Pro Landscaper February Urban Issue

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LEADER

Welcome to the February issue of Pro Landscaper Africa February is our urban issue, focusing on the public realm and spaces that make up our bustling cities. In a world post pandemic, this concept of urban space is being challenged -now more than ever -and reviewed, with emphasis on green, sustainable infrastructure and mixed-use inner-city developments that actively better the lives of their communities. From public parks to green corridors, promenades, plazas and community spaces, we look at both locally successful projects as well as international projects to highlight concepts around the urban environment. We focus our ‘Space Studies’ on two successful public developments for South Africa, one being the Durban Point Promenade and one being Jewel City. We look at the successful redevelopment and community context of Paterson Park and interview Baz-Art, a local NPO working with local and international artists to transform urban spaces through contemporary commissioned art! We also host features by some incredible collaborators, on city relevant design and ideas on a city post pandemic. There are so many valuable conversations to be had around water and sanitation in this arena, as well as density and the ever-increasing homelessness in our cities, and we hope this issue is a catalyst for some discussion around numerous topics we wish to cover throughout the year ahead. Enjoy the read

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FEA T

CONTENTS UR

ES

07 – Tree Planting in Urban Settings

By Yes& Studio

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– City Leadership in a

Post-Covid World By Rashiq Fataar, Our Future Cities

19 - A Vision for 2030 on

the Champs Élysées By PCA-Stream

SPACE

DIES

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By Hashim Tarmahomed

– Jewel City: An Urban Space Study By Georg van Gass and Jacques Pansegrouw, Gass Architecture Studios

36 – Durban Point Promenade:

A Landscaping Perspective By IYER and Leitch Landscapes

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An Interview with Baz-Art Local NPO supporting street art across Africa P O RT F O

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Paterson Park By KH Landscape Architects New Urban & Circleworx OS

U ST

The Largest Human Chain – By SAYPE

LI

24 - Architects Journal

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Get the job done with – Our top picks for urban projects

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Summer Pests in Mixed-use – and Urban Areas By Nicolette Ford, Bugs and Sparks

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CONDITION 1

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“PLANT AS MANY TREES AS POSSIBLE”

By Amy Thompson and Rhuben Jacobs, Yes& Studio “Plant as many trees as possible” is the call within the recently released City of Cape Town’s ‘Best Practice Guidelines: Trees’ document produced by the Green Infrastructure Programme – and we agree. Planting more trees in our city has many social, ecological and economic benefits. Trees increase biodiversity, provide shade and reduce heat, slow stormwater runoff and the reduce long-term infrastructure costs of the city and surrounds as well as providing a positive human scale to buildings, creating spaces for people to enjoy and, as a result, increasing property values. Trees in our urban areas clearly have a large role to play in making Cape Town a resilient city that can adapt to climate change. But finding sufficient space to plant trees is often a luxury in Cape Town’s dense urban environments. We have come across challenges to including trees on almost all our projects, and as a result have come up with this mini toolkit of responses.

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CONDITION 1 – TREES ALONG NARROW SIDEWALKS Typically, these conditions can be described as having a narrow pedestrian sidewalk tightly positioned between a building façade and busy city street creating a somewhat inhospitable environment for those passing through the city by foot. Vehicles either drive close to the sidewalk or park in long rows along the kerb, and often we encounter building façades with little to no openings that create a vertical barrier. Tree planting is a great way to overcome and improve these conditions, but including trees can often encroach on already limited space and if a sidewalk is already too narrow then planting a tree may not be the best option. It is important to ensure an unobstructed walkway of 1.5m for pedestrians, where it is not possible to include 1m for street trees within the existing sidewalk, planted kerb extensions or “bump outs” can be considered. Narrow sidewalks are also often overcluttered with street furniture

and services, incorporating these items in the same zone as the tree planting can alleviate the clutter on the sidewalk and create a better pedestrian environment. Apart from providing shade and shelter, trees in these conditions will help separate vehicles and the road from the pedestrian sidewalk, creating a safer and far more welcoming space. The type, size and position of the trees will depend on several site specific conditions. Branches tend to grow into the street or toward the building façade over time or have root systems that start to push up sidewalks. It’s therefore important to select tree species with longer, slender structures and non-invasive root system that are easy to prune and maintain. CONDITION 2 – TREES FOR STORMWATER MANAGEMENT Urban contexts are dominated by hard impermeable surfaces and rainfall is generally unable to infiltrate naturally back into the


F E AT U R E

water table leading to a high percentage of stormwater runoff, placing immense pressure on the city’s existing stormwater systems. Planting enough trees in urban spaces can significantly reduce runoff volumes, minimise flooding and stormwater pollution and potentially save the city money by minimising the use of engineered stormwater systems.

CONDITION 3 – TREES AND SERVICES Like most streets in the city, services and other underground infrastructural systems are generally located beneath pedestrian sidewalks. This poses a real challenge for landscape architects when attempting to plant trees in the city.

A recent study by GreenBlue Urban found that each year, London’s trees intercept 3.5 million cubic metres of rainfall from entering the stormwater system, which is the equivalent of 1,365 Olympic swimming pools.

Some services are positioned very close to the finished surface level of a sidewalk conflicting with the 1m soil depth that trees require to grow comfortably. Oftentimes, the depth and number of services located underneath any particular sidewalk is mostly unknown or undetermined. Early concept designs and landscape drawings require a substantial amount of redesign once this information is made available. It’s best to acquire this information upfront to determine the best locations for tree planting and other landscape features.

In addition to canopy interception, rainwater that soaks into the ground around the tree can be absorbed by the tree’s roots and eventually be released as water vapour through the tree’s leaves in a process known as evapotranspiration. Tree planting for stormwater can be as simple as allowing run off to enter a tree ring rather than creating a barrier kerb edge or sophisticated suds solutions including connected tree trenches.

In some instances, planting trees above services cannot be avoided and it’s in these scenarios where raised tree planters should

be considered. As mentioned before, a tree generally needs about 1m of soil depth to grow comfortably and having a raised ‘tetris block’ planter box that sits just over a metre above the sidewalk creates barriers and unpleasant pedestrian environments. A suitable compromise is identifying areas on the sidewalk where portions can be excavated slightly, leaving a maximum of 0.45m planter wall above the sidewalk level that can be used to create an integrated seating edge. In this way, a portion of the tree’s root ball remains below the finished sidewalk and the remaining portion above. CONDITION 4 – SPATIAL HIERARCHY It’s important to consider trees not only as plants that provide shade and shelter but as essential design elements that help create spatial hierarchy. Typically, drawings of trees planted along streets and sidewalks are drawn coming straight out of the ground plane with paving extending right up to the trunk of the tree. Root depth, soil volume, canopy size, drainage, water infiltration and other technical

CONDITION 2 & 3

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aspects of tree planting are often omitted in the early stages of a design. If the structural and technical requirement of tree planting is acknowledged earlier, designers will discover other opportunities to enhance the spatial quality of an urban street. A notable consideration to accommodate is the flaring of the tree trunk as it grows over time. The base of the tree and its emerging roots will swell or flare and therefore requires a significant portion of the sidewalk space for the excavation of a tree hole filled with soil. This space immediately surrounding the tree should not be considered a part of the permanent walking zone and may include shrubs and groundcovers as an additional means to help protect the health and growth of the tree. These planted strips are very effective at establishing spatial hierarchy within a sidewalk. Spaces can be separated into different specifically designated areas along a street. For example, planted strips help to separate a cycling lane from vehicular traffic or to distinguish main pedestrian avenues from commercial spill-out spaces against a building. CONCLUSION We are seeing many efforts in which the city is aiming to formalise early pragmatic solutions to create better places for pedestrians and cyclists within cities and we are excited to see that there is an overarching focus on creating sustainable walkable streets. GREAT RESOURCES FOR TREE PLANTING City Of Cape Town: Green Infrastructure Programme: Best Practice Guidelines: Trees https://treekeeperscapetown.org.za

CONDITION 3

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CITY LEADERSHIP IN A POST-COVID WORLD How city leaders can navigate the post-Covid world, and thrive By Rashiq Fataar, Our Future Cities

The challenges that lie ahead in the near-future for South African cities and towns are complex, and navigating an economic recovery amid the continuing uncertainty of COVID-19 is no easy task. Despite this, a multitude of opportunities are available for leaders of cities and towns, big and small, to implement strategic and tactical urban interventions to continue to build more inclusive, innovative and resilient urban areas and societies. This article by Our Future Cities, aims to provide inspiration for the path ahead; it distils the complexities of steering cities through this period into five key recommendations for city leaders. Here are five ways that city leaders should be planning ahead:

1. Boost investment into the public realm and spaces The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of public spaces in our cities, and its potential to enhance day-to-day quality of life, especially under different levels of lockdown. A report by the UK Design Council demonstrated

the many benefits of public space, including: increased economic value, positive impacts on mental and physical health, benefits for children and young people, crime reduction and improved safety and security, and other transport and social functions. Public space has positive implications for the overall wellbeing of both the city and its residents.

spilling onto the road. In Wandsworth, London, businesses with access to these 'streateries' reported a 30% increase in turnover compared to the same period in 2019, pre-pandemic. This demonstrates the much-needed benefit to businesses when they are permitted to access streets and public space in which cars are usually prioritised.

During the pandemic, a quality public realm allows for physical distancing while still fostering socialisation, pedestrian mobility and the provision of essential services. A report by UN Habitat notes that the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted key gaps in public space provision; these include: accessibility, flexibility, design, management, maintenance, connectivity and equitable distribution.

South African city leaders have generally failed to test or pilot any such initiatives and must embrace tactical approaches to better utilise public space, to create safer walkable streets and to support businesses in the process.

After the pandemic has passed, public space will continue to play a key part in recovery. Streets In many international cities such as London, San Francisco and Bern, streets have been closed to cars (fully or partially) and instead opened to ‘streateries’ – with cafe and restaurant seating

Parks and open space Open public spaces such as parks have economic, social and environmental value (see Figure 1) making them more than a ‘nice-tohave’, rather a basic necessity, with the ability to improve both mental and physical health for their users. However, access is uneven and many local neighbourhoods do not have sufficient public space available. In many cities, public spaces have either been poorly planned, the first victims prolandscaper.co.za

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Economic Value

Social Value

Environmental Value

Increased economic vitality

Improved quality of life

Reduced pollution (air, noise, water)

Reduced public expenditure on healthcare, urban management

Increased both real and perceived security and safety

Increased ecological diversity

Higher property prices

Promoted social equality and stability

Reduced energy consumption

Attracted human capital

Increased cultural vitality

Increased business confidence

Social integration and civic pride

Figure 1: Economic, social and environmental value of public space. Source: World Bank of urban sprawl, or simply not considered. South African city leaders must call for policies that prioritise greater availability of public space, across all scales. The accessibility and versatility of public spaces will contribute to healthier and more resilient cities for all residents.

2. Accelerate the delivery of quality affordable housing Housing is an essential need and a basic human right. In addition to short-term measures, such as the provision of temporary shelter for the homeless and others in vulnerable positions, a longer-term government response is required to address the inadequate housing conditions prevalent across many South African cities and towns. COVID-19 has both highlighted and exacerbated the housing inequalities in our society, as many lower-income communities have suffered from higher rates of infection. Despite the government’s call for the dedensification of informal settlements into temporary relocation areas (TRAs), as in the case of Du Noon and Kosovo in the Western Cape, this is neither a sustainable nor a viable solution. Parkington Informal Settlement can serve as precedent for an alternative and innovative approach that city leaders can take. Vertical expansion using a multi-story housing design has the potential to effectively double the floor area for housing and free up muchneeded open space. The Empower Shack project serves as another example of a comprehensive and sustainable informal settlement upgrading strategy that city leaders can look to. The project established an interface between residents, professionals and the government, which provided a durable foundation for future informal settlement upgrading.

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Large scale housing delivered by PrivatePublic-Partnerships (PPPs) is an important tool to revive the economy and provide affordable housing. In Rwanda’s Rugarama Park Estate, the construction of a 3000-unit affordable, sustainable housing development is currently underway. Additionally, in Mexico City, leaders plan to invest $1bn and create one million new jobs in the construction sector by redeveloping 13 urban corridors that already have wellestablished transport connections to include new social housing. These large-scale projects provide both economic and social benefits. It is essential that city leaders find ways to incentivise construction work to continue.

3. Support small businesses in the economic recovery Negative economic growth has been a difficult consequence of the pandemic, with local economies suffering in spite of financial support from national governments. City administrators and local governments have a key role to play in ensuring that micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have the strongest platform possible to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis. Some targeted measures that can be implemented include: •

Providing tax breaks, especially for industries that have been severely affected by the pandemic.

Provision of various subsidies to leverage technology. This will improve competitiveness in the SME value chain with the longterm effect of overcoming their scale disadvantage in relation to larger companies.

underestimated and, in some cases, been ignored. These groups have a key role to play in their ability to offer quick and localised responses due to the data available to them, and close proximity to their respective communities.

4. Invest in ‘soft infrastructure’ to strengthen communities

City leaders should invest in soft infrastructure, like community-led networks, which bring together residents from varied backgrounds and build community resilience. An example is the Cape Town Together Community Action Network – a network of 150 Community Action Networks with over 2,000 volunteers – that has demonstrated the impact of local initiatives. The network, which has been active since March 2020, has a database that helps organise non-medical responses within their respective communities. Community Action Network groups have also been initiated in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

‘Soft infrastructure and values play a huge part in healthy neighbourhoods and public spaces.’ Timely and efficient responses to crises by governmental bodies is crucial. However, the scale of the current pandemic and major shocks and stresses to an urban system cannot be tackled through government acting alone. Local community networks have long been

City leaders can also partner with established organisations that have fostered local relationships. Organisations such as Boost Africa have worked with Cape Town’s most vulnerable communities and are best placed to provide information on households which are at particular risk and how to channel food and other essential items to them.

Prioritising SMEs in the greater economic framework. This entails actions such as providing support for back-office services within a given SME. An example in Malaysia is the platform called ‘PlaTCOM Ventures’ which helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into successful businesses.

5. Empower local authorities to deliver a localised response Local governments have a critical role to play in addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the driving force to shape and deliver local response measures. According to one report by Cities for All, a fully participatory response must consider the formulation of inclusive urban policies, legislation, programmes and strategies, capacity building and the collection of data and statistics for implementation. Initiatives such as participatory democracy, digitalisation of services and collaborative governance with both local and other national governments, are just a few of the initiatives that local governments can focus on in the post-pandemic era. Local governments should be supported to respond to the effects of the pandemic. This can substantially reduce the pressures on national resources. GovChat is South Africa’s largest civic engagement platform, with seven million active users. GovChat has allowed for millions of South Africans to apply for the South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant from their mobile phones. In Uganda, initiatives such as the upgrade of water and sanitation prolandscaper.co.za

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"AFTER THE PANDEMIC HAS PASSED, PUBLIC SPACE WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY A KEY PART IN THE RECOVERY." systems, retrofitting public infrastructure and public awareness have been entrusted to local governments as part of the COVID-19 response, with the support of grants and the Local Government Excellence Fund. Local governments should be supported to trial civic tech innovations such as mobile payments

and digitalised traffic fines on a localised scale, working with the community to adopt innovative approaches to governance.

the pandemic has highlighted the exclusionary and unsustainable nature of our cities, it's also revealed a great potential for change in mindset.

The way forward Now is the time for our leadership to act, seize the moment and create transformation in our cities and towns. We suggest that postpandemic urban interventions be concentrated on strategic investment and support within public space, housing, economic recovery, community-building, and a greater emphasis on local knowledge systems and responses. While

One of the key opportunities we have to amplify this change in a meaningful way is to incentivise and invest in greater partnerships between the public and private sector. Reducing red tape and other institutional barriers to private sector development could enable better solutions and enhance collective ownership and belonging in our city spaces. Further, the potential impact of fast-track approval processes for urban development stands to be particularly powerful in the context of the pandemic’s drain on our city resources. Long term, the bringing together of public and private perspectives moves to encourage and uphold the values necessary for sustainable and inclusive urban growth and solutions, and aids in the cultivation of distinctive and resilient urban spaces. The approach of each city or town is of course dependent on the unique challenges faced by each and their relative level of maturity across a range of areas; established levels of humancentricity, safety and security, political stability, infrastructural development, citizen access and engagement, and technological penetration. These will be key in shaping the actions taken by planners, leaders, businesses, investors and residents toward a post-COVID future. At the heart of all interventions should be the understanding that cities and towns must work for the people who live in them, and be inclusive for every part of our society. ABOUT OUR FUTURE CITIES: Our Future Cities specialises in the transformation of cities, communities and spaces. It brings together specialists from various backgrounds – including planners, anthropologists, actuaries, designers and researchers – united by our passion for cities and willingness to engage with urban issues. Director, Rashiq Fataar, is a respected urbanist with a long history of work in the field. This article was led by Rashiq Fataar, with contributions from Bella Tidswell, Emmanuel Ayisi, Sophia Nthuku and Ruby Schalit. www.ourfuturecities.co / rfataar@ourfuturecities.co +27 73 155 0282

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A VISION FOR 2030 ON THE

Champs-Élysées

BY PCA-STREAM


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Urban metabolism: global urban challenge

Besides its architectural practice, PCA has been carrying out cross-disciplinary research activities under the STREAM label for the past 15 years, enabling it to put its vision of architecture and urban planning into perspective and to refine it. This forward-looking approach has, amongst other things, led to developing the notion of the urban metabolism, which the studio aspires to apply to the various scales at which it works, from the building level to the urban level. The concept of urban metabolism encompasses a fresh approach to the city that addresses the challenges of the Anthropocene. Megalopolises create the highest amount of pollution emissions, use of natural resources, and waste generation. Mitigating the environmental impact of the urban fabric in order to keep the ecological footprint of humanity under control is a challenge we have to face together. The urban metabolism monitors physical, energy and mobility flow, thanks to the unprecedented measuring capabilities enabled by data processing, while also following a systemic approach that includes the living and sensory worlds. The urban metabolism reconsiders the traditional layer approach to spatial planning, by working on new relations and “reliances” between these layers. From the re-enchantment to the 2030 vision In 2018, the Comité Champs-Élysées, an organisation that brings together the boulevard’s main public and private stakeholders, invited PCA-STREAM to engage in an initial study, Re-enchanting the Champs-Élysées, which was presented at a conference in April 2019. The studio decided to pursue this further with the Champs-Élysées History & Prospects study, broadening the scope from the local subject-matter of the Champs-Élysées to the future of urban territories – work that formed the basis of an exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in February 2020. A counterpoint to its historical narrative, the idea was to draw up a diagnosis of the Champs-Élysées and to provide prospects for 2030 which seek to connect its local context with the broader issues of our contemporary urban global condition. PCA-STREAM is thus proposing to establish a 10-year programme to undertake novel urban research. This will rely on a cross-disciplinary team of technical experts, researchers from renowned academic institutions (such as MIT, Harvard and SciencesPo), as well as creatives, following an approach that brings together art and science which was developed with STREAM.

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Image credit: Salem Mostefaoui


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The avenue of modern times The Champs-Élysées is the most prestigious stretch of the major historical artery that extends over 8km from the Louvre to the Grande Arche of La Défense. It retraces 350 years of history in an alignment of celebrated monuments and the grand urban layout that has brought fame to French urban planning. This monumental statement of power belies a more literary and romantic history of rich outdoor parties, leafy promenades, follies, and cabarets. Its multifaceted history, which can be traced back to Louis XIV, provides invaluable insights into the Western world’s modern adventure, starting in the 18th century and influenced by the Cartesian worldview separating mankind and nature. The Champs-Élysées, which came into existence during this period, has been a global showcase for more than three centuries, acting as a “zero milestone” of modernity that became a place of pride for Paris and France. The study therefore also investigates the remedies to the ills of Western modernity in the very place where it began. Unloved by Parisians: the flip side of modernity Nowadays, the falling out between Parisians and the avenue is largely inarguable. Analysis of figures for pedestrian traffic provides a measure of the extent of this unhappy relationship: two-thirds of all pedestrians strolling along the Champs-Élysées are tourists (68%), the overwhelming majority of which comes from abroad (more than 85%). Parisians now only amount to 5% of these pedestrians. Such malaise ultimately results from a broken promise, that of

an ever-better future and a permanent triumph of progress. Since its inception, the ChampsÉlysées has offered the scene of the conquest of nature with its painstakingly artificialised and urbanised fields. In the day and age of the Anthropocene, the reasons why the boulevard is rejected by Parisians (overtourism, traffic, pollution, overconsumption, impervious surfaces), resonate surprisingly well with their growing concern over the state of the planet. The local syndrome thus leads us to the global diagnosis: being concerned with one of these means addressing the other. A four-pronged action plan A “hyperplace” in its upper stretch and a “hypervoid” in its lower stretch, the ChampsÉlysées displays pathological urban conditions that are opposing, yet complementary, and the territory must be viewed as a whole, following the model of the urban metabolism. PCA-STREAM's vision proposes to draw on the symbolic power of the Champs-Élysées to bring onboard the best talent in the country, from both the public and private sectors, and to turn the avenue into an urban demonstrator of a sustainable, desirable and inclusive city. To do so, the hyperplace must be subdued and the hypervoid must be re-invigorated, acting on the five urban strata of our model: nature, infrastructure, mobilities, uses, and the built environment. The action plan focuses on four operational priorities with measurable effects: reducing the impact of urban mobilities, rethinking nature as an ecosystem, inventing new uses, and utilising data.

Subduing the hyperplace The overall vision for the district located between the Champs-Élysées roundabout and the Arc de Triomphe builds up the quality of use over a period of 10 years through the reduction of nuisances (noise, heat, car traffic) and improving comfort (such as air quality and spaces given back to pedestrians). The Étoile intersection is reinvented as a public plaza geared towards tourists and Parisians who come to contemplate the Arc de Triomphe. On the avenue, the promenade experience makes a comeback and flâneurs will be able to stroll up and down the historic boulevard in an atmosphere greatly improved by the reduction in motor traffic. Reducing traffic lanes will be carried out without penalising Parisians given the ongoing changes in traffic trends and can be tried out and introduced incrementally. Planted 'living rooms' will offer spaces to take breaks, and a unified, magnified and newly efficient ground level, associated with traffic lane reduction, makes it easy for pedestrians to cross over to the other side of the avenue to take advantage of new services. Re-enchanting the hypervoid The gardens and the port of the ChampsÉlysées, which are nowadays all but forgotten by Parisians, have extraordinary potential for new green spaces and to offer a place of experience and contemplation. On the lower end of the avenue, the same interventions uniforming the ground level are carried out, with the creation of an intermediate promenade featuring numerous catering kiosks. In order to prolandscaper.co.za

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address a constraint in terms of the insertion of landscaping, they can be assembled following a variety of versatile typologies. In the gardens, now newly accessible and freed from the nuisances brought about by car traffic, an exciting programme is rolled out based around fine cuisine, sports, well-being, arts and sciences, with playgrounds to accommodate families and children. A varied range of plants augments the biodiversity using species that are adapted to climate warming and which provide shade and freshness to pedestrians all remaining in keeping with Alphand’s original design. Thanks to new pathways and the covering of the tunnel feeder road, the gardens can be extended to the Seine. A vision for 2030 The vision to re-invigorate and beautify the Champs-Élysées by 2030 relies on numerous different partners within its location (museums, theatres, restaurants, etc.) to bring it to fruition, and invites new protagonists to contribute to PCA-STREAM's goal. It proposes pooling the expertise and resources of all public and private stakeholders to turn the Champs-Élysées into an example of excellence, an urban laboratory bringing together researchers and creatives in order to create more sustainable, desirable and inclusive cities. Initial studies provide tangible ways to assess the impact of actions in relation to these three objectives and a baseline assessment prepared with partners shows promising results, though it will have to be expanded upon and updated. The urban transformations which will be necessary to address today’s planetary challenges cannot be simply decreed in a ‘topdown manner’ anymore: everybody must be able to take them up as part of an experiment of responsible co-design. Furthermore, the production of the city must increasingly look to forms of partnerships in which the private sector is involved and contributes its fair share in the mitigation of externalities that have been all but disregarded to this date. Sharing the costs of the creation of common spaces is already happening in other European capitals, and financial, property or industrial partners are ready to get involved in the co-production of this urban transformation alongside the City of Paris. The Champs-Élysées, a French national symbol, could thus take a bold and innovative approach in the modalities and financing of our living environment, reassuming its position as an inspiration for new models of urban living. Image perspectives by: PCA-STREAM

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ARCHITECT'S JOURNAL

ARCHITECT'S JOURNAL: HAMBANI KAHLE

Re-imagining Avalon Cemetery as a Space for Social Integration

Axonometric view of design intervention

By Hashim Tarmahomed, Master of Architecture (Professional) graduate at the University of the Witwatersrand 2020 and winner of the 34th Annual Corobrik Regional Architecture Award The project is born out of a personal reflection of navigating a post-apartheid urban space as a person of colour. I am an inheritor of generational displacement. Following my grandparents’ migration from India, my family settled in parts of Natal and the highveld platteland before moving to Johannesburg, where they lived in the legendary suburb of Fietas. I was born post-1994 in Lenasia, a ghost of the tragic erasure of non-white life from the city of gold. On a landscape embedded with the layers of displacement, dispossession, erasure and marginalisation, this architectural process is a metaphor of an archaeological study, reading the social relations embedded on the site and rewriting a set of spatial relations onto it. Terrain of dispossession: a brief history The discovery of gold, a moment marking black

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dispossession, is often cited as the beginning of Johannesburg. Yet, black civilisations rich with industrial and commercial agency existed in the highveld long before colonial footprints could be traced. Black dispossession began when the Boers trekked northwards, and employed a system of land expropriation and the assumption of a displaced black labour force – a structure that the gold mining industry made use of in the twentieth century, exploiting black labour and subjugating black life to astonishingly inhumane living conditions (Brodie, 2014). As the city grew, formal strategies were devised to marginilise and segregate non-white communities. Laws such as the Natives Land Act of 1913, the Native Urban Areas Act of 1923 and the Group Areas Act of 1950 set the city up on a terrain of uneven contours. Throughout the century, people of colour were displaced to and forced to live in marginal areas, intensifying in the latter part of the century when Soweto, Lenasia and Eldorado Park were proclaimed ‘group areas’ for the Black African, Indian and Coloured communities respectively. These townships were placed between 15 and 30km south west of the CBD on the leeward side of the toxic

mine dumps. From the 50s, people of colour were violently evicted from suburbs like Sophiatown and Fietas until the city of Johannesburg existed within an exclusively white domain, damning the other into a space of servitude. Uneven contours Symbols of colonial capital in Johannesburg grew out of a subterranean space that hid the black labour that built it. Mbembe and Nuttal (2008) argue that Johannesburg is the spatial product of its socio-economic inequality and its segregative legacy, and draw attention to the city’s subterranean network of mining tunnels to trace the intersection of colonial capitalism and racial dispossession. McKittrick (2008) theorises the racialised other space by referencing an ongoing locus threaded between the slave plantation and the contemporary slum or township. Here exists a model of navigation that maps a normalised white geography against an other non-white geography, measured by different levels of humanness.

The design of the township makes clear how landscape urbanism can be used politically. It was conceptualised as a non-location,


ARCHITECT'S JOURNAL

Conceptual collage Collage exploring power relations between Johannesburg’s terrain and subterrain

Exterior perspective

spatialising black mortality apart from white livelihood. The township regulates the mobility of people of colour, containing areas between buffer zones, restricting its number of access points and in some instances, using a panoptic street pattern, where spatial relations are established between a centrality of power and the surveillant channels by which discipline is maintained (Foucault, 1970). Mbembe (2003:39) goes further, arguing that the locus of the other enforces the ‘subjugation of life to the power of death’ suggesting that the township is a mechanism that controls not only life, but the constant subjection to the power of killing. While housing infrastructure in the township is compared to gravesites (Mills, 1989), the grave is appreciated as a symbol of black possession of earth, signifying an interesting relationship between human and landscape. Wynter (1979:91) describes the plantation locus as one where, despite dispossession, still facilitates the black body’s ‘mystical reunion with the earth’. Here, death is represented as agency, where the corpse is given a ‘potent political afterlife’ (Gordillo, 2011 in Rousseau, 2014:215). How-

ever, the repossession of landscape in this way extends beyond responding to death. Baderoon (2009) reflects on the alternative modernities that developed under oppressive regimes as cultural imaginaries that reassert cultural presence into landscapes. This becomes a tool to re-imagine spatial possibilities in dispossessed terrains.

their living counterparts. Fittingly, South African cemeteries follow patterns of racial segregation like its cities. Avalon Cemetery is bisected into two sections – Black African and Indian. A stark contrast of greenery, infrastructure and spatiality can be read across the border, entrenching the marginality and segregation of black bodies even in death.

A tale of two cemeteries The triangular space formed by the edges of Soweto, Lenasia and Eldorado Park is separated from its surrounds with a railway line, a river and a highway. The 245ha site is regarded as one of South Africa’s largest burial grounds. Not only is this terrain a common space of death, it is also the generator of political agency and cultural presence. During the height of apartheid in the 80s, it was reappropriated to facilitate protest when funerals became occasions of political rebellion. A number of freedom fighters and mortal victims of the system are buried here, including Hector Pieterson, Lillian Ngoyi and Dr Abu Baker Asvat.

A living archive With this reading of place, the architectural intervention re-interprets the spatial expressions of power which act to separate, dispossess and erase, into those that connect, reclaim and reinstate. The site is considered a palimpsest of social relations and the architectural intervention is thus conceptualised as a living archive, reflecting on the parallel processes of archival and burial which Mbembe (2002) argues, derive power from the architectural design of space. The scar separating Black African and Indian spaces becomes a spine that connects them. Its end nodes which lie on a railway line and a desolate tract of land are reclaimed as a railway station, and burial ritual and archives spaces respectively. These include ritual spaces for Chris

Cemeteries exist as palimpsestic archives of

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tians, Muslims and Hindus, a crematorium, body preparation space, and library, archives, administration and oral history centre. Spatial relations, between terrain and subterrain, horizontality and verticality, and earth, sky and architecture, derived from theoretical explorations were used in the form-generation process. These were translated architecturally using the landscape as the raw material with which to excavate, unearthing material and exploring its engagements with light. This theatrical process is expressed through the tectonic assembly of the building. The topography of the flat terrain is folded, giving it a vertical dimension. The programme is fitted into layers of a new terrain in which light traces and repossesses narratives of the dead. Built form fuses infrastructure and earth, becoming the stage on which the presence of the erased, displaced, dispossessed and marginilised can be re-inscribed into the landscape.

References Baderoon, G., 2009. The African Oceans—Tracing the Sea as Memory of Slavery in South African Literature and Culture. Research in African Literatures. 40(4), 89-107. Brodie, N., 2014. The Joburg Book. Pan Macmillan, South Africa. Foucault, M., 1984. Des Espace Autres. Architecture/Mouvement/Continuité. (October). Mbembe, A. and Nuttal, S., 2008. Introduction: Afropolis. In Mbembe, A. and Nuttal, S. (eds.), Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis. pp 1-33, Duke University Press, Durham and London Mbembe, A. 2002. The Power of the Archive and its Limits. In Hamilton, C., Harris, V., Taylor, J., Pickover, M., Reid, G. and

Interior perspective

Saleh, R. (eds.), Refiguring the Archive. pp 19-26, Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht. Mbembe, A., 2003. Necropolitics. Project Muse. 15(1), 11-40. McKittrick, K., 2013. Plantation Futures. Small Axe. 17(3), 1-15. Mills, G., 1989. Space and power in South Africa: The township as a mechanism of control. Ekistics. 56(334/335), 65-74. Rousseau, N., 2014. Death and Dismemberment: The Body and Counter-Revolutionary Warfare in Apartheid South Africa. In Anstett, E and Drefus, J. (eds.), Destruction and Human Remains: Disposal and Concealment in Genocide and Mass Violence. pp 204-225, Manchester University Press. Tarmahomed, M.H., 2021. Hambani Kahle: Re-imagining Avalon Cemetery as a Space for Social Integration. Unpublished Research Report, March (Prof), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Wynter, S., 1971. Novel and History, Plot and Plantation. Savacou. 2(5), 95-102.

Perspective sketch

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SPACE STUDIES


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F E AT U R E

JEWEL CITY

AN URBAN SPACE STUDY

Jewel City is an iconic project, a new vision for Jozi’s CBD and an exciting urban redevelopment giving electricity to the idea of public space. Located in the east of JHB’s CBD, the Jewel City complex consists of six city blocks of various industrial buildings, some dating back to the 1930s, that was closed off to the public in the mid-90s and has remained an isolated and forgotten node until now. Jewel City includes the reinvention of this pre-existing industrial complex as an open, vibrant mixed-use precinct that introduces a more sustainable dimension (socially and economically) and new diversity to early inner-city rejuvenation projects. To ensure the success of Jewel City’s urban re-integration with its surroundings, GASS Architecture Studios collaborated with Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects. The relationship between urban landscapes and architecture was interrogated with the main objective being to create inclusive public spaces within the precinct. The city block’s relation to Public space The city relies on a strong relationship with its people to create a continuous and sustainable use of space. This makes public space as important as the buildings themselves and the two should therefore be better integrated.

Public space as a tool for Integration The Jewel City complex is reintegrated with the existing urban fabric with its main orientation focussing inwards to create and sustain a new pedestrianised section of Fox Street as its central axis. This urban intervention will help to support a safe, friendly and open pedestrian-focused public environment and urban infrastructure characterised by shared public space. All the buildings along the central axis on either side of Fox Street includes retail pockets to encourage activity along the spine from east (ABSA Gateway) to west (Maboneng link). There is a major emphasis on the precinct’s public and pedestrian realm however, for the precinct to function, provision for vehicle access at certain key points around Jewel City has been made which includes areas for deliveries, a school drop off and access for emergency vehicles amongst other things.

By Jacques Pansegrouw and Georg van Gass from GASS Architecture Studio

BEFORE

The quality of the public space and the broader architectural character of the precinct is designed not only to catalyse and support a greater diversity of people within the precinct, but also to invite and encourage further investment into the CBD. The peripheral areas and sidewalks along the busy Commissioner and Main Streets have been repaired and upgraded, and additional lighting was introduced to create a cleaner, safer space around the precinct as well.

Jewel City is seen as a catalytic project that will enhance the eastern CBD’s urban potential, introducing crucial facilities that include new affordable residential space, a school, healthcare, and retail facilities such as pharmacies and a supermarket and other recreational facilities that help to sustain an inclusive, prosperous, and wholesome urban social, economic and cultural life in the inner city. Jewel City has been envisioned as an opportunity to undo apartheid-era spatial divides and transform the inner city in a way that also addresses much needed access to resources and economic opportunities in the face of a dire need for housing. prolandscaper.co.za

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More broadly, the development opens the potential for other key nodes of urban development such as Maboneng, the planned Absa Precinct and further developments along Fox Street to merge and form an integrated walkable city that is focused on public space. At Jewel City, Public space was used as a tool for integration - an integration not only between the precinct’s buildings but the various uses that are housed within the buildings with the aim to create a successful pedestrianised mixed-use precinct. Pedestrianisation of Fox Street In establishing a pedestrian-orientated boulevard linking the ABSA Precinct and Maboneng, culture, community and continued use can flourish. Through revitalising building frontages to allow businesses, restaurants, markets and cafes to live out onto street spaces, passive security, energies, & foot traffic become encouraged.

SUPPLIERS: Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions 011 474 0171 Fives Futbol Sports Turf and Field Construction: Turftech – 087 087 4168 Product used: Rhino Turf PT45 Artificial turf Rubberised flooring: Lifestyle Turf and Play – 011 660 2634 SUDS: Bera Gravel Fix and Grass Fix Eco 083 449 3954 Pavers: Corobrik - 011 871 8600 Irrigation: Installed Bidvest Top Turf, Design and supplied by Controlled Irrigation Product: Rain Bird Mature Trees : Just Trees - 021 871 1595 Plant Material: Tshala Plant Brokers - 071 683 1177 Photography: Louis Van Zyl & Monograph

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Minimising, narrowing and slowing vehicular movement serves to strengthen the quality of space within the Jewel City precinct, this was done to encourage foot traffic through public & commercial spaces, while still allowing for logistics & safety access to take place. The new single level sidewalk that spans between buildings serves to enhance the quality of the Precinct’s ground floor and ultimately the public realm from transitional to social space, motivating any passer-by to want to spend time in & around Jewel City. Other interventions such as artwork and murals created by local artists are introduced around the precinct and along Fox Street, not only to enhance the public space but to celebrate and introduce a layer of heritage within the urban fabric. The single level sidewalk has also been designed with the intention that the asphalt and cobbled surfaces can be used as a platform for artists to introduce new themes or to celebrate a specific season, once again involving the local artists. This approach is finished off with the addition of planters, outdoor seating, shaded areas, & sufficient lighting that further humanises the Jewel City streetscapes.

child friendly and safe for families tend to add a deeper subconscious layer of safety and familiarity to public spaces. Sustained by a belief in the transformative potential of urban design and architecture to catalyse economic and social energy, dignity and prosperity, Divercity (Client/Developer) and GASS Architecture Studios (Architects) has re-envisioned this all-but-defunct industrial complex into a series of thoughtful interventions that breathe new life into Johannesburg’s CBD, while remining respectful of its heritage and shifting the focus back to safe accessible public spaces.

MEET THE TEAM: Client: Divercity, Atterbury, Ithemba Architects: GASS Architecture Studio

Jewel City public square Through the introduction of a public square as an authentic and approachable public destination, civic life can flourish allowing people to gather for social, & cultural activities. With trees flanking the edge of the square, a threshold is formed where retail space is integrated as an active edge around the square.

Quantity Surveyors: Matla Quantity Surveyors

A large open public lawn within the square is equipped to house various functions such as outdoor markets and carnivals, music festivals and sporting events, making it a flexible open space that can be enjoyed by families in various ways. The square is integrated with the Fox Street boulevard, essentially becoming an extension of the central axis and houses a zero-level fountain and interactive Jewel City sculpture where the two meet.

Electrical Engineers: Eksteen & Le Roux

Designing for children Through introducing amenities such as lighting, seating, play equipment and ablutions in and around the public spaces, Jewel City offers safe, comfortable, and family friendly public spaces. A very important part of urban design revolves around the inclusive design of not only a diverse mix of cultures and land uses but the inclusion of safe spaces for children. Spaces that are

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Wet Services Engineers: Izazi Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd Fire Engineers: Fenco Fire Engineers & Consultants

Structural Engineers: Eds Engineers Building Contractor: Nomad Group, Wbho & Motheo Jv; Pentacon Civils Landscape Architects: Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects (Pty) Ltd Landscape Installation: Bidvest Top Turf Water Feature Specialists: Greenacres Landscapes


F E AT U R E

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DURBAN POINT PROMENADE:

A Landscaping Perspective

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T

he Durban Point Promenade’s R380million rand, and 750-metre extension, has officially made this landmark the longest beachfront promenade in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Point Promenade links the harbour mouth and the Point Beach with its new and future development to the city’s major attractions along the Golden Mile completing the pathway to the necklace of venues and activities of Durban’s beachfront. This has created the opportunity for pedestrians to move freely without direct traffic. After featuring the iconic Durban Point Promenade in our 4th annual Coffee Table Edition, Pro Landscaper thought it a good idea to highlight the landscaping elements of this iconic project, and chat with the team responsible for its implementation. IYER & Leitch Landscapes weigh in.

Image: IYER

Onsite, the approach to the dune rehabilitation on the Durban beachfront was to firstly understand the prevailing weather and environmental conditions. One needed to have an understanding of what vegetation is endemic to the area, what grows in the surrounding areas on the dunes, and how the plants cope with the shock of coming from a nursery to the exposed windy conditions on the beachfront. IYER consulted with Leitch Landscapes in this respect, who have been involved in all the dune rehabilitation work on the Durban beachfront since the 2010 World Cup and works closely with the likes of Dr Elsa Pooley and Geoff Nichols to gain considerable knowledge of the dune plants and what works successfully. The sand on the beach is not ideal for growing plants and there was a need to improve the soil condition with nutrients and to enhance its ability to retain moisture. For this reason a large quantity of quality compost was turned into the beach sand together with an added application of fertiliser. Following this, an equal amount of bark mulch was applied to ensure that the plants have a chance of survival. While the preparation of the beach sand was being carried out, the sacrificial fencing was installed. The purpose of the sacrificial fencing is basically to carry out the function of what the natural dune vegetation does by forming a barrier that allows the wind-blown sand to accumulate and start to form the initial dune face. The sacrificial fencing also provides some protection to the newly planted dune species while they adapt to the prevailing conditions. The angle of the sacrificial fencing was placed in the right orientation to manage the wind drift and how and where the beach sand builds up to form the dune.

Although there was no specific plan on how to plant the dune plants, one needed to take the following into consideration – the various dune zones (foredune, mid-dune and backdune) and what species are found in which zone of the dune profile. Security of the public and keeping vagrants and members of the public out the dunes was of vital importance. People in the dunes cause damage to the plants and results in a setback to the plants' growth and blowouts. For this reason, Carissa macrocarpa was planted around the edges of the different portions of dunes. Once planted, they needed to adapt to their new position resulting in some of the plants losing their leaves and dying back to their base, thereafter shooting from the base with new stronger growth that’s more resilient to the climatic conditions. What was important was not the size of the plants used but rather that they have a well-formed strong, healthy root system. The maintenance is quite simple. There is not much weeding to be carried out because most of the normal garden weeds don’t like the beach environment, other than the odd alien invasive weed species. Thorough watering was required until the plants established themselves. The biggest maintenance function going forward will be litter collection. As the dune starts to form against the sacrificial fence, sand will start to cover the plants, and where this happens one will need to replant with cuttings and water so they can establish. SUPPLIERS: SUDS: BERA Urbanscapes – 083 449 3954 Benches, planters, bins and bollards: Igneous Concrete – 011 827 7425 Paving: Corobrik - 031 560 3111 Decking: Leisure Sundecks - 082 892 1713 Irrigation: Autoflow irrigation - 082 806 7266 Siwelela Projects - 078 173 9847 Product: Rain Bird Nurseries: Afro Indigenous - 083 291 1308 Indigiflora Nursery - 039 319 1627 Gwahumbe Nursery - 076 019 2460 Tongaat Wholesalers - 032 943 3090 Post and Rail: Flamco - 031 465 2108 Forest Fencing - 031 943 0504 prolandscaper.co.za

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The aim is to get the plants to take over the function of the sacrificial fencing. To maintain the dune height and prevent excess build-up of sand in the dunes one will need to control the sand build-up along the sacrificial fencing. The dune vegetation will eventually take care of itself as long as the human element is managed. The planters are placed on the upper level of the promenade and are exposed to the prevailing weather conditions. It was recommended that it would be better to use smaller trees than very large ones. The plants chosen were plants that are found to be doing well in other areas of the Durban beachfront and those which have been the most successful. It was therefore agreed that the trees to be used would be Hibiscus tiliaceus, Euclea natalensis and Mimusops caffra. The depth of the planters also determined the size of the trees to be used as there was only approximately a 600mm soil depth in the planters. The groundcovers used at the base of the planters are – Asparagus densiflorus, Dyschoriste depressa, Plectranthus neochilus, Delosperma lineare and Carissa macrocarpa. The irrigation points were positioned no further than 20m from each planter for the watering of the planters. To reduce the time and effort in hand watering, the planters incorporated a soil ameliorant from BERA. A stone drainage layer was placed at the base of the planters with a 2% fall. This was then covered with an 20mm Urbanscape green roll for extra water holding capacity. The media used to fill the planters was an imported topsoil mixed with 30% of compost. Urbanscape Green Flocks were then mixed into the topsoil and compost mix at a ratio of 2:10. The planters were then filled to 100mm below the planter height and planted with the agreed size and species of the plants/trees. Larger trees were planted on the pedestrian access ramps. The trees chosen were Euclea natalensis (Natal guarri) as these have been one of the more successful tree species planted along the Durban beachfront in the past upgrades. The trees were bought in 100L bags and the holes were specifically prepared to a depth of 1.2m/1.5m. The holes were then lined with the BERA Urbanscape green roll 20mm for extra water holding capacity and backfilled with a soil mixture of 30% compost and mixed in with the BERA Urbanscape's Green Flocks at a rate of 2:10. There were then sways of

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system when working in such an environment as they adapt better to the extreme weather conditions on the Durban beachfront. The plants needed to be planted as if nature has done it and had to mimic how they would be found in the natural environment. We worked closely with the various suppliers while looking for plants that had been hardened off and were exposed to similar elements, as we have found these plants establish themselves better once planted. We also sourced plants that were not in bags larger than 5L as the larger the plant the more it would die once it was exposed to the hot, dry, prevailing winds from the north east. Q: Were there any major preparations or rehabilitations of the site that needed to take place prior to your work and planting?

indigenous grasses used along the length of the ramps and under the trees with a border of Aloe arborescens along the top of the embankment. Once the flowerbeds had been planted, a 100mm layer of bark chips was applied as a mulch. The grassing of the banks at the rear of the promenade is Cynodon Dactylon.

work closely with the team on the ground – and to communicate with engineering consultants on how to best achieve a successful dune rehabilitation project. The challenge was doing this in the harsh environmental conditions, which of course include prevailing winds and ever-changing environmental surroundings.

At the lower level, the following species have been planted: Stelitzia nicolai, Hyphaene coriacea 'Lala Palm' and Cocos nucifera 'Coconut Palm'. The groundcovers used are: Asparagus densiflorus, Dyschoriste depressa, Plectranthus neochilus, Delosperma lineare and Carissa macrocarpa.

Q: How did you win the tender for this iconic project?

Pro Landscaper speaks with Ryan Pembroke, operations director at Leitch Landscapes, to find out more about his team’s role on the Durban Point Promenade project. Q: What was Leitch Landscapes's brief onsite? The brief was quite simple and what was required was to ensure that the landscape installation and dune rehabilitation were successful and completed within the specified time frame and budget. As we were involved with the dune rehabilitation projects along the entire Durban beachfront for the 2010 World Cup and various maintenance contracts since then, it was our role to guide the client and

The pipes for the sand pumping scheme had to be installed along the length of the area to be rehabilitated and the beach level had to be dropped. This did cause some frustrations as we were often delayed in getting to areas where we needed to work.

The tender was commissioned through MLC. Obviously, with municipality projects, price always plays a large role in the awarding of landscaping tenders. We had to do two proposals where we presented to the panel the methodology behind the work to be carried out and how it would be achieved in the very tight time frame. I believe it was our experience of working on the Durban beachfront throughout the past ten years, our understanding of the difficult environmental conditions, as well as past successful dune rehabilitation projects along the Durban beachfront that aided us in presenting the best possible plan for the site. Q: What were the biggest considerations when selecting the plant material for this site? The plants had to be endemic to the area, grow on the primary beach dune in hot sandy conditions and all plants used needed to have a well-developed root system. It’s always better to use smaller plants with a well-developed root

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Once the pipe installation had been completed, the trenches had to be backfilled and the beach graded to its original level with a slight fall towards the sea. The project could only be accessed from the shoreline as the decking contractor was working on the landside and there were serious implications should the deck have been damaged, so we had to watch the tides and plan the movement of materials and plants. The main contractor did an excellent job in developing teamwork amongst all the contractors on site, and as a result everyone respected each other’s area of expertise and contracted works, often resulting in the various contractors coordinating their works to accommodate other contractors to avoid unnecessary delays.

Image: IYER

Q: How rigorous is the aftercare plan for the promenade? Other than using the right plants and ensuring the correct amounts of compost, fertiliser and mulch were applied during the sand preparation before planting, the maintenance is of vital importance if the rehabilitation project is to be a success. The overall plan is to maintain the dunes with natural endemic plants, this manages the sand drift and provides a visually attractive, ecologically-balanced, naturally landscaped area. This maintenance involves watering until the plants have established themselves filling up and planting areas that get covered with sand. The dune sacrificial fence must be kept free of windblown sand and pushed away from the dune towards the shore as this is the fencing to trap the windblown sand, keeping it off the promenade and beach access paths.

Image: IYER

Q: How long did the plan take to implement? We were allocated eight weeks to have the entire dune rehabilitation project completed. Q: What were some key pieces of equipment used to complete this mammoth project? We couldn’t have done it without our 4x4 payloader, 4x4 TLB, dump trucks, hosepipes and of course, our spades!

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Image: IYER


Water Wise Landscapes T

he world and the way we do things has changed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, life continues, as do the water threats facing our country. Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality still has Level 1 water restrictions prohibiting the watering of gardens and landscapes between 06:00 and 18:00. Several other municipalities also still have water restrictions in place. There are six simple Water Wise ways that you can use to protect your landscapes against dry conditions, while also conserving water, making them more resilient, and making sure you stick to the local by-laws implemented by your municipality.

Mulch

Organic mulch such as dry leaves, grass cuttings, bark chips, and compost will decompose over time, adding nutrients to the soil. Convincing clients to think differently and apply these principles goes a long way.

Collecting rainfall and re-using greywater

A 200m2 portion of hard surface collects ± 5 000 L from a single 25 mm storm event. Greywater is wastewater collected from hand basins, showers, baths, washing machines, and kitchen sinks but excludes toilet water. Many systems of harvesting and basic filtering are available e.g. constructed wetlands.

Berms and swales

Swales are shallow depressions in the ground, while berms are ridges that are slightly higher than the adjacent surface area. Position swales and berms to direct rainwater run-off to areas that need it.

Irrigation

Use only efficient methods and devices. Drip irrigation is the most water efficient system as it delivers water directly to the plant roots and prevents up to 95% of water loss by reducing spray on areas that don’t need water.

Compost

Compost improves the water-holding capacity of soil by preventing if from becoming compacted, and allowing water penetration into the soil. This can easily be made and used on-site, further reducing the carbon/energy footprint.

Hydrozoning

All landscapes should be hydrozoned. Dividing landscapes into high (10%), medium (30%), low (30%), and very low (30%) hydrozones can save between 30-38% of the site’s water use.

www.randwater.co.za and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60


F E AT U R E

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F E AT U R E

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THE LARGEST HUMAN CHAIN IN THE WORLD CROSSES CAPE TOWN One of Africa’s largest and most anticipated public arts festivals, the International Public Art Festival (IPAF), is proud to announce the launch of the Beyond Walls project by Saype (Guillaume Legros). Representing unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints, the Beyond Walls project features the longest human chain in the world. This is depicted through pairs of local hands painted on land, which intertwine from town to town. The project kicked off at the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town as a precursor to the IPAF on 25 January 2021. The IPAF Festival runs from 10 to 14 February. The monumental fresco is one of many memorable installations the street art festival will offer. Attracting talent from around the world, the IPAF is a platform for creatives to use their talents to bring communities together. As a global initiative with different chapters around the world, the Beyond Walls project is an example of this in action. Cape Town represents the ninth stage. Previously the hands were depicted in Paris, Andorre, Genève, Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, Turin and Istanbul. The Mother City of South Africa, Cape Town represents an essential step of the project due to its history marked by Apartheid. Beyond Walls symbolises the breaking down of political and social barriers among communities with the hope to further encourage positive dialogue. The hands will intertwine beyond inequality in three different areas of the city. Each artwork has been produced by the artist, Saype, the first on Sea Point Promenade, then in Philippi Village and in Langa. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the City of Cape Town, the IPAF and Baz-Art. Given the rich history of South Africa and its people, the message of this project is an essential one in encouraging unity and understanding. Baz-Art co-founder Alexandre Tilmans says, "Cape Town is an ideal flagship destination for this project. As a city that prioritises openness,

peace and mutual respect, we need to keep having courageous conversations, especially in this harsh climate created by the pandemic. Artworks like this spark important dialogues and messages of hope for all citizens. We unveiled the mural to public on 25 January at the Sea Point Promenade, Philippi Village and Buwga Square, Langa to spark our message of hope, humanity, and respect.” Guillaume Legros, alias Saype (a contraction of "Say Peace"), is a Swiss-based artist who creates monumental frescoes on the grass and on the ground. He is renowned as the pioneer of an artistic movement linking street art and land art. Saype’s approach and innovative technique earned him global recognition as his poetic and ephemeral works travel around the world to impact minds and spark conscious dialogue. He is also committed to eco-friendly methods in his art, “One of my aims is to not only shed light on issues of social transformation but to promote eco-friendly and sustainable methods of creating art through respecting nature.” He was named one of Forbes's 30 most influential European people under the age of 30 in the field of art and culture in 2019. The Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa is proud to support the project Beyond Walls in Cape Town. “In these challenging times with the pandemic, we believe that art plays an essential role in expressing hope, in uniting countries and people, and in advancing human dignity, notes Nicolas Brühl, ambassador of Switzerland in South Africa. Through the artwork of Beyond Walls Switzerland fully endorses the message of solidarity, dialogue and friendship conveyed to South Africa and the world by Saype.” Three frescoes were created using approximately 1,000 liters of biodegradable pigments made out of charcoal, chalk, water and milk proteins. The 'Beyond Walls' project aims at creating the largest symbolic human chain around the world, promoting values such as togetherness, kindness and openness to the world. Here in Cape Town, this step was motivated by the country's persisting need for reunification. Three frescoes representing widely different populations and realities within the city were created in Sea Point (6,000m²), the Philippi township (800m²) and the Langa township (800m²). Photo credit: Valentin Flauraud for Saype

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INTERVIEW

Interview with

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Pro Landscaper Africa was excited at the opportunity to sit down with local NPO Baz-Art to discuss its initiatives in changing the face of Cape Town and supporting local artists on their quest to transform spaces through urban art. We chat to the Baz-Art team about harnessing the power of art to improve people’s lives. This is what co-founder, Alexandre Tilmans, had to tell us. What brought on the need to establish and found Baz-Art? Firstly, street art was not as recognised as a form of art in South Africa. Graffiti is often associated with drugs and violence and we

wanted to show that mural painting is a form of public art that is equal to any other form of art. Secondly, and this is more local to Cape Town, you need a permit to paint a mural. This requires the following paperwork: your sketch of the work to be painted, agreement from the CoCT, the surrounding residents and the owner of the building. This process means all street art is legal and accepted by all involved. For the two reasons above, Cape Town was an ideal place to start to create a platform for artists to start making a living out of their talent. For us, street art is so much more than graffiti, art can transform how an area is perceived and experienced by its inhabitants, as well as the wider public. Art can enhance the appearance and personality of a neighbourhood, thereby increasing the local community’s sense of pride and belonging. What is Baz-Art? (For our readers who are not Cape-based). Baz-Art is a platform that helps artists, mainly public art artists, make a living out of their talent. We also realised that public art has all the benefits – first for the community, then as a form of education. Every time we have painted a colourful mural we have realised that the surrounding residents and bypasses have started a conversation around the art. As long as our message is right, people will interact and educate themselves on the subject matter. BazArt transforms spaces through commissioned urban art. BAZ-ART'S MISSION IS BASED ON THREE PILLARS: EDUCATION, ARTISTIC ECLOSION AND SOCIAL INCLUSION. Who are some of your main sponsors? Firstly, ourselves, as we are on the lookout for work throughout the year. The projects we do help us fundraise to organise the International Public Arts Festival. The City of Cape Town has been an important growing partner since the beginning. National institutions have started recognising the benefits of public art in neighbourhoods and we have seen an increase in interest.

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International institutions have helped us realise specific projects and we hope that it will continue. Some of our clients and sponsors have been the following brands: Apple Music, UNICEF, Peugeot, Dulux, PPC, Signatura, Radisson RED, Airbnb and Zeitz MOCAA. How does Baz-Art give back to its community? Baz-Art has got three pillars: the first one is to help the artist make a living for themselves. The second one is to create a feeling of pride, belonging, inclusivity and cohesion in communities through public art. The third pillar is education – from kids to adults. We believe that art creates conversation and dialogue where one can educate another. Every mural we paint is exposed to thousands of people which creates an excellent opportunity to foster conversation and trigger positive change within communities. Baz-Art’s mission is to make Africa, starting with South Africa, “the art place to be”, by building a structure for the artists, to create freely,

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without restraints, by generating partnerships and business opportunities, as well as access to international exposure, Baz-Art helps artists in creating their legacy and heritage for future generations in their home country. Who are some of your local artists you work with? We work with over 90 local artists all around the country. Each of them unique in their own skill set. Some are known for their techniques, some for their style, some for their community outreach, some are illustrators, some are graphic designers and some of them for their ideas. As we are not one to play favourites, and there are so many artists, with new artists being introduced yearly, we recommend taking a look on our website or social media, and viewing the artists and their work online. How important do you think street art and murals are to the community? Our aim is to harness the power and creativity of art to improve people’s lives in many different

ways. Art activities can foster a sense of community. Art can also activate and enhance other skills, as diverse as reading proficiency, verbal memory, language and leadership. Art gives children a chance to use their imagination, which is especially helpful in situations where resources are limited. It helps children become more flexible as well as to think abstractly, qualities that assist in problem solving and reasoning. Art is a bridge across cultural differences by teaching disciplines, acceptance, engagement, the value of efforts, of interacting in a social environment, of tolerance and pride to the children, levelling all social disparities. Street art adds a distinct and unique character to an area, often encouraging local and international tourism. How has COVID-19 affected the Baz-Art team, its artists and sponsors? We have had to adapt like any other business, but we do think that as the world is changing there are opportunities to create conversation,


INTERVIEW

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walking tours during the COVID-19 pandemic, and require those joining the tour to wear masks and socially distance. These walking tours can be booked online. Are there ways to create sustainable artworks? To create a sustainable artwork, we have to look at the environmental aspect, the social aspect and the economic aspect. From the moment we use eco-responsible material, the artwork entices a positive message, and we provide jobs within that same community, we do believe we can achieve sustainable art works. Recent work by Saype has made use of bio-degradable paint, and we see this as a huge step for our local artists. We also feel very strongly about keeping our art supplies and equipment local. How can developers use street artists to add value to developments? (Especially within contemporary urban settings). Street art, or public art, can help local artists make a living. It creates a positive message, as well as a feeling of pride and belonging for the residents exposed to it. While it may not necessarily add direct value to the property, I believe that by adding public art to any business, there will definitely be a stronger engagement with the public and create a safe neighbourhood for all. to create hope and to show the world that together we are stronger. So while some public art projects have been cancelled, we have developed entrepreneurship classes for our artists to help them develop their talent into a real business. We have been helping our artists develop new skills that will help them stand out and gear up for their future. Are artists given briefs before beginning their murals or is their design up to them?

which often has a direct impact on security, cleanliness and cohesion. These spaces also encourage tourism, bringing in more money to the economy. We often suggest that those on our walking tours rather support local businesses and buy snacks and drinks from them while we walk. Street art is also accessible to anyone from any walk of life. You do not need to be from the area to engage with it, or have an artistic background, art is completely up to interpretation.

While the spontaneity of art is important, we strongly believe that a mural needs to be properly prepared – from estimating the size of the work, the equipment, machinery, paint, the permit, the sketch, the impact it will have on the neighbourhood – leading to better results. Over time, we've developed a structured brief that we call the 'Equation for Success', and by checking that each parameter has been answered, we can ensure successful projects.

How do you encourage more locals to interact with the space?

How do you think street art changes public spaces for the better?

We offer walking tours that start from 3km covering Salt River, all the way to 30km. We have over 123 buildings that are painted, so one can only imagine how hard it is to cover all of them in just an hour. We are still holding

Firstly, it creates conversation. It also creates a space that is more enjoyable to live in,

Residents are often exposed to the artwork on a daily basis, so for us it is important that the residents enjoy the artwork they see every day. We also look at the wider audience and have teamed up with the tourism industry and tour guides, so that everyone, local and international, can discover the artwork we have created.

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PROJECTS


PATERSON PARK

MULTIPURPOSE RECREATION CENTRE

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Completed: December 2020 Total landscape size: 1.5 hectres Total size: 3.8 hectres Location: Norwood, Johannesburg

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s part of the City of Johannesburg’s strategy for new social infrastructure, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the city’s development agent, has completed the construction of the Paterson Park Multipurpose Centre, which will benefit the community of Norwood, Orchards, Orange Grove and adjacent neighbourhoods. Paterson Park’s recreational facility provides a safe space that facilitates the development of fundamental skills, like reading and writing, in conjunction with sport, physical activity and health, to stimulate growth and development in the community, and has changed the landscape of its local community. With architecture by New Urban Meago, landscape architecture by KH Landscape Architecture, hardscaping by Circleworx and softscaping by Ivy League, we visit this project in Norwood to learn more. Paterson Park is an established open space resource situated between the suburbs of Norwood, Orange Grove and Orchards, in northern Johannesburg. Paterson Park itself was a relatively well maintained public open space, although as a public facility it was not as well utilised as its location and scale may suggest. Facilities within the precinct include a children’s playground area, a bowling club, a multipurpose recreation centre with tennis courts, and a war memorial. The main focus of the development for the architects included upgrading the existing recreational hall and tennis courts and the construction of several new facilities including a multifunctional sports hall with adjoining spectator seating for the soccer field, a new swimming club, a library, craft centre, and administration facilities. The scope also included upgrades to the perimeter walls and all external works such as parking facilities. Timeline of the development The planning phase of the project started in 2015 and continued into 2016. Public consultation for the recreation centre was included in the consultation process for the Paterson Precinct stormwater upgrading project and the Paterson Park (Phase 1) upgrading project during 2016. prolandscaper.co.za

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The JDA appointed the main contractor, GVK, in November 2018. The COVID-19 lockdown halted work during April and May 2020, and work resumed as soon as it was allowed by government. The landscaping, sports fields and irrigation sub-contractors were appointed in early June 2020 and work was implemented in areas that became accessible in an incremental method, as coordinated with the main contractor. The landscaping work was completed in December 2020. The brief from JDA The site layout and circulation plans were developed by architects New Urban Meago before KH Landscape Architects were appointed. The brief from the client, the Johannesburg Development Agency, was to integrate the landscape design of the sports precinct around the recreation centre with landscaping at the Paterson Park bowling club parking area and the Paterson Park north of Paterson Road. Action plan KH Landscape Architects reviewed the hard and soft landscaped areas and made suggestions to soften some of the hard paved surfaces with a

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more permeable solution. Bosun grass blocks were used in two of the gathering spaces and replaced previously hard paved surfaces. Grass blocks were installed on the footprint of the old recreation centre building that was demolished. The planting palette from the Paterson Park bowling club was integrated into the planting palette that was proposed for the Sports Precinct around the recreation centre, but a wider palette of plants was used for the sports precinct, since this site lent itself to a more detailed planting design. The indigenous planting palette that was used included wetland plants, as well as plants that are low maintenance and have low water requirements. Landscape contractors, Ivy League, were tasked with the job of finding these indigenous plants from various wholesale nurseries across Johannesburg. Water features that were originally proposed around the buildings were converted to planters on request from the client. Challenges on site Due to delays caused by the COVID-19 lockdown during April and May, the project had to be implemented during the summer rainy season in Johannesburg, which made the earthworks component challenging.

SUPPLIERS: Paving (cobble and grassblock): Bosun – 011 310 1176 Irrigation: Mainline Irrigation – 011 444 4454 Products used: Netafim Drip, Rain Bird, Hunter Water harvesting system: Designed and installed by Circleworx Supplied by Mainline Irrigation Benches and Bins: WilsonStone – 011 615 6212 Trees: Instant Trees – 011 906 9901 The Tree Giant – 011 957 5342 Nurseries: Edelweiss Wholesale Nursery – 083 225 9131 Random Harvest Nursery – 011 957 5354 Windy Willows Wholesale Nursery – 079 492 2549 Kazimingi Nursery – 079 871 8829 Soils: Culterra – 0861 285 837 Viewpoint Farming – 011 917 0493 Lawns: Ingwenya Instant Lawn – 010 100 3597 Grass World Evergreen Turf – 011 948 7913


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A high groundwater table needed to be addressed and Circleworx was the landscape sub-contractor appointed for construction of the sport fields and installation of the irrigation system. Circleworx also designed and implemented a stormwater harvesting system that assisted in resolving some of the waterlogging on site. Rainwater runoff is collected from the hard surfaced multipurpose courts in the southern portion of the site, as well as runoff from one of the five-a-side courts and the soccer field. The runoff is collected into a subsoil drainage system that pumps the collected water into a large storage tank on site. From here, the harvested water is used for irrigation purposes. The Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility is equipped with an Olympic-style swimming pool and splash pool with a grandstand for spectators. A full-size soccer field, two smaller five-a-side fields, as well as two tennis courts, a multi court

and a basketball court, with a pavilion, offer a wider range of new programmes and activities. In addition, the park offers an enclosed multifunctional sports hall with a fully equipped gym. From a learning perspective, the Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility offers learning facilitation through a state-of-the-art library, a craft centre to facilitate artistic expression and growth, and an amphitheatre for community-organised shows, presentations and recitals. It includes an administrative building, security house and generator to ensure optimal functionality at all times. The creation of adequate, safe and accessible adjacent parking has also been implemented. The artworks at the Paterson Park Sports and Recreation facility are inspired by the indigenous bird life in Paterson Park, as well as workshops with the community artists and The Birds of the Grove performance.

MEET THE TEAM: Client: JDA Project manager: Threshold projects Architects: New Urban Meago Engineers: Thembakele Consulting Engineers Landscape Architect: KH Landscape Architects Project Information: Karien Hanekom, KHLA Main contractor: GVK – Siya Zama Building Contractors (Gauteng) Pty Ltd Public artwork: The Trinity Session Hard Landscaping contractor (Sports fields, water harvesting and irrigation): Circleworx Soft Landscaping contractor: Ivy League Pty Ltd Images provided by: New Urban Meago, Karien Hanekom Landscape Architects and The Trinity Session

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#ArtMyJozi Paterson Park artworks programme update by The Trinity Session Since 2017, #ArtMyJozi has been very active in the Paterson Park and Orange Grove community through a series of workshops, popup exhibitions, creative auditions, oral history interviews, and community meetings. One of our early aims was to identify and establish a network of locally based artists who could potentially build on and grow their artistic and professional practices, individually and as an organised group. We identified this creative group through various pop-ups, creative exchanges, auditions and a locally led activation, The Battle of the Arts, 2017. In late June 2018, a multidisciplinary collective of locally based performing artists, poets and fashion designers co-produced Birds of the Grove, which performed to an audience of 300 local residents over three nights. In response to the local artistic community’s practices in spoken word, song, dance, and percussion, the Birds of the Grove’s conceptual development, design and implementation served numerous key purposes within the logics of the place-making through art strategy for the Paterson Park Social Cluster upgrade. Through the performance narrative and production design process, we began to develop a collaborative look and feel for the performance, as well as co-designed artistic outcomes that

could transfer to the upgrade of the area. This collaborative process enabled and facilitated the cross pollination of small creative groups and residents from Norwood, Orange Grove and Orchards. The implementation of the artworks programme for the Paterson Park upgrade area and social cluster development manifested in several sites and was phased in accordance with the construction programme. The 100m-long mural along the residential boundary line of Short Road Park took precedence as it was integrated as a live action painting process during the Birds of The Grove performance, serving as a backdrop to the performance itself. The hand carved tree benches and steel Orange Grove Trees followed after, in late 2018 to mid 2019. In 2020, after much anticipation of site readiness, as well as factoring in entirely new social distancing and safety protocols due to COVID-19, The Trinity Session was able to co-ordinate a variety of artist teams lead by technical professionals. The professionals provided on the job technical knowledge and training to support artists less familiar with public artwork installation protocols. From the inception of the #ArtMyJozi Programme in Paterson Park, the intention was to respond with projects installed in and around the rejuvenated Paterson Park water management and river system, stemming from the south side of the upgrade area, submerging

below Paterson Road and resurfacing at the celebration pond in the northern part of the park, flowing towards Louis Road. Integral to the redesign of the water way was new landscaping, intended to attract bird life back to this area. The rejuvenation of the recreation centre complemented by a range of new indoor and outdoor sports and cultural facilities ushered in an entirely new public facility. Following the carnivalesque-parade of The Birds of the Grove performance, the various large wall surface areas present in the new social cluster lend themselves to a bold and dynamic application of murals and new surface treatments, which were conceptualised in workshops with various participants from the original collective of artists established in 2018. Hence, one is able to explore the external public features of the site, by experiencing a rich visual meander between the various buildings, crossing over Paterson Road and connecting to the northern section of the park, intercepted by bold steel cut-outs that mark the entry points to both sites on Paterson Road. Then, beyond the parking area, one is welcomed by the large steel trees commemorating the original orange farm of the area. And from there, making one’s way along the west embankment, one can pause and rest at the circle of tree-benches carved from 80-year-old fig trees, sourced from an adjacent site clearing.

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FORGING A N E W PAT H VA L L E Y G A R D E N S P R O J E C T S (PHASES 1 AND 2)

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Project value: Approx. R16 million Build time:12 months plus 3 years maintenance Size of project: 1.5 km, consisting of three parks Client: Brighton & Hove City Council

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.5KM OF PUBLIC OPEN SPACE IS TRANSFORMED INTO A VIBRANT URBAN LINKED PARK SYSTEM IN THE CENTRE OF BRIGHTON. Located in central Brighton, Valley Gardens is 1.5km public open space that runs from St. Peter’s Church to Brighton Pier. In total, 8,800m² of new green space was added to the existing three parks. The vision of the scheme was to enhance and improve the area’s public spaces and create a vibrant urban linked park system at the heart of the city. This included, improving road safety, air quality and flood risk management, and providing safer walking and cycling links. This was achieved by redistributing traffic, whilst releasing a more effective public realm. Design and build The transformation saw landscape contractors, the Cultura Group, stripping out the original green spaces over the three existing parks, the re-landscaping of these and the landscaping of the additional newly created green spaces. This was quite a feat, due to the immense scale of the project and the implementation of a completely new landscaping design concept set over a pre-existing park. Following expert advice from Cultura, the heavy waterlogged soil was deep ripped, rather than verti-drained, allowing better plant development and entry of moisture and nutrients. New levels were then created, contouring the ground to meet the levels of the new paths and those of the existing statues and monuments. The newly formed green space, which had previously been roadways, was additionally built up to the correct levels. Soil utilised had been specifically formulated to allow the planting scheme to thrive and to withstand the heavy footfall associated with these areas of the project. To achieve the exact blend required Cultura collaborated with soil scientists Tim O’Hare Associates and soil suppliers Bourne Amenity. Paul Hartley, senior contracts manager at Dyer & Butler said:

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“Cultura worked collaboratively with us, the landscape architects and the client and we, as a team, successfully delivered the client’s vision on this demanding scheme.” Soft landscaping A soft landscaping scheme, expertly designed by Nigel Dunnett and Untitled Practice, to improve biodiversity and air quality and reduce pollution, was installed. Included in this naturalistic scheme were 150 new trees – cherries, elms and maples diversified the range of existing tree species to develop the sense of parkland – 313,000 bulbs including snow drops, English bluebells, crocus and wild daffodils, and 30,000 perennials. This provides a major new planting feature called the ‘River of Flowers’ to give a long season, high level of interest and enhance the potential for wildlife, particularly pollinators. The River of Flowers runs for 650m along the entire eastern length of Valley Gardens. The intricacies of the planting combinations were fully realised by Cultura’s highly expert horticulture team who interpreted the vision of the specialist planting lead without a planting plan for guidance.12,000m2 of highperformance lawns were laid using RTF (Rye Tall Fescue) turf, chosen for its hardwearing, deep rooting and drought tolerant attributes. These were sited throughout the central zones of Valley Gardens and will give access to areas for play, informal gatherings and relaxation. The scheme was finished with 1,250m² of wildflower turf mats along the western margins of all three parks to form species rich meadows for improved biodiversity. Challenges Major road infrastructure works associated with the project ran alongside the landscaping of the green environment. Cultura worked closely with the client, Brighton and Hove City Council, their planning department and main contractor, Dyer & Butler attending face to face meetings and many onsite project walks to ensure the dovetailing of the two disciplines. Perhaps the most unexpected challenge was when works came to a halt, when an unexploded World War II mortar bomb was discovered on site. Police were called and the surrounding roads shut off, as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit detonated the device in a controlled explosion.

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MEET THE TEAM: Designer: Untitled Practice www.untitledpractice.com Main contractor: Dyer & Butler www.dyerandbutler.co.uk Specialist planting lead: Nigel Dunnett www.nigeldunnett.com

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TERRAFORCE BLOCK WALL EXCELLENCE IN SPAIN SALAMANCA HOSPITAL, SPAIN When in mid-2020, we received the final images of a newly completed Terraforce block wall at the Salamanca Hospital, Salamanca, Spain, we were immediately struck by the technical excellence on display. Having followed the installation process step by step, this outstanding outcome is not surprising. Installed by ORBE Tecnicas Y Medioambiente, an environmental engineering company specialised in the construction of reinforced soil structures, the four Terraforce L16 rock face retaining walls cover 2300m² surface area, with a maximum height of 7,86m. Miguel Seller, Civil Engineer at ORBETecnicas Y Medioambiente says: "The main wall supports a new access road to the hospital, and in

some sections special consideration had to be given to the placement of geogrids due to the presence of a large drainage pipe (2,5 m in diameter) near the visible face of the wall. Another unique challenge was that we had to adapt the slope of the wall to meet another vertical wall, very complex from a topographical point of view. Another interesting technical aspect to highlight is that part of the wall is set in a floodplain area of the river Tormes, so in those cases a permeable soil was used as the reinforced soil, with better geotechnical characteristics.” Seller adds: “We used Huesker (Fortrac) geogrids with nominal tensions between 35 and 80 kN. The natural foundation ground was a slate soil, with 28º of internal friction, 10 kN / m2 of cohesion and 19.95 kN / m3 of specific weight. In the reinforced soil, we use a soil with

30º internal friction and a density of 20.00 kN / m3, of course without cohesion.” The new road, Paseo de la Transición Española, adds a length of almost 600 meters to the existing road system and provides direct access to the hospital emergency zone. It also includes another central roundabout that allows access to the new hospital complex and future parking. Landscaping and a bicycle path are still to be completed. Without a doubt the completed project is pleasing to the eye, and the additional coping blocks, the fencing along the top, as well as the large rock strip lining the base add an eyecatching visual dimension to the wall.

Client: Salamanca City Council | Project Manager: Excelentísimo Ayuntamiento de Salamanca | Main Contractor: Ferrovial Construcción | Sub Contractor: ORBE Tecnicas Y Medioambiente | Block Supplier: Prensagra Prefabricados

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Visit the web site for more information or call on (021) 465 1907


SUMMER PESTS IN URBAN AND MIXED-USE SETTINGS

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uzzing, whining, rattling, tapping, ticking, chirping, clicking and hissing – the sounds of insect life in summer. When camping or hiking, it is fascinating to hear the sounds of insects, but do we still consider them charming when they’re breeding and nesting in our living spaces? When insects become pests, it is useful to understand why they are attracted to our living and working spaces so that we can prevent them from setting up home in our home. Wiggle in the toilet bowl You’ve just returned from your summer holiday and you rush inside to use the bathroom after the long car journey and there are bloodworms in your toilet bowl – eww. Bloodworms are actually common household pests that are attracted to stagnant water and are happily wiggling beneath the water in your loo simply due to the toilet not being flushed for a long period of time. They derive their name from their red colour and they look very much like earthworms. A basic household detergent flushed through the cistern and drains will remove eggs, larvae and worms.

Sting, repeat Defensive wasps can cause repeated sharp stings which leave an unpleasant and painful burning sensation. If you notice the distinctive papery-walled nest of wasps in a wall cavity, roof space, under eaves, in bird boxes or garages, do not attempt to block the entrance of a wasp nest as they will become agitated and attempt to find another way out. Wasps can become extremely violent and aggressive when threatened and can pose a problem to people and pets. A professional wasp removal company will remove a nest usually at night or early morning when wasps are most docile. Marching termites Termites are known to inhabit tropical regions of the world, but the more moderately adapted termites live beneath the soil and forage for wood, funguses and grasses. Termites prefer moist, warm conditions and become most active during the spring and summer months. Termites bore and live in wood or near a wood source. They construct elaborate galleries and signs of an infestation are wood pellets, mud

tubes, mud mounds consisting of excavated soil and neatly broken-off pieces of grass, wood thinning, and holes in the surface of wood. Due to an increase in termite infestation in South Africa, the South African Pest Control Association (SAPCA) has included termites on their list of official wood-destroying organisms. Contact a qualified wood-destroying organisms inspector to identify and suggest an approved method of treatment to eradicate and control an infestation. Timber munchers Fresh exit holes, tunnels or ‘galleries’ and small ‘pyramid-shaped’ and ‘doughnut-shaped’ mounds of sawdust (known as frass) are good indications of a borer-beetle infestation. Look out for signs of wood borer beetle activity in your timber roof beams, window and door frames and flooring. A qualified wooddestroying organisms inspector will be able to correctly identify the type of borer-beetle and will recommend a suitable treatment method to eradicate and control an infestation. Treatments include gas fumigation, ‘drill-and-injection’ and ‘flooding’. These treatments should only be executed by a suitable qualified fumigator.

Buzz off Mosquitoes – the little pests that have a knack of attacking just as you are falling into a peaceful slumber! Mosquitoes are most active at night and are likely to bite early in the evening when they first stir from their hiding places. They breed in stagnant water or water with little flow, Eliminate their breeding areas by fixing water leaks, maintain catchment areas like uneven paving where puddles of rainwater will form, and keep ponds and swimming pools in good working order. Repel these annoying bloodsuckers by fitting bug-proof window and screen doors, using a fan to create a gusty breeze, or spraying a good repellent on your skin. Sweet sting Bees make delicious honey and they also pollinate 90% of our crops globally, but keep clear of swarming bees and have a professional remove them. Refer to the professional body of SABIO (commercial beekeepers) or WCBA (Western Cape Beekeepers Association) for reputable beekeepers who do ethical bee removals. Do not hose with water or smoke the bees to encourage them to move. This DIY approach will certainly provoke them and will encourage them to sting in defense.

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F E AT U R E

Crawling, scuttling, jumping and flying The following common pests that irritatingly vie for space in our homes and places of work are: •

Ants, which can be controlled by a professional saturation spray or granulebait treatment;

Cockroaches, a professional residual spray treatment, gel treatment for indoor infestations, or professional fogging treatment for ceiling infestations;

Fleas, lice and fish moths, a professional residual spray treatment;

Rodents, ethical live-catching, and tamperproof bait treatments;

Bedbugs, flies, and spiders, a professional saturation spray treatment.

Professional and qualified – how to choose a reputable company A pest control technician should be suitably qualified in their field of service before they administer advice or a chemical treatment on your property. Ask for a technician’s 'P number' which is officiated by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. A technician may only use a professional chemical that is registered to control the specific type of pest in question. All professional pesticides in South Africa have an 'L number' on the label. A pest control technician must always furnish a client with a treatment report after executing a treatment. The treatment report will list the client’s name, address and contact details; the commercial name of the chemical used; the active ingredients in the chemical; the areas on a property where the chemical was administered; the amount of chemical used; the technician’s name, signature and 'P number', as well as house-keeping recommendations. It is important that a client heed the recommendations so as not to compromise the efficacy of a treatment.

By Nicolette Ford, SAPCA member and co-owner and pest control technician of Bugs and Sparks

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