The community was worried about the impacts relating to parking and traffic manoeuvrability.” However, despite the community’s initial concerns, construction ran smoothly through the project. And, since opening in May 2018, the results of the project speak for themselves. Project outcomes By all accounts, the Otho Street project is an outstanding success. Since the renewal, the streets are buzzing, and local businesses are thriving. Plus, more people than ever are enjoying the lively Inverell atmosphere.


I wild nature


wild nature By: Jimena Martignoni Las Liebres (The Hares) is a medium-size development whose central park is not that of a typical design; extending for 600 meters and with a width of only 17 meters this space unfolds as a pedestrian green strip made up only of ornamental grasses. The bucolic image of this linear area, uncommon for these kinds of projects, immediately connects with a visual representation of the wild landscape of the pampas. When walking this long piece, framed by some almost two-meter


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high clusters of plants, the visitor feels immersed into a different atmosphere where local nature takes charge with no effort. The proposal for a linear central park was a design decision made in early stages by the architects and planners. Later, landscape architect Clara Billoch —a local specialist in flower and grasses production and garden design— thought about grasses as the most suitable option for this space. In the first place, she decided not to add any large trees because that would mean casting dense shadows over the rear yards of the lots; with lots covering areas between 650 and

1,000 m2, most of their rear yards face the linear park. In order to get the most sun she incorporated the large clusters of grasses. Another much relevant reason for the use of grasses and some herbaceous perennials were the soil and irrigation conditions. Originally the area was a low-lying piece of land which was filled, therefore soil general conditions are not the greatest. As for an irrigation plan, the project was thought out as a very low-maintenance one. In this sense, few plants compare to ornamental grasses; with a very high draught tolerance and strength to bear a wide range of conditions plus the nearly nonstop performance and visual impact, these tough and eye-catching plants became perfect for the site. But more reasons stand behind this decision. Billoch explains that grasses don’t need staking or pruning and even more interesting they spread alone and extends rapidly. In this case, about 10,000 had to be planted at the 10,200m2-site, a number which would have meant a very high initial budget only for plants. Instead, she took care of the plants’

production. “I got something like 3,000 mother plants and split each one of them into three other plants” — she says— “After a year I had produced the complete plant supply we needed for the park.” The planting design relies on the use of curves and free flowing forms. The soft and subtle curves which were marked in situ by the designer, at both sides of the central strip, make up an essentially organic composition. When Billoch talks about the functional and formal aspects of the layout of the park, she strengthens the idea of intimacy. “We wanted to create a strong sense of intimacy for both people passing by and walking along the central area and for the homes and private yards”, she says. And then she adds: “At the same time, the only way to have a visual impact which would be in line with the overall scale of the site, was by grouping the plants in large clusters extending for eight or ten meters”.


I wild nature These clusters display a wide variety of grasses. Penissetum prioritis, Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Panicum antidotale (blue panic grass), Penissetum villosum (feathertop grass), Miscanthus gracillimus (maiden grass) and Vetiveria zinaniodes (vetiver) being the most important. In addition, the Salvia leucantha (Mexican bush sage) is an herbaceous plant which adds bluish and purple hues to the brownish and golden iconic color palette of the grasses. Here and there, some isolated groups of existing trees mostly native dot the space and produce a formal counterpoint to the large masses of plants. This natural setting generates the ideal conditions for the preservation of wildlife, like hares of course, and bird habitat. As a sign of this benefit, a funny little creature appears all over the place; locally known as “tero”, the southern lapwing is a well-known resident of the region which has become a regular visitor to the park. In regard to the architectural plan, the club house is located on the northwest side of the linear park. The simple and modern lines of the architecture contrast with the gently sloped greenscape and the building overlooks the park and the swimming-pool, situated right below. At the opposite side of the building, a small access courtyard offers a welcoming area that precedes that of the park. With a symmetrical layout and planted with medium-size trees and some borders of yellow wild iris (Dietes bicolor), this space seems to modestly announce the park behind. Completing the master plan, an additional piece of land makes room for a set of three-story dorms. Framed by boxwood and small trees, an intimate communal garden offers a pleasant spot for temporary residents here. Two shallow pools add a refreshing image to this patio while acting as a water reservoir for fire protection. In the end, Las Liebres is the result of the combination of an unpretentious master plan and a well-planned landscape design which preserves and protects nature’s balance. This is especially evident in the central park: where the large number of plants is well-suited to the existing conditions and consequently requires a low input of energy (labor and products); where the plants’ selection and arrangement creates connections with the living environment and answers the needs of local wildlife; where the cultural character of the region is embraced and chosen over fancy manicured alien images.


Location: Garín, Buenos Aires, Argentina Landscape Designer: Clara Billoch Master Plan and architecture: Estudio Semaco (Robirosa and Iglesias Molli, Architects) Area: 42 hectares. Area of the central park: 10,200 m2 (600 x 17m) Date of completion: first stage 2009; last stage 2014 Photography: Clara BillochJimena Martignoni

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I book review

Books of interest Visual Communication for Landscape Architecture ISBN-13: 978-2940496013 Paperback: 208 pages Publisher: AVA Publishing (28 Mar 2013) Language: English Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16 x 2 cm Price: 156.00

Books Description Visual Communication for Landscape Architecture demonstrates not only how and where a range of visual communication skills are needed to inform a design

Construction And Design Manual: Drawing ISBN: 9789814523196 Hardcover: 232 pages Publisher: PAGE ONE PUBLISHING PTE LTD Language: ENGLISH Product Dimensions: 230x286x32 Price: 252.00

Books Description Few other professions can match landscape architecture’s requirement graphically to represent and communicate so much content and so many ideas. From large-scale masterplans and strategic visions, design concepts and outdoor experiences, to specific vegetation and precise construction details - at some point everything has to be explained on

The Living Landscape

ISBN-13: 978-1604694086 Hardcover: 352 pages Publisher: Timber Press (3 July 2014) Language: English Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 21.8 x 3.6 cm Price: 172.00

process, but also why they are essential in order to make presentations both informative and memorable. It illustrates how representational techniques can be sensitively applied in different contexts appropriate to a diverse range of design challenges, and encourages experimentation with contemporary techniques, both 2D and 3D. Developing a professional but creative design portfolio is explored in relation to creating e-portfolios and websites. A total of 12 contemporary case studies enable readers to contextualize the methods and techniques explored in each chapter through exploring real-life examples of winning projects by successful landscape architecture practices, making this title an inspirational resource for both budding - and practicing - landscape architects. paper. This handbook focuses on two areas which, even in the age of digital media, are still staples of the profession: orthographic projections and blackline drawings. Intended to be both instructional and inspirational, this book covers the basics of landscape architectural representation, hand drawing and sketching in an easy to understand way, encouraging readers to draw their ideas and develop their own graphic language and style. Showcased in these pages are many drawings from international landscape architecture offices offering practical guidance and numerous examples in key thematic areas: • Basics of orthographic and parallel projections • Introduction to drawing tools, applications and effects • Symbols in different scales, styles and abstraction levels • Drawing perspectives: constructed and free-hand • Basic principles for layout and lettering

Books Description Combining the talents of an outstanding horticulturist and designer with the ground-breaking research of a leading scientist, ‘The Living Landscape’ will inspire readers to create a home landscape that performs many essential functions, including providing beauty, maintaining environmental integrity, and, most importantly, providing shelter and sustenance for a wide variety of wildlife

With its headquarter in Tokyo, Japan and world class stores spread over countries like America, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan and now in DUBAI – UAE, Kinokuniya is a globally known book seller of repute. The store in Dubai Mall is a massive 68,000 square feet wide paragon book gallery which stocks more than half a million books and thousand magazines in English, Arabic, Japanese, French, German and Chinese at any given time. The Store is also a distinct cross cultural hub wide range of time to time multicultural events such a comic art demonstrations, language learning workshops, book launches etc. The pleasant ambiance, stenographic design and add to it the impressive view of modern skyline – world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, Kinokuniya at The Dubai Mall is just the place to evoke emotions and add pleasure to your book shopping. You may like to visit our website for more information.


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Following on from the interesting experiences of 2015 and 2017 and 2018, Arcoplan Associates is launching the next event of WA Platform, the International Workshop on Waste Architecture / Waste Management in Landscape and Urban Areas conceived as a parallel event of Sardinia 2019, 17th International Waste Management and landfill Symposium, to be held from 30th September to 4th October 2019 with an extimated attendance of 800 delegates from tens of different countries worldwide. The Workshop consolidates for this third edition a stimulating partnership making the Sardinia Symposium the ideal context in which to discuss Architecture and Waste in an international setting amongst not only environmental experts, but also architects, landscape architects, urban planners, etc‌ Waste Architecture is a new and relatively unexplored conceptual and design topic which promises to give rise to a lively debate between environmental professionals, architecture and urban design experts.


The Workshop will be held at Forte Village Resort on 1-2 October 2019. The first day will be devoted to the presentation of oral contributions organised in thematic sessions lasting 90 minutes, followed by opportunities for discussion and debate. On the second day a practical landscape design lab session will be coordinated by professionals in the field. Participants will have the opportunity to apply the theoretical notions learnt during the introductory lesson to an actual case study promoted by a company, and to exchange views and opinions with colleagues and experts as part of a working team. The workshop will be coordinated by tutors who will guide each group in the elaboration of a final concept for the valorisation and/or requalification of the proposed facility.


Authors wishing to take part in the oral sessions should submit their papers no later than 15th June 2019. Researchers, professionals and experts in the field are invited to submit their proposal on one or more of the following topics: 1. Waste architecture and landscaping / Requalification of landfills 2. Waste Architecture and industrial buildings / Architecture of buildings for waste treatment (incinerators, composting plants, etc‌) 3. Waste Architecture and urban areas Architectural and technical aspects in planning municipal waste treatment and collection systems (waste separation areas, separation and collection facilities, recycling plants) The official language of the Workshop is English and all papers must therefore be written and presented in English. The official languages of the practical design lab are English and Italian. Authors wishing to take part in the oral sessions should submit their full papers no later than 15th June 2019.

For further details or enquiries on the Workshop please contact the Organising Secretariat: EUROWASTE Srl / via Beato Pellegrino, 23 35137 Padova / or visit the Workshop website: 49

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25 November 2019 at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai 54

Profile for Landscape Middle East

June 2019  

TIME FOR CHANGE We often hear the word sustainable touted in various landscape articles but is it enough for our landscape designs to be su...

June 2019  

TIME FOR CHANGE We often hear the word sustainable touted in various landscape articles but is it enough for our landscape designs to be su...