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20 1 7 P O R T F OLI O lands c a p e a r c hi t e ct u r e TH I R D YE A R L EE B U R R E LL


who am i? I, Lee Burrell, am currently enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pretoria.

In one of our first lectures in Earth Studies, our lecturer said something along the lines of “our paradigm needs to become one not of doing less bad, but rather doing more good to the world�. Immediately I knew this is where I was meant to be. Nature in itself is the most ideal form of design. Plants and trees are holistic within themselves, and incorporating and designing with these incredible creatures to create an environment to improve societies connections to one another, and back to nature, while simultaneously combating the ever rising carbon footprint, is a magical experience. I work extremely hard to learn as much as I can in my subjects, particularly ones regarding sustainability and plant sciences. Earlier this year my hard work was rewarded with an invitation to join the Golden Key society.

The crisis of humanity and sustainability crisis are intrinsically connected. Our virtual world has mechanized individuals resulting in a total loss of any sense of self, or world, without which there is no basis to form views on political, economic, and cultural world issues. True sustainability implies long term viability. (Buchanan, 2005) In a world of economy-driven consumerism and egocentric individualism, the manifestation of these human intentions has resulted in a built architecture which has the unintended consequence of mechanical repetition and a loss of community. I believe landscape architecture has the ability to restore the connection of man and nature as well as man and culture. In doing so, these immersive experiences could result in a development of a new respect for the systems that support urban life, resulting in a meaningful space unquantifiable to our lived experiences.

nor mati ve posi tion

I am desperate to make a change in the world paradigm regarding how the environment is viewed and how it should function. I am passionate about my degree, and I always have been passionate about achieving and learning in the various aspects of landscape architecture prior to university: art, mathematics, science and biology. I received the Mathematics and Art prize in my matric year, and achieved high distinctions in those as well as for Science, Applied Maths, and Biology. In 2014, I was granted a scholarship to study Civil Engineering at UCT. I was under the impression that the world was guiding me towards this choice, hoping that despite my love for creativity and culture, that the knowledge of the Engineering would be of more value in achieving my dream of a more sustainable future. I quickly learned that a life which is not wholly enriched in culture, art and holistic living was not for me and made the move back in land to Pretoria to pursue my passion.


2001-2013: Grade 0-12 completed at Kingsmead College Matriculated with 6 distinctions in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics , Mathematics Paper 3, Science, Art, and Biology Recieved the Fine Art prize Full Cultural Colours Full Academic Colours Half Athletics Colours Leadership positions: House leader, Head of Photography and Press; Athlethics Captain 2013-2014: Completed and passed first year Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town Entrance scolarship 2014-2017: Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pretoria Entrance scholarship Joined Golden Key in 2017 2016: Completed my Diploma in Photoshop with Shaw Academy

wo r k

Worked as waitress at Slug & Lettuce for 4 months in 2014 Started Lee Burrell Photography in 2014, which is still active.

Faerie Glen Nature Reserve: Ecological Design: 4 Hatfield Pocket Park: 10 Garden of Meaning: 16 Urban Design Framework: 20 Trevenna Urban Park: 24 History of the Environment: 33 Environmental Studies: 35 Earth Studies: 37 Construction: 39 Plant Sciences: 41



ecological sensitive design Ecological Planning Ecological planning studies the interaction between people and the natural environment. It is concerned with interpretation, analysis and formulation of design policies, guidelines and plans to ensure and enhance the quality of the environment. This specialisation focuses on the suitability of the site for development through the process of analysing the site’s ecological features and the needs of the community. Landscape Development Framework The framework will focus on the physical arrangement of built and natural elements of the greater site. The framework exercise involves planning the park at a variety of scales. At sub-regional scale, it must first connect with its surrounding environment and these linkages must be clearly expressed. At site scale the planning/design involves the orderly, efficient, aesthetic and ecologically sensitive integration of man-made objects with the site’s natural features including geology, topography, vegetation, drainage, water, wildlife, and climate. Sensitive design proposals will produce a development that minimises environmental impacts costs and adds value to the site and meets the needs (as defined in your study) of the people who will use the park. Detail Ecological Design of site programme elements Ecological design is defined by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as “any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes.” It is an integrative ecologically responsible design process demonstrating the understanding of the relationships, systems and interactions linking biotic and abiotic components. Following from the site sensitivity mapping and framework exercise, a sketch plan and detail design is required. Select least three of the programmed activities contained in the Framework. One of these designs should include a deck (timber or any other appropriate material). The designs must be functionally competent and spatially expressed such that the ‘logic’ (idea / concept) of the plan is clear and legible. Detailing needs to refer to function as well as the overriding philosophy that has been established for the framework area and your site specifically. Materials choice and elegant yet comfortable designs are major considerations.


The design allows the landscape to be hidden or revealed depending on the water level. Particularly, the eroded parts along the river have been replaced with sloping riparian vegetation and edges, increading the rivers carrying capacity. More over, a series of pond and retention facilities act as a flood attenuation structures and filters for storm water and grey water pumped in from the residential areas. This water is then used in the hydroponic nursery and then pumped out into the various manicured green spaces in the surrounds

The vegetation has chosen with respect to the various function based habitats in the less developed areas. In the more developed areas the vegetation has been chosen to improve the experience of each space. In the floral plateau, as an example, the plantings are used to excite the senses along the terraces.

A simple water colour sketch illustrating the water feature, which runs throughout the site along the boardwalk as an interactive, educational demonstration wetland, falling through into the central, axial reflecting pool.

The adjacent drawings were done to illustrate the construction elements involved in the deck, as well as its context.

Habitat preservation zone

Conservational education zone

Active zone




This sketch plan done was of the more active node of the site, functioning as an urban park with a strong emphasis on education sustainability. A gradient of active to passive was achieved through narrowing pathways, creating a complex network of pathways, edging the native wild flower beds and woodland beds. The pathways terraced down towards the wetland. The lower terraces used mesh to allow for the seasonal changes in the river, and allow for vegetation to grow without eliminating all the light. The deck looks over the wetland. The views are guided with information boards, informing users of the processes and vegetation used to treat the water. These boards are repeated throughout the nature reserve for signage on hiking trails, routes, points of interest and educational elements.


This sketch plan was the “conservation zone� of my site. The structures on site programmatically addressed sustainability solutions towards a progressive nature park. The user would enter the site through the new access route, terminating in the parking lot in front of the Information Centre. The storm water monitored and cleansed with bioswales off of the parking lot, so as to ensure the run off would not erode the natural vegetation. The Information Centre provided spaces for a co-working environment, inviting users to learn and expand on their ecological knowledge. Additionally, the reception provided for the sales of the excess plants from the adjacent hydroponics farm, which primary function was to sustainably grow plants to regenerate the landscape to ensure that the habitats were supporting the maximum biodiversity possible. The co-working environment spilled out into a hypostyle of Ochna pulchra species, framing the axial water feature which terminated into the flood attenuation swamp. The southern building functions as a seed bank and green house, allowing not only for the production and harvesting of native species, but also providing a research space for the scientific investigation of the plant physiology.


hatfield pocket park Hatfield Park The project consisted of the initial research task of exploring the Hatfield site within its urban context and its connection to the Tuks campus. Then, a pocket park was to be designed that belonged within the surrounding environment. Thus I developed a park with the concept of ‘Circuit Breaker’. A site in which the constant buzz and electricity of Hatfield could be broken, allowing the students an escape and a chance to disconnect from the world driven by virtuality, and reconnect to themselves and nature. The park was developed with principles from zen gardens while simultaneously creating micro-pockets for interaction and dialogue in semi-private niches.


The land use is that typical of a dense urban environment. The high amount of surrounding student residences allows for a very specific target market which will result in a more focussed and successful space. There are few green spaces in Hatfield, thus a clear need for nature was identified. Additionally, a link to campus would allow for a more coherent space for students to navigate.



garden of meaning The challenge is to design a garden inspired by an ‘issue’ of your choice. The garden must interpret, on your chosen site, this idea in landscape architectural form. There are many gardens / places around the world that have been designed with a particular meaning in mind. These places usually elicit a particularly memorable experience – think of a powerful ‘landing’ experience – where the project might be apprehended with wonderment and curiosity … a place that makes you want to inquire and explore further. Why is this place special? What is it about the design that ‘holds my curiosity’? What is the story of the place? I chose to deal with my mind as a female with ADD. This meant I create a garden of exploration and wild impossiblities juxtaposed with the “straight and narrow” path which leads to the instituionalised mind.



urban design framework We were to design an urban design framework for the Trevenna & surrounds area in order to position our final individual assignment in the larger context. My group divided the area into 5 main nodes as pictured on the left. Additionally, smaller interventions to declutter the streets, increase safety and provide ecosystem services through sustainable infrastructure were implemented to create a safe and unified cityscape.

Our design was designed around 5 main zones, connected by green corridors along the road islands, and through using the current blue ways as conduits of movement, not only of humans, but also biodiversity. Thus the corridors created connection from place to place, connection to community and connection to nature.


Derelict spaces are transformed from parking lots into spaces which encourage pedestrian and cyclist transport, thus creating more active, safe nodes for community development and increased sustainability.

Sense of identity and pride is created through art pieces, mainly drawing from apartheid resistance time. This will serve as a reminder of the resilience of the South African people, bringing pride and heritage to the people, and with that a sense of belonging and stewardship. Way finding is encouraged throughout the city through unified vegetation, mainly with selected indigenous, iconic street trees, namely the Vachellia xanthophloea and the Celtis africana. Biodiversity, storm water management, water recharge and aesthetics are improved upon through the retrofitting of bioswales and raingardens. These will also encourage safe crossings as they dictate movement more so than hardscaping.

A rendering done by me illustrating principles of the multimodal transport hub which would be placed at all major nodes of the design. Features include bike rental, ablutions, solar power charging devices, and a small take away stall. Seating would be provided in cases where it could be used in road cut aways for taxi stops.


final assignment: trevenna urban park The aim of the project is to design what currently is a derelict piece of land, into a place that is responsive to the context (environmentally and culturally) and which integrates with and gives identity to the people living in Trevenna and Sunnyside. The park must ‘fit’ into and be connected to its surrounding environment, responding to urban design, climatic, heritage and other physical and contextual realities of the site The challenge is to design a garden inspired by an ‘issue’ of your choice. The garden must interpret, on your chosen site, this idea in landscape architectural form. I chose the issue of intersectional feminism, and thus dealt with it with the concept of a MatriPark. A park with a small sector exclusively for women & children to allow for refuge from domestic abuse, violence or daily oppressions. The permeable perimeter of the therapeutic garden barriers the enabling garden, thereby empowering women at the spectacle of the public, thereby instilling a sense of respect into the public for these women.



The taxi rank is saturated with chauvinistic misogynistic cat-callers who take pride in making women feel uncomfortable and vulneranle. The oppression of women is extremely evident in urban South African culture. This needs to stop.

These men do not have a defined identity. The city takes that away from you whenyou become a part of. Some parts of you become almost mechanical.



history of the environment ASSIGNMENT Following the selection of precedents and initial desktop investigation, you are now required to analyse each precedent comprehensively with the focus on critical interpretation and design relevance. Further research should deepen the student’s historical and spatial understanding of selected precedents and from there the focus should shift towards complex architectural interpretation of both the precedents and the design exam project and the consistent communication of both in the prescribed format. The analysis should pay attention to the continuity and connections between precedents and the relevance of analytical methods and graphical communication must be considered with reference to the intentions of the design exam project. The investigation should engage with the typological, technical, spatial or contextual characteristics of the precedents over time and in so doing enable the design exam project to be positioned in terms of its continuity of disciplinary knowledge but also as a critical argument for further evolution. The final product required for this assignment will be a series of three A1 posters containing predominantly graphical content. The first two posters will present the four case studies while the third poster, using the same graphical language, will present the design exam project as if it was the 5th case study in the series


environmental studies

Each student is to prepare a document that summarizes how and what theory has influenced their designs / framework for the main studio (exam) project. The document: • Will be properly referenced and annotated with diagrams and images; • State the theories / theorists that have informed your design and why these are appropriate as point of departure; • Illustrate through annotated graphics how you have applied the principles inherent in the theory;



construction The area of the landscape to be documented will be determined individually. An area must be chosen were a breadth of technical issues can be explored and resolved, including: • Different surfaces and materials • Elevation differences • Water elements • Exterior furniture • Exterior lighting • Storm water management • Fixings • Finishes


plant sciences CONTEXT After studying a plant community and proposing one for your specific site you need to develop a plant strategy and design for your ONT 302 design site. Make sure your native plant community underpin and inspire the selection of the ornamental species chosen ASSIGNMENT a) Develop a sound planting design that is aesthetically, socially, environmentally and technically appropriate, in conjunction with your ONT 302 Assignment. (It is important that the knowledge acquired through assignment 1 is carried over into the rationale of assignment 2 proposal). b) You need to incorporate one of the following elements in your design 1) a constructed wetland 2) a green wall or 3) a roof garden 4) erosion control and (possibly river edge) stabilization of embankments. c) Additional to presenting the above, hand in a technically correct planting design plan with planting specifications and bill of quantities for your sketchplan area.



Lee Burrell - Landscape Architecture Portfolio  

My final year portfolio (2017) of my Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pretoria.

Lee Burrell - Landscape Architecture Portfolio  

My final year portfolio (2017) of my Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pretoria.