Pro Landscaper Africa April Edition

Page 1

Concept to Delivery


April 2019

The Block by desert INK

Urban Issue


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Welcome to our April edition of Pro Landscaper Africa. of South Africa’s urban artists with a Mural by Resoborg as well as an insight into the design and meaning behind the Arch for Arch Tutu with its renowned creator, Thomas Chapman.


elcome to the April edition of Pro Landscaper Africa.

The Parklet is a brilliant project aimed at reclaiming urban spaces and redefining how we interpret public space, we also have a wonderful piece on Lighting for Public Spaces by Paul Pamboukian.

GAPP Architects and Urban Designers contribute a perspective on the evolution of public space in the V&A Waterfront and we explore public seating: better designing urban spaces with ideas by The Ochre Office.

Our projects in the April edition are brilliant, with a look at the new Rosebank Link build in Johannesburg’s CBD, Hatfield Square in Pretoria where we take to the rooftops, Electricity House in Cape Town’s CBD where we look at a fantastic example of greening urban spaces and a special urban park in Dubai by the contemporary architects, desert INK. We also have three featured portfolios in this edition, The SAGE Head Office- with its urban farm and a new urban space titled TENONQ, by the renowned Blok Developers where we look at “Urban Encounters” in new developments. Take a walk along Sea Point’s Promenade upgrade in our third and final feature.

Our Journal this month looks at “Returning the high street to High Street” and we introduce two

Marijke Honig has come up with a brilliant tool for all our audience to use in the form

We are focusing our Issue on the Urban environment this month, looking at spaces and places that promote interaction, exchange and design that betters our densely populated cities. We ask some of our industry members to highlight their most intriguing urban spaces in our Agenda section.

of a Checklist for Designing Water-Wise Landscapes. This will be an asset to garden design. We also interview the winner of the IPPS bursary to Australia in May, Elmien Coetser, to find out more about her journey within horticulture and the wonderful opportunity to come! We are very pleased to announce that our venue for the FutureScape Africa 2019 Trade Show is the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the 25th of October. We look forward to a brilliant and beneficial day celebrating our industry! Enjoy our Urban Issue.


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News Update & Association News Industry news from around South Africa


Agenda What is the most intriguing/inspiring urban space you have encountered?



PORTFOLIOS 32 Linking Rosebank by Paragon Architects & Landmark Studios 38 Hatfield Square by Paragon Architects, House of Green & Life Green Group



Electric House by ARG Design, Architecture and Landscape firm as well as EBESA Architects


The Evolution of Public Space in the V&A Waterfront A perspective by GAPP Architects and Urban Designers


The Block by desert INK


Better Design in Urban Spaces: A Perspective on Public Seating Karen Marais, The Ochre Office


Urban Designers Journal: Returning the high street to High Street GAPP Architects and Urban Designers.


Meet the Urban Artist Work by Wesley van Eeden AKA Resoborg and Thomas Chapman


The Parklet Redefining Urban Space


A Checklist for Designing Water-Wise Landscapes Part 2 of a 2-part series by Marijke Honig


Lighting for Public Spaces Paul Pamboukian


15 Minutes with Elmien Coetser Winner of the International Plant Propagators Society’s prestigious annual bursary to Australia in May 2019


Urban Encounters by Blok Developers


Sky’s the Limit by Boogertman + Partners and Tom Conradie


Reinventing Sea Point’s Promenade



NEWS IPPS Conference 2019 growers such as Nonke Plants, Trees SA and Shadowlands to explore and share information on the day-to-day business of propagation. As with any gathering of like-minded folk, there is always an opportunity for a bit of fun at a fabulous gala dinner. This is also the perfect time to get some of that hard-earned money out of delegates pockets to go towards the exchange programme and benefit the youth of the industry. Sponsored items were auctioned to the highest bidder to help sponsor the young candidates who are undoubtedly the future of the industry.

The 2019 INTERNATIONAL PLANT PROPAGATORS SOCIETY annual conference was held in Stellenbosch in March. Delegates from all over the region gathered for three days of information exchange, presentations, site visits and workshops. IPPS has promoted the exchange of knowledge amongst horticultural professionals since 1951 and the society has a library of all papers presented since their inception, available online to all members. The spirit of camaraderie and common purpose among existing members, is shared with new delegates each year. A large focus of IPPS is the Student Exchange Programme which sponsors a student each year to travel, working in other regions, gaining experience and knowledge. This is largely

sponsored by fundraising amongst members at the annual conference. Student nominees were given the opportunity to give a presentation to the members who then select a candidate to travel to Australia through the exchange programme. This is of course a brilliant opportunity for growth. Delegates were given presentations and workshops by numerous speakers such as David Hancock from Australia, Leslie Hoy of Rand Water and Marijke Honig, our local indigenous and waterwise guru. Subject matter included diverse subjects like hydrozoning, fruit tree grafting and understanding and embracing resilience. Site visits to various growers in the area were also on the menu. Delegates spent time at local


2019 Corobrik-ILASA Awards of Excellence 25th of September 33 Year Anniversary

Awards Theme: Water Sensitive Design Call for Entries: Open for submissions: 15 February 2019, Deadline for submissions extended to 30 April 2019 Gala Dinner: Cape Town: 25 September 2019: The Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West. ILASA AWARDS ETHOS Landscape Architecture is more than a profession; it is a basic component of human culture. The ILASA Merit Awards of Excellence aims to exemplify best practice examples that are clear in their intent and relevant to their specific context. We are faced with particular social challenges in a country with extraordinary biodiversity, rich in resources but in need of conserving what we have. Projects should clearly demonstrate how they add value to the landscape, specifically in

LaRRSA Conference 2019

aspects of social or ecological health and wellbeing, but preferably encompassing both these aspects.

competition basis but based on merit; all types of projects from large complete projects to small specialist projects may be entered.

The aim of the Corobrik-ILASA Awards of Excellence is to acknowledge and promote excellence in landscape architecture. Promotion is achieved through media coverage of the project entries. ILASA further makes use of the project images on our webpage and in promotional brochures to prospective students and our peers in other professions. All material that is submitted will be retained by the Institute as part of its library.

For Eligibility Rules, Submission Categories, Fees and Time frames please visit

The projects obtaining Awards of Excellence will be acknowledged by means of the presentation of a certificate as well as media coverage. An Award of Excellence is not given on a

Africa. It is the gateway to the West Rand, and forms part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

THEME: REHABILITATION IN PRACTICE 15 - 18 July 2019 in Glenburn Lodge Muldersdrift - Gauteng

The pre-conference workshop will focus on "Soil Science Principles for the Rehabilitation of Degraded Land" and will be facilitated by Jaco Koch (North West University), Piet van Deventer, Dries Bloem (Geolab) and Johan Hattingh. The two days of conference proceedings will include renowned keynote and plenary speakers, as well as industry leaders on pertinent topics. These include Johan Zietsman, Lucy Koelslag, Mike Bruton and Junior Gabela (more to be confirmed). It will also be packed with presentations of case-studies and/or research projects focusing on our theme.

The LaRSSA conference aims to bring together key industry, governmental and academic land practitioners, all of whom have valuable insight into and contributions to make to the land rehabilitation discipline in Southern Africa. The LaRSSA 7th Annual Conference will be held at Glenburn Lodge, Muldersdrift. Located in the Kromdraai Valley and on the Crocodile River, Muldersdrift forms part of the Crocodile Ramble, a scenic tourist route generally regarded as the most popular of all the craft routes around South

The two post-conference tours will feature a trip to Rustenburg to the Kgaswane Mountain Reserve (Working for Wetlands) and the Rustenburg Kloof project (Working for Water). The second post-conference tour will be hosted by The Harties Foundation, a non-profit company, that is addressing the water hyacinth infestation at the Hartebeespoortdam by not only cleaning up the dam, but also creating jobs. This tour will include a ride on the magnificent Harties cableway. For more visit

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AGENDA: This month we look to inspire our designers of urban spaces, with a topic that showcases unique projects and portfolios from around the world. We asked a few industry influencers:

What is the most intriguing/ inspiring urban space you have encountered in the past few years?


Director @ GREENinc Landscape Architecture Place: Superkilen, Copenhagen. You’ll recognize those stripes that look like out-of-control street markings. Superkilen is a long, narrow strip in a poorer part of Copenhagen that was redeveloped in 2012, but I visited it about a year and a half ago. The new space has three sections – one red, one black (with those white stripes) and one green. The red section is a flexible urban plaza that can cater for markets and other events, and the red


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

colour splashes up the walls of the surrounding buildings. Even the trees have red leaves here. The black section is also hard space but is more densely furnished. Its white stripes part to flow around the street furniture and accentuate the interesting topography where the black section meets the green. Mercifully the green section is coloured by grass and not paint; this is a softer park space. Each of the elements arranged on this tri-colour canvas is a one-off from another country. We are told that local residents - many of them immigrants - selected things for the new park that would remind them of home. Benches, litter bins, play equipment, neon lights, post boxes

and manhole covers all form part of an eclectic collection that turns the space into a kind of multi-cultural outdoor museum, but you can use the exhibits. Each object is labeled with a plaque that indicates its origin. Superkilen was a controversial project. It has been accused of having PR that was more thorough than its community participation was. Apparently, the red paint first used was slippery and there were environmental concerns about the vast hard areas, no doubt valid. What I found inspiring about the project was the playfulness and fearlessness of the concept and that it shows that urban spaces don’t have to be dull.



Director @ Terra+ Landscape Architects What a complex question on a complex topic. Public spaces that have truly inspired me were more often than not those spaces that were not designed but evolved through a confluence of various elements and where these elements were either subtly formalised or accentuated. I do not have a favourite space or most inspiring public space, but rather, I have a sense that the idea of threshold, movement and entrance are expressed with simplicity and elegance. That implies that one corner of a public space may be a special place but not the whole, or the entrance to a space may be extraordinary but the entire space rather ordinary. The contrived designed spaces often lack in capturing the complexity of interactions that public spaces require. Inevitably in design there is a process of reduction of ideas or development of a hierarchy where one aspect is placed on a higher order than another, and this is exactly why theses spaces do not work in their entirety.

Perhaps the most important aspect is that any space must respond to its context, whether it is the subtle design of a wheelchair ramp, or the placement of a bench under a tree. The definition of the edge or the permeability of that edge. Ultimately recognising that the spaces are for people who are complex beings with complex behaviour which can only really be expressed through time. So, if I had to summarise, I would say I have favourite pieces of public space. Inspiring entrances, exciting thresholds, and intriguing corners.


Director of ENRICH Garden Design Studio Place: Yanweizhou Wetland Park in China Although readily talked about, the award-winning park still stands as one of the most innovative and beautiful rehabilitations of unused urban space, and it's a wetland! Its use of beautiful bridges that extend over large tributaries, provide crucial activity nodes for almost 40000 pedestrians into neighbouring parts of Jinhua City. Smaller pavilions, linked by meandering pathways are seasonally flooded so pathways, pavilions and plantings have been thoughtfully designed and implemented. The park It's not only an inspiring use of space but a 'ground breaking' statement on what we as custodians should be considering when we are designing and implementing landscapes. It's a bucket list item that is extraordinary.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019




Landscape Technologist @ cndv landscape architects Place: Battery Park, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Parks are generally and most certainly a good way to engage in healthy exercise. However, what happens when you throw in a canal, skate park, amphitheatre, basketball court and a bi-weekly sunset series in summer?.................BATTERY PARK. Battery park is a new urban park located at one of the busiest entrance ways (By foot and car) to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. I visited the park for the first time in February during the launch of the parks bi-weekly sunset series. This is a free music event held at the park where Cape Townians of all demographics and visitors are invited to experience and to see what the park has to offer. The park resonates with people of all ages, children and young adults especially as they can grow physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially during their visits to the park. I resonated with the park during this visit not because of the turnout to the event, but due to


Landscape Architect @ dhk architects. Place: Domino Sugar Factory Waterfront, Brooklyn, New York. Domino Park is a phenomenal linear park space that opened to the public in august 2018. The park is framed on the one side by the rustic remains of the historic Domino Sugar Factory with its feature clay brick chimney stack. On the other side the park edges on to the East River with the New York skyline in the background. What makes the park special is the way it interacts and embraces the historic industrial relics of the factory. The park and its functions are weaved in between the old gantry cranes, syrup tanks and screw conveyors which are all painted a rich and playful teal. The new functions include seating areas and platforms, a cafe, viewing platforms, a play area, volleyball courts, raised planters, a picnic


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

the fact that it is (in my opinion) the first urban park in the city to pragmatically encompass a diverse range of activities in one space i.e. spaces within spaces in this manner. To top it off, having worked on and designed public / private open spaces over the last few years, I can honestly say that battery park has a lot of potential in becoming a highly social urban space for everyone.

V&A Waterfront. Image: Dave Southwood

lawn, walkways and water features. It is this integration of the old and new that creates a space of interest where people not only come to enjoy the amenity value of the space, but to also appreciate and learn from the history of the site. This integration also comes through in the detailing of the place. One can see that materials were carefully chosen to add to the richness of the space with a playfulness between the old and new. The success of the space is evident when one observes the people using it. Children are smiling and running around, young adults are hanging out taking selfies, families are walking around enjoying the setting and others are sitting around contemplating on deeper things. It is truly inspiring to see how a well-designed space can transform a derelict place and bring out the richness of living.


THE EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC SPACE IN THE V&A WATERFRONT Over the past 30 years, public space has been an essential ingredient of development of Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, shaping its identity and success as a place that draws residents and visitors in unprecedented numbers. It is the public realm of the V&A that makes it so much more than a property development. From its inception it has provided

Package of Plans Diagram

freely accessible public spaces for cultural events, sport, celebrations and festivals. The origins of this approach grew out of the 1982 “Greening the City” open space guidelines the City of Cape Town. This document marked a watershed in Cape Town’s development as planning visionaries David Jack, Peter de Tolley and David Daniels advocated for the prioritisation

of pedestrians and open space systems over cars and freeways as the main structuring elements of cities. The Pedestrian Network Plan included the implementation of projects such as St George’s Mall provided a catalyst for the many urban open space developments that followed, including the conceptualisation and ultimate implementation of V&A Waterfront.

Map of V&A Precincts

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



The driving concept for the V&A Waterfront in 1989 was to reconnect the city with the sea and to maximise opportunities provided by the harbour. This concept was underpinned by the need to improve public access to urban open spaces. As far back as 1988, urban designer Ivan Prinsloo has visualised in his drawings a pedestrian continuum between the city and the waterfront. As St George’s Mall developed, this sketch developed to run from Parliament and the Company Gardens, down the Mall to Thibault Square, through the Foreshore, the power station site and all the way to Pierhead. Section, by section these links are being built. The historic Pierhead was the first phase to be implemented by the V&A Waterfront, which established the tone and theme of the landscape design language for future phases. New and

1990s QUAY 4 PIERHEAD PRECINCT Nobel Square Quay 4 National Maritime Museum V&A Hotel Quayside and Square Two Oceans Aquarium Watershed and Forecourt Food Court

old elements were intertwined to reinforce the character of a working harbour, against the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain. The landscaping theme, using paving, street furniture and planting, continues to provide the thread that links the waterfront to its many open spaces. The landscape architects worked in close conjunction with the urban designers, consulting engineers and various architects – and the achievements thus far, are a reflection of this joint effort.

the last 30 years. It is a multi-tiered system that consists of a contextual framework, development framework, precinct plans, site development plans and building plans. Each “package” has an associated procedure and controls and clarifies the level of intervention at each stage within the process. The approach is underscored by a broad and realisable vison. An advantage of this approach is that it limits debate over detail to its appropriate stage of development but fixes the public realm non-negotiables up front.

The success of the V&A Waterfront, resulted in part from a revolutionary approach to large scale, long term development. In the late 1980s, Peter de Tolly, then Deputy City Planner, developed the package of plans approach that has enabled the strong vision for the Waterfront to adapt to changing development patterns and owners over

Quay 4, followed by the Ferryman’s arms and the first phase of the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre were associated with the amphitheatre and Union Castle Square and these public spaces quickly became part of the public life of Cape Town. Within the Pierhead precinct, the development

VICTORIA WHARF Amphitheatre Ferryman’s Food




Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


of the Victoria and Alfred Hotel, the Craft Market and Maritime Museum in repurposed warehouses and the development of the Two Oceans Aquarium expanded the public space of Quay 4 to ultimately incorporate Nobel Square, Quayside walkways and more recently the revamped Watershed forecourt. More intimate spaces were created as part of the development of the Portswood ridge which included landscaped car parks, lawns and gardens forming part of the redevelopment of the Breakwater Prison into the GSB as well as hotels and offices. The Port Captains lawns have host a range of events including the Galileo outdoor cinema. With the development of the Residential Marina an opportunity arose to construct a canal between the Waterfront and the Foreshore, accessible via water taxi. The Canal, opened in 2009, passes the

1990s new basin PRECINCT Basquel Bridge Cape Grace Marina

site of the historic 1785 Amsterdam Battery (on the old shoreline) and provides a recreational form of access between the CBD and the V&AW. While development at the V&A has always prioritised the pedestrian environment and “hiding� cars in massive parking super basements, until recently arrival into the heart of the V&A has been car oriented, with the public spaces experienced only after exiting underground parking. In line with the global push back on congestion and recognizing the need to formulate more sustainable development models and more walkable cities, recent development in the V&A is increasingly connecting new public spaces with the wider central city pedestrian network and future proofing to accommodate world

class public transport services. In 2012, the Silo District precinct plan (developed for the V&AW by GAPP Architects and Urban Designers) reversed plans to extend the parking podium which would have wrapped the base of the historic grain silo in two levels of parking garage. The historic Clocktower Square and Nelson Mandela Gateway remained an important feature of the precinct while the silo complex was reimagined as the new heart of the precinct. In implementing the precinct plan, the V&A boldly demolished a large access ramp in front of the Silo building as part of the construction of Silo 1 (designed by VDMM Architects). This reestablished visual connection with the harbour on either side and set the canvas for the development of the now globally iconic Zeitz MOCAA. With its contemporary landscaping (designed by Planning Partners) and playful curation, this has become

portswood ridge & Granger Bay Portswood Office Park GSB and Portswood Ridge Merchant House Coastal Path Lookout & City Farm Market


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



another world class venue for the public life of the Waterfront. After the construction of the Canal on 2009, the canal district remained a low-key and underdeveloped thoroughfare into the waterfront from the CBD. The historic Amsterdam Battery lay forgotten under informal car parks until 2014. The Canal District Precinct plan (by GAPP) proposed that the Battery remnants be framed within a new public park, the canal edges connected into the wider CBD and Waterfront pedestrian network and the car oriented Dock Road traffic circle be reconfigured into a pedestrian friendly plaza linking the park and canals to the Silo District. Waterway House (designed by DHK) and canal walkway

landscaping and bridge links (designed by OVP) were developed along the northern edges of the canal, triggering demand for additional parking. The Battery Park (Designed by Planning Partners) and reinterpreted battery ramparts enclose the multi-level parking structure (designed by DHK) developed to the south of the canals. The park and canal sides have become a hive of sporting, social and cultural activity, extending the public realm of the V&AW to its interface with the surrounding city. Closing the link in the network, the new Canal Plaza allows residents, workers and tourists to walk safety and comfortably between the CBD, the Silo District and the V&AW heart beyond. No longer taking their lives in their hands, trudging

through dreary car dominated spaces, walkers can enjoy a visual and vibrant journey enriched by sights of Signal Hill, stand up paddlers, ship repairs and the newly resident families of geese. The V&A Waterfront and its various related projects has been a pivotal development in a number of ways. It has reconnected the city with the sea, which had been lost with the Foreshore development more than 50 years ago, it allowed for the regeneration of the degraded docklands, and the restoration of heritage buildings, and it has provided a well-loved attraction for both tourists and residents. The expanding network of public spaces and walkways are the glue that have held the Waterfront together for the last 30 years and will be the basis of its further success in the future.

2000s SILO and canal DISTRICTs Clocktower Square & Nelson Mandela Gateway Silo Square & Zeitz MOCAA Battery Park Canal Plaza Canal Links



Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



encourage activity to a specific zone. In urban contexts, such as piazzas or plazas, we may find seating placed for large groups of people to congregate, or smaller pockets may have been created for more intimate gatherings. The curve or shape of a bench or even the setting out of a number of benches would be thoughtfully designed to encourage either assembly or contemplation. Often we see benches placed along transit / movement paths to allow for short-term rest, or, more and more, we encounter seating types that have been integrated into steps, ramps, retaining walls or even fences, merging benches with other urban amenities to create multifunctional, innovative and distinctive elements. Most commonly, we see benches utilised in combination with built planters – outdoor seating can be extremely successful when positioned under trees or incorporated into a greening scheme. People, when considering a resting or gathering spot, are innately drawn to green and shaded environments.

Karen Marais, Director of The Ochre Office (Pty) Ltd on Seating In Urban Settings: considerations and bettering urban encounters in these spaces. Street furniture, in whatever form or for whichever purpose, assists by-in-large in making outdoor space relatable, identifiable and locally meaningful. In built-up urban areas, even more so. Where buildings tower above, a single person may perceive themselves as insignificant in comparison and it becomes increasingly important that the urban open spaces be designed to scale elements back down for human interaction and expression. Underestimated, urban furniture, and for the purposes of this article, public seating in particular, can make or break the success of a public open space scheme. Factors as simple as placement, durability, comfort, function and

even quantity should be given due regard and the value of -and need for- excellence in this sector of design should not be underrated in our everyday lives and in our everyday spaces. Without wishing to veer into poetry, any bench situated within an urban landscape is far more than just a simple seating element. It should be viewed and utilised to its full potential, as a place-making tool. All too often we design with aesthetics and form foremost in mind, when the true magic lies in how the piece works within the space – how do we position it, how do users interact with it, and how does it connect and relate to the facilities and spaces around it? Spatially and functionally, seating elements may be used to form boundaries or enclosures, separating one area from the next. Positioned mindfully, one can direct movement paths, inhibit the use of certain spaces where necessary or

The multitude of added function that the simple bench takes on even stretches into the realms of play, of lighting, dining, sculpture and of daily utility (bicycle storage, device charger, etc.). Benches are one of our key urban elements with which we physically interact. As a place-making tool, the bench can be extremely powerful, increasing the value of public open space and better integrating it into the urban environment. Key considerations when designing seating for urban open spaces are function (and versatility), practicality, durability, comfort, and expression. FUNCTION: Importantly, assess the needs of the environment you are designing for, and design to ensure that the seating incorporates the necessary functions – be it for group gatherings, more personal contemplative spaces (read people-watching) or as convenient rest locations along movement routes. Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



Remember that successful urban spaces are often adaptable, allowing the users to manipulate the space according to activity requirement or time of day. Combinations of seating are often appreciated, and, in this aspect, modular and moveable furniture is a popular design device used in contemporary public seating. PRACTICALITY: Simple, clever and practical design is often the better solution when designing in the public realm. Practical usually fits the budget, is more manageable to build or install, has greater longevity and may even deliver a stronger aesthetic. DURABILITY: In public spaces, you cannot avoid the furniture living its own life and being impacted upon by its users – an aspect to be celebrated in fact. At the same time, however, you would want to make it as lasting as possible. Consider general ware-and-tear impacts from both people and nature (sun, rain, etc.) and ensure that the benches are vandal and theft proof. Material choice, assembly and fixing detail should be given due attention.

Flexible Seating presented as playful interactive public furniture, by Izabela Boloz, Netherlands

The creative use of materials renders a simple bench into an expressive sculpture – Bench of Plates by Al_a

COMFORT: Design for people. The dimensions, shape and materiality of your seating are crucial. Some benches offer backrests, some not. Some are almost molded to the curves of a human’s sitting posture. Some utilise warm materials, some cold. Whatever the case, the more comfortable the bench, the more people will want to sit there, and the longer they’ll want to sit. EXPRESSION: I include this factor as it draws on the idea of there being deeper value and thoughtfulness in a design. Be it that the seating element becomes a sculpture piece, bold and interactive. Or perhaps it takes on cultural or social meaning in its shape, colour or materiality. The bench as an art form – an aspect not to be overlooked as users or often drawn to that which they can identify with, relate to or find meaning within.

Tiered Evo-Seating Steps are cleverly incorporated at the First Street in Manchester to soften and make use of level changes in the urban space – by Woodscape, UK


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

Striking and simple, the Code-Tilt Bench Blocks stack into multiple configurations taking versatility to the maximum – by Vestre Design, Sweden

When diving into the endless volume of reference material and resources showcasing contemporary urban benches, the (rather intimidating) brilliance in design innovation is staggering. Where, centuries ago, a simple chair was considered a luxury reserved only for those of high status, we now see seating areas celebrated in public spaces, inviting all and every to congregate, rest, contemplate, watch and to connect with each other and with their surrounds. The world over, Landscape Architects, Architects, Industrial Designers, Artisans, Craftsman, Urban Planners, and even Community-Do-Gooders are creating beautiful elements that fulfil function, are versatile and meaningful within their context.

The “Urban Reef” project in Vancouver, Canada, is a wonderful example of an enticing, expressive and responsive landscape seating installation. Breaking the line between furniture and art form, the sculptural benches are designed as interactive pieces, positioned in a meandering line down a section of downtown Robson Street – temporarily positioned to invert the street space to a street place with pedestrian rather than vehicular activity. From the creative desks of Kaz Bremner, Jeremiah Deutscher and a local furniture collective Higher Works, “Urban Reef” won the 2014 competition to create an urban installation to transform the street block to a welcoming public plaza for the Canada Day to Labor Day celebrations (July 1 to September 1).


Although a temporary installation, ie. long-term durability of materials and details was not too influential a factor, this project is notable for its innovative and successful response to the space and brief. Physically, “Urban Reef” comprises a series of undulating plywood-slatted benches, each morphing to suggest different types of occupation. They are then arranged along the site in a dynamic form that sparks curiosity and invites exploration, responding to the existing context and organizing the surrounding space for a variety of uses, be it chance social encounters or organised performance events in the plaza. Interactive art pieces in themselves, beautifully crafted to purpose, these benches effectively engage the public, connecting them to each other and to the vibrancy of the surrounding urban fabric and culture.

Looking to a more permanent precedent, the project of Valldaura Square, Manresa, is a striking illustration of how a seating solution can be magnificently simple and bold whilst acting within a larger scheme of urban renewal. The office of David Closes worked on the important upgrade of a series of Manresa’s public open spaces. Manresa, a small city of historical importance at the centre of Catalonia, Spain, required that the selected plazas and pedestrian routes be unified and identifiable in their nature and aesthetic, offering forward a singular and specific image to the public spaces of the ancient city centre. Whilst making precise decisions regarding the ordering of spatial geometries and the continuity of material typologies that flow through the scheme, Closes was able to formulate a beautifully clear language to define movement paths, activity zones and resting spaces. It is within the resting spaces (basically residual pockets carved out and set away from the bustle) that he groups together an ensemble of urban elements – trees, benches, plaza lighting, water fountains, etc. The seating takes the form of big rustedmetallic crosses, bold and contrasting against the grey hues of the paving whilst at the same time giving scale and character to the square. Positioned at various angles between the trees, they allow for a variety of views to be taken in, and the arms of the crosses extend at varied lengths out into the user space offering capture points where pedestrians might need them. The benches are also inset with timber paneling and backrests for comfort and accommodating variability in user interaction.

Valldaura square

As mentioned before,, modular seating has become an extremely effective method of formulating seating in public spaces. Depending on the desired outcome, units can be designed and prefabricated (reducing both cost and programme) to be pieced together on site in creative place-making arrangements. The “Puff” bench, for example, designed by Arriola & Fiol (a Spanish architect team), demonstrates that standardizing components allows for adaptability and versatility in the planning of an urban open space. Manufactured from engineered stone and designed as either straight or curved portions, the various pieces can stand-alone or be strung together as a sinuous linear element into what they term a “multiple seat”. In profile, the shape of the bench is constant, having a square, slightly rounded geometry on its surface and edges, tapering inwards down to the ground. Either solid or bridged benches can be selected.

Puff Bench

Transforming the simple bench into sculpture can be a wonderful adventure and when beautifully resolved and positioned they have the ability to completely alter the sense of place in any location. Amongst the countless examples scanned, I kept coming back to Pablo Reinoso’s inspiring Spagetti / Garabatos Bench Series. Bought or commissioned for various projects around the world, these twisting lace-like seats drape, curl and stretch themselves to inhabit their spaces, be they to make a statement or simply to allow for playful interpretation or interaction.


Presented with any challenge, the simple bench multitudinously comes to the rescue.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



Urban Designer’s Journal:

Returning the high street to High Street

In thriving small towns, streets serve as meeting places, where social, economic and cultural activities, can take place. Globally, there is a trend to reverse the negative economic and social impact of cars on small town CBDs and increasingly, local streets are viewed as more than just conduits for vehicular traffic and places to park, they are being reinvented as important public spaces that are an integral part of the built fabric or townscape. Additionally, small town CBDs that are vibrant and resilient can be more economically successful than monofunctional malls. According to the Global Street Design Guide and the Strong Towns Movement, more people want to spend more time in walkable, safe, well managed, people-friendly places and the foot traffic generated as a result of good pedestrian space produces more social and economic


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

opportunities than vehicular traffic. It was with this in mind that the Overstrand Municipality appointed GAPP Architects and Urban Designers to prepare a Regeneration Framework for the Hermanus CBD. The Regeneration Framework (completed and adopted in 2016) envisaged the Hermanus CBD as a vibrant, safe and attractive place for locals and visitors to spend time. Building on the existing character of Hermanus, it identified several high impact projects that could achieve this vision. The upgrade of High Street was identified by the design team and local stakeholders as one of these projects. The opportunity to implement the plans for High Street was seized by the Overstrand Municipality who appointed Element Consulting Engineers to carry out urgent storm water upgrades to solve the regular flooding of the area and Gapp to

realise the vision of the regeneration framework. High Street is an important link between the College Street retail centres and Mitchell Square. The design intention is to celebrate the historic fine-grained buildings along the street and create a vibrant, pedestrian friendly and multifunctional space that encourages people to pause and spend time, by providing safe walking conditions, shelter from the elements, comfortable seating, sufficient human scaled lighting and flexible event spaces. The upgrade of High Street will create a highquality pedestrian dominant environment with a single paved surface from building edge to building edge. Vehicular traffic routes will be defined by a subtle change in paving texture and pattern, and where necessary, bollards. This ‘shared street’ allows for the self-regulation of traffic, where vehicles are guests in the space


and people and cyclists take preference. The ‘movement zone’ (roadway) is minimised and on- street parking is reduced so that the street becomes welcoming and safe to pedestrians with the potential to host fairs, markets and other festivals. The design also includes proposals for a new pergola that is imagined as a structure to accommodate periodic markets, festive lights and also provide visual interest on the street. Connections to important historic spaces and places on the water’s edge are highlighted in the design of the paving. This material palette carefully ties into successful upgrades of Market Square and Gearing’s point. The design will encourage increased outdoor activity and better exposure (and therefore economic prospect) for the shops, restaurants and galleries that line the street.

Landscaping includes the introduction of indigenous trees, softening the streetscape and providing shade to street users. A Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) will supplement the underground storm water upgrades; this includes water wise planting in low planters that also serve as seating within the ‘social zone’. Again, local and global evidence shows that streets with trees perform better as social and economic places, businesses flourish in streets where trees have been planted. Bree, Waterkant and Loop Streets in Cape Town illustrate this well - here, new tree planting spurred the emergence of new and successful shops and restaurants as these streets became places that people wanted to spend time. Visit High Street, Hermanus in 2019 and see whether this project has achieved the same results.


At GAPP Architects and Urban designers we have 25 years’ experience in architecture, urban design and spatial planning. Our approach embraces the challenging dynamics of spatial, social and economic integration across all scales of the built environment. We are inspired to find thoughtful and reflective design solutions to complex issues and through our principle-based approach we strive for outcomes that are sustainable, resilient and people oriented. Contact: Barbara Southworth

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


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WESLEY VAN EEDEN AKA RESOBORG RESOBORG is an artist, illustrator, graphic designer and muralist. Since beginning his career in Durban, where he attended Durban University of Technology (DuT), he now works with clients from across the world! It is the convergence of all these disciplines that inform his visual style that is infused into various projects. As a youth, he discovered skateboarding and street art which has played an influential role to his ‘low brow’ aesthetic in his art. Playing in bands in the early 2000’s and making posters for the local music scene, his work is a montage of these “Do It Yourself” ethics and local African culture he was brought up in. Handmade signage, African patterns and informal African settlements all play a role in his organic approach. His work reflects contemporary global issues found in politics and youth culture, and, he is driven to seek fresh perspectives with bold shapes and textures. His current paintings and murals reflect his digital illustrations as an attempt to create a graphic style that is complementary to the different disciplines he is involved in.

FREEDOM PARK MURAL Why you were commissioned for this mural at Freedom Park? The local council developed a sports ground for Kwamashu in Durban that is free to the local community. The sports ground was located in Freedom Park which has indoor soccer, tennis, basketball, table tennis and netball. What was your brief from the municipality? The client was eThekwini Municipality and the brief was to create a 3D mural that wraps around the ablution facilities for the sports ground. It was important to create a male and female sports dominated mural so that the local community can identify with both male and female toilets. It was also required to include the words "Freedom Park" in the mural on the back of the containers so that on the main road it can be easily read for passersby. The budget for this project was R40 000, including material cost. What types of paint would you use for a mural of this nature? Depending on the surface, I would usually use acrylic household paints but because this was on a metal container, I had to use Montana Spray Paint so that the paint would not come off. Spray paint is generally very expensive and the spray paint for this mural was about R10 000 of the full budget.

and to create a boys and girls graphic for the toilet area. The containers where very dull and needed to be livened up, they have thus transformed the space and given some identity to Freedom Park. People want to visit this site and the bright colourful mural makes it distinguishable from any other space. It has identity! In your opinion what is the role of art in Urban Spaces? There are many unique uses for art in an Urban Space. As a commercial artist I like to work with specific clients, communities and their needs. Therefore, the role of art is always changing, based on the client and each unique environment. I do however believe, that art can change a space dramatically, by making it interactive and humanistic. It can take a concrete or metal structure that is taken for granted and reinterprets mundane objects into an interactive space that can help bring attention, or to evoke a certain feeling such as safety, hope, positivity, community as well as complement other aesthetics of the site. Its Important to explore this as a means for public identity and pride as well.

What was the intention behind the mural? The intention of the mural was to reinvigorate the containers with bright and colourful motifs

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



THOMAS CHAPMAN Thomas Chapman was born in Johannesburg in 1984. He has his Masters degrees in architecture (2008) and urban design (2013) from the University of the Witwatersrand, both which explored the reintroduction of ‘publicness’ into the post-apartheid city. Chapman spent time working as a researcher in the fields of oral history and civic engagement and joined Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens as a professional architect in 2009. Chapman founded Local Studio in Brixton, Johannesburg in 2012. Today, the firm employs 15 full-time staff and has a diverse portfolio of built work comprising public buildings, urban design schemes and private houses. The firm works mainly in the affordable housing, social infrastructure and public space sectors and is responsible for several projects that have played a part in the regeneration of downtown Johannesburg. Chapman has taught urban design at the University of the Witwatersrand and currently runs a housing unit at the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture. He was selected as one of the Mail and Guardian Young South Africans in 2016 and represented Local Studio as one of only 15 architectural practices selected by Juan Herreros at the Columbia GSAPP’s ‘Constructing Practice’ symposium in New York in 2017. In 2018 Chapman was selected by Architectural Record as a winner of the Architectural Vanguard award, which recognizes the best emerging architects from around the world.

Arch for Arch Tutu The Desmond Tutu Arch, Company’s Garden, Cape Town CBD Why you were commissioned to do this Structure? I was invited to speak at Design Indaba in 2016 by Ravi Naidoo, the same year that he conceptualized a commemorative project for Desmond Tutu together with then-mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille. Ravi had already enlisted Kjetil Thorsen from Snøhetta, a prominent Norweigan/ American architecture

firm, to work on the project but recognized the need for a local collaborating firm. We met Snøhetta at the end of 2016 and together we conceptualized the project which was launched in its prototype form on the Design Indaba stage in February 2017. Tell us about the Client and their brief to you? We were commissioned by Interactive Africa, the organizers of Design Indaba but our collective ‘client’ was made up by Interactive Africa, the City of Cape Town and the project’s main funders, The Liberty Group. The brief was to

create a place that captured the story and spirit of the constitution of South Africa at the same time as commemorating the work of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. The City of Cape Town had originally approached Ravi Naidoo to commission a mural to this effect, but Ravi had bigger ideas for ‘The Arch’ and conceptualized the notion of an ‘Arch for Arch’ which became our brief. What is the intention behind the Structure? The story of the structure is fairly well-known to Capetonians now: 14 bentwood arches each representing a chapter in the Constitution of South Africa. Spatially, our intention was to create a soft, accessible space that welcomed inhabitants so that the spirit of the brief was ‘felt’ rather than ‘told’ in the way that many monuments in the Company’s Garden do. In your opinion what is the role of art in Urban Spaces? Art can have many roles in urban spaces. In my view art is most effective when it can be experienced beyond the visual and in some way bring people together in a common experience.


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

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A collaboration between Blok, Future Cape Town, GAPP Architects and Cameron Barnes.

A parklet is a public amenity for use by anyone at any time. It can take many forms, but in essence consists of a small park that is placed in a public parking bay on a city street. The aim of installing a parklet is to take back urban space from motor vehicles and reallocate it to the general public. The Parklet on Regent Road The Blok Showroom on Regent Road in Sea Point gave the socially aware urban property developer brand an unmissable opportunity to co-create a temporary parklet on the Atlantic Seaboard, and give back to the community in which they operate. The project, a collaboration between Blok, Future Cape Town, GAPP Architects and Cameron Barnes, was created in association with The City of CT’s parklet guidelines (2015), which aims to challenge introducing public space into dense urban areas. GAPP Architects, winners of the Blok Parklet competition run in 2015, commented: “The parklet is about taking a stand to reclaim and beautify public space along Regent Road for the people using the street. From past experience of parklet design, adaptable engaging spaces are the key influencing factors to usership. The design does exactly this as it encourages varied 26

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


configurations to create space, which are easily adapted to varied situations. Triangular blocks of seating and planting can be placed together or near others to make intimate spaces, or pulled away to allow for large groups to engage. If an event is hosted and more standing room is needed, the blocks can easily be stored away. It also encouraged non-motorized transport by providing convenient bicycle racks. Blok sponsored various elements of the project including the build, the hiring of the bays and the WiFi, but the structure belongs to the public. The intention was to offer a break from a busy stretch of road where there is little public seating; whether it be a comfortable place to read, eat, drink or interact with friends and strangers alike, or somewhere to take a call, take a seat, or simply take a break in a busy day. Cameron Barnes, who constructed the parklet, said that “it should be seen as a slice of the Promenade on Regent Road. Somewhere that provides a comfortable escape from the urban environment, for anyone that needs it.” The reason for the project is very specifically to try to understand how to define public space in

an existing urban environment and encourage people to think of the street as a space that they can use for purposes other than driving and walking between shops. “We wanted to provoke conversation around public space; who can manage and participate in co-creating it, and essentially to redefine the way that people view public spaces in an urban environment,” says Jacques van Embden, MD of Blok. "The Parklet is a provocation as well as a gift. It extends the public realm into space formerly reserved for cars, thereby offering a space to pause and rest along a busy road where seating is scarce. At the same time, the Parklet is the result of negotiation and collaboration with the city authorities - and a provocation to the car-owning public, to consider alternative ways of using and enjoying city space. As a public gesture, it is hoped that the parklet will also inspire similar interventions in more and more streets," added Rashiq Fataar, Future Cape Town, MD. The Parklet at the V&A Waterfront Recently, Blok in partnership with Future Cape

Town, GAPP Architects and Cameron Barnes Furniture officially relaunched their Parklet public intervention at the V&A Waterfront. Now situated across from the V&A Waterfront’s Food Market, the Parklet will provide shoppers, tourists and Waterfront staff ample seating, shade and Instagram-ready views of the Alfred Basin. “We’re excited to have the Parklet at the Waterfront and plan to place it in a few locations during its stay. This will ensure that as many people as possible interact with it, and we hope will provide us more insight into our visitors’ behaviour and needs,” said V&A Waterfront Social Inclusion and Placemaking Programme Manager, Henry Mathys. “Future Cape Town is proud to see the Parklet move from the vibrant Regent Road to the V&A Waterfront which welcomes over 24 million visitors a year. This intervention continues to encourage both the public and private sector, as well as communities and residents to rethink how our urban spaces can become more welcoming for all people,” concluded Fataar.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


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LIG HT IN G FO R PU BL IC SPAC ES - Paul Pam bouk ian

Leni Schwendinger is a New York based lighting designer who now calls herself a Nighttime Designer. She is also the founder of Nightseeing and has initiated “Lightwalks” in many diverse cities, where she guides groups of people through cities at night analysing the different night time environments and experiences. Until recently, she was, the Associate principal at Arup’s NYC lighting design office and has gained recognition as a global innovator and expert on lighting for the night, which may seem like stating the obvious, but she has proved this understanding to be otherwise. Schwendinger has described the practice of choosing commercial products from a catalogue and lighting public spaces by formulae, dictated by often antiquated codes and regulations, as missing the point of lighting for the night. For Leni, night lighting should primarily be designed for the use of people using public spaces at night

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



Lighting Designer Paul Pamboukian Lighting Design •

whether from an economic, social or recreational standpoint. The lighting in a particular area should be adapted to the life and function of a particular district or neighbourhood and should reflect the activities that are prevalent in that area so as to encourage nightime, social and economic interaction in an environment in which people feel safe, stimulated and comfortable. So, the process of approaching the design of the night space should begin with the following objectives: •


To create a cohesive visual environment: Analysing the layers of light producing sources such as light generated from residential or corporate buildings, signage, shop window displays etc. with a view to reducing visual “noise” and enhancing legibility and clarity. Integrating additional lighting systems requires an holistic, humancentric approach. The aim is to produce an effective but pleasurable night environment. Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

To satisfy the conditions for safety and security. This remains a priority in many cities, especially in South Africa where the lack of effective public lighting remains an ongoing challenge. There is no doubt that inadequate lighting in our high streets, urban and suburban centres and townships has pushed our night activities into shopping malls, high security mixed use centres and off the streets.

A sense of night time security would attract more people into their urban centres which, in turn, also provides a sense of security. The success of First Thursdays in which, once a month, city and suburban centres in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town transform our usually deserted streets into public, social gatherings. City centres such as Maboneng prove that night activities can exist safely beyond indoor malls and so called, squares. •

To recognize the prevailing functions and socioeconomic conditions of an urban precinct: This entails collaborative involvements engaging associated professionals with the local residents and business owners and a thorough quantitative and qualitative analysis of the neighbourhoods and districts affected. The first step being; who is using our streets and how are they using them?

The above three pointers are fundamental to successful urban renewal projects across the globe which have prioritised and included innovative public lighting as a vital component of invigorating the night experience. A well publicised case in point being Diller Scoffido + Renfro’s High Line design in NYC where the old High Line viaduct had fallen into disuse and dilapidation and faced demolition. The new, now famous scheme, included a very thorough and well researched lighting intervention conceived and designed by the

French lighting designer, Hervé Descottes from L’Observatoire International. This scheme included low pollution, low level lighting integrated into safety rails, lights under benches, purpose designed low level linear indirect systems, tree lighting, lighting to associated buildings and many unconventional urban lighting interventions, to create a vibrant, low polluting, low glare and safe feeling night environment. The scheme also spilled into the near derelict Meatpacking district and helped in the regeneration and enlivenment of the nightscape of this area as well. Currently, the traditional lighting applications included in urban Masterplans in South Africa utilize basic and outmoded public lighting specifications and techniques, mostly based upon off-the-shelf street posts and bollards and are based on outdated municipal and national application codes. Budgeting for lighting is often unrealistic and lighting our precincts takes a back seat to other interventions. As a consequence to this, our public spaces generally die at night and much of the socioeconomic advantages inherent in the planning are lost or depleted. Please watch Leni Schwendinger’s YouTube video on a project that she was involved with in Getsemani , Colombia. dDRG0R8kB1E. This project shows that even if budgets are low, the spirit and nighttime identity of a community and neighbourhood can be successfully addressed by means of lateral interventions and a succinct lighting methodology.

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LINKING ROSEBANK Redefine Properties’ new premium development, Rosebank Link, was set to become Rosebank skyline's newest icon upon completion late last year. The predictions were not wrong! Towering an impressive 15 storeys high, the building consists of two basement parking levels, a pedestrian walkway with ground floor retail space, a five-level parkade and eight storeys of rentable office space. Rosebank Link has direct, convenient and safe access to the Gautrain station, The Zone and Rosebank Mall. Rosebank Link has achieved a 4-star Green Star rating. With architecture by Paragon Architects, landscape architecture by Landmark Studios and interior plantscaping by Life Indoors, this building is the epitome of Urban design.


This is a Redefine Properties commissioned development, which included the demolition of the old Rosebank Mews Building, to be completely reimagined into Rosebank Link. As a building standing foremost in the centre of a developing public cosmopolitan area, the client wanted a unique iconic approach in connecting all amenities which would respond to the public and neighbours in a new and exciting way. One of those approaches was to raise the building above ground, the introduction of an organic vaulting structure allowed for a thoroughfare for public traffic. At the heart of the building is a multi-storey enclosed, north-facing atrium fashioned to capture the sunlight filtering down into a unique fluid underbelly of the groundfloor thoroughfare. This creates a conduit for a combination of water features, green walls and indigenous planting brought to life in executive roof gardens, podium-level gardens, and parkade-wall gardens that result in a tranquil oasis within the bustling Rosebank precinct. Landmark Studios describes that the firm was commissioned by Redefine Properties to design the interior streetscape that would encourage movement from Oxford Road and the Rosebank Gautrain Station through to Cradock Square and the various retail elements around it. This space was to incorporate comfortable access across the three metres height difference, and incorporate water features and soft landscaping to soften the building and hard surfaces. The entire ground floor landscape would be built off various slabs, and so careful coordination and consideration for levels and services was essential. On the podium level the concept was to retain forms present elsewhere the building and landscape language, whilst adjusting the palette to incorporate more indigenous and Water Wise planting.

Sourcing Materials The look and feel for the project was that of an open park environment for landscaping. This required the interfacing of materials not typically used for internal commercial architecture. With the assistance of Landmark, Paragon Architects were able to source all of their hardscape and softscape materials locally. One of the key challenges for the team, was the souring the pavers, particularly textures and colours which complimented the design intent of the whole building. The team’s textures and patterns where unique and required the assistance of specialist local contractors to help create new moulds and to experiment with new colours in order to achieve the desired look and feel. The outcome of this specialised and unique paving is extraordinary. Landsmark Studios describes that a significant challenge on the project was the sourcing of specimen trees & plants for the ground floor atrium which could thrive in low-light conditions. Ficus benjamina were selected from a nursery in Malelane, Mpumalanga, which grows trees for these environments. Plants that could thrive within the low-light conditions such as bromeliads, Peace lilies, crotons and Plectranthus species were also specially selected. Given the contemporary forms of the architecture, and the ‘streetscape’ concept for the landscape areas, the need for a unique paving solution was needed. After developing a concept involving a combination of large polygonal pavers and long 600x150mm pavers, Smartstone was approached to manufacture custom pavers for the project.

used to impart the character of an indigenous South Africa landscape. Life Landscapes and Life Indoors at Rosebank Link The client, Redefine Properties, was actively involved in the design process from inception, enabling a clear brief and regular tailoring of the scheme to match operational and aesthetic requirements. Given the location of the site, the client’s wish was that the public thoroughfare through the building, reflect the quality of the adjacent street, i.e. a streetscape, whilst still imparting the contemporary forms present throughout the building. The appearance of the ‘floating’ walkways is intended to suggest that the walkways through the building are crossing above existing natural vegetation, thereby reinforcing the idea of bringing the outside into the building. Given the nature of the building, many of the constraints related to the coordination of services and the accommodation of slab & other structural requirements. On the ground floor, natural light levels were analysed and take into consideration from an early stage. The ground floor sits many floors below the roof lights, at the bottom of the narrow thoroughfare created by the northern and southern wings of the building. As such, the plant selections on this level were carefully selected so as to perform well in these environments. Trees for this level were selected from a specialist nursery in Malelane, where the large Ficus benjamina, Ficus ali and Trichelia emetica specimens were grown under heavy shade to acclimatise them for indoor use.

On the podium level, as a rich selection of succulents and indigenous wild grasses were

Location: Rosebank, Johannesburg Landscape Size: The ground floor area of intervention is approximately 1200m² The podium level external area is approximately 680m². Timeline: 24 months to build Cost of entire building: R750 million Client: Redefine Properties

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


PORTFOLIO MEET THE TEAM Paragon Architects: Warren Wesson Landscape Architect: Landmark Studios Main Contractor: WBHO Paving contractor: Earth Civils Project manager: Betts & Townsend Quantity Surveyor: MLC Quantity Surveyors and Construction Consultant SUPPLIERS Paving: SmartStone’s polygonal paver & custom 600x150 paver - 011 310 1161 Corobrik’s ‘Burgundy’ piazza paver 011 871 8600 Landscape Contractor: Indoor trees and planting installation by Life Landscapes - 011 959 1000 Green Wall: Life Indoors - 011 959 1000 Water Feature: Malachite Pools - 082 451 1750 Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions - 011 474 0171 Timber cladding: LJ infrastructure and Mowana Timber Projects Exterior Planting Sourced by: Tshala plant brokers - 071 683 1177 Interior Planting: Tuberflora Nursery - 011 662 1954 Impala Nursery - 084 014 2965 Interior Trees: MCM Nursery - 013 792 4850 Images: Infrastructure photos


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019




Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


ABOUT LANDMARK STUDIOS Landmark Studios is a cutting-edge landscape architectural practice that carries out exceptional work both locally and internationally. Understanding the vision of our clients and designing to support these, the Landmark Studios team continually delivers prestigious work, fulfilling and exceeding briefs.Every effort is made to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, to use local materials and indigenous plants and to draw on local knowledge to best design each environment. With a focus on craft design, all hard landscape elements, such as paving, water features and lighting, are designed to specification. Solutions to even the most challenging of needs are met with confidence given Landmark Studio’s proven track record.

A B O U T PA R AG O N A R C H I T EC T S Paragon Architects, established in October 1997, is an internationally-active African design business, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the originator of the Paragon Group of design businesses, delivering commercial, retail, industrial, interior, residential and educational architecture and space planning to visionary clients in all property sectors. As a Group we are committed to Africa, and believe in the future of its cities. Our roots are here. We have much to offer. We are able and agile, and actively participate in the continent’s urban and human development. Paragon is flexible and diverse in its approach to design. Each project is unique and is not driven by style, but by lifestyle and a response to user needs. Elegant and efficient planning form the core of our designs. We understand the needs of our clients, and know how to generate ever new architectural forms in a competitive property market.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019





Located directly outside the University of Pretoria, Hatfield Square is in a prime position to succeed as a mixed-use student accommodation development. The final phase, completed at the end of 2018, saw a total of 2 200 beds for accommodation. The overall development offers residential and retail components, and serves as a flagship, mixeduse precinct that resonates strongly with the live, work and play theme that echoes across Respublica residences. With architecture by Paragon Architects and Landscape Architecture by House of Green, Hatfield Square is a perfect example of urban living, in the bustle of Pretoria.


The Brief The building is owned and managed by Respublica Student Living (RSL). Respublica is SA’s first dedicated student accommodation operator to secure an investment from a public listed REIT through its joint venture with Redefine Properties (Ltd), namely Respublica Student Living (RSL). The student housing development provides 2200 beds to students in the Hatfield, Pretoria area. The scale of the building has been broken into 4 interlinking blocks or 'neighbourhoods'. This design not only ensures that each unit has maximum access to views and light but also has the added benefit of promoting individual communities with their own amenities and shared spaces within the larger scheme. Each 'neighbourhood' has its own vertical circulation, male & female ablutions and various common spaces (studies, recreational rooms and common kitchens). The ground floor of the development houses 3500sqm of retail, with a mix of restaurant and line shop tenants. Basements provide a total of 815 parking bays (for students and retail visitors). Rooftops: Because of the 2200 bed capacity, the site needed to provide as much indoor as outdoor space to accommodate the resident’s needs. To achieve this, the team cleverly took to the building’s roof-tops to maximise the outdoor offerings. Ground level landscaping was sparse in this precinct, so the team interpreted the surrounds, to provide as much variety in terms of space as possible (socialising, studying, meditating, playing). This space is also a safe area for the occupants to use and provides unobstructed pedestrian flow. The scheme has been designed as 4 interlinking buildings. Pulling the programme apart, not only ensures that each room has maximum access to light and views but also has the added benefit of reducing the grand scale and promoting communities within a larger whole. Each building is considered a neighbourhood with access to its own amenities and shared spaces. Mixture of unit types allow choice for students, dependant on their situation and affordability. Facades are built from AAC Blocks (a new product on the market of which Hatfield was at a stage using 100% of the local production); Facades were finished in a Terraco applied finish of varying monochrome colours and textures, with only pops of the 'neighbourhood' colours to individualise each building.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019




Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

PORTFOLIO MEET THE TEAM Architects: Paragon Architects Landscape Architects: House of Green Landscape Contractors: Life Landscapes Pretoria Project Managers: Betts Townsend Project Managers Quantity Surveyors: MATLA QS Civil Engineers: EDS Structural Engineers Mechanical & Wet Services: Ingplan Mechanical Electrical Engineers: Ingplan Principal Contractors: G.D.Irons Construction (Pty) ltd Fire Consultants: Ingplan Mechanical

SUPPLIERS Decking & seating: BVM Projects - 072 719 5800 Product: NewTechWoodÂŽ - 011 463 7775 Seating: Timbermax - 082 386 4707 Water Feature: Hard Landscaping Enterprises - 083 263 5656 Irrigation Design: Mainline Irrigation - 011 444 4454 Product: Hunter Irrigation Artificial lawn and Sports court: Installation: Africa United - 082 822 4788 Product Belgotex Sport & Belgotex Grass - 011 380 9300 Bollard Lighting: Lighting Innovations - 011 444 1168 LED Striplights on Steel Trees: OPG Lighting - 012 348 5351 Canopy Lighting: JCS Lighting - 018 468 2957

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



The development has been well received. To date there is a shortage of student beds in the TUKS/Pretoria environment. New facilities, exciting designs and variety of choice are elements which are attracting the student market to Hatfield Square. The building is fully-equipped with back-up water and electricity supply services in the event of such shortages. The Materials Used Facebrick and timber was predominantly used throughout the landscaping to juxtapose the monochromatic applied finish of the façade and bring a natural feel to the spaces. Hatfield Square is an exciting development which stands out in its surroundings. Retail offerings and variety of accommodation choice have added to the user and visitor satisfaction. Student Facilities such as: access to retail offerings of the doorstep, ample basement parking, shared ablutions, study centres, study/ multifunctional rooms, common kitchens and lounges, recreational areas, computer rooms, laundries and a rooftop gym are some of the facilities available, as well as access to swimming pool and courtyards. Free Wi-Fi throughout the development, weekly servicing of units and 24 hour security are all included in the rent. Although not a green star building, the services and orientation of the facility have been designed for maximum sustainable/ environmental savings. Sourcing Materials All residential brickwork was built from AAC Blocks; Facades were finished in a Terraco applied finish of varying colours and textures. Facades on monochrome with only pops of the 'neighbourhood' colours to individualise each building. Facebrick and timber were predominantly used throughout the landscaping, bringing a natural feel to the spaces. Softscaping Life Landscapes describe that the client requested continuous colour, playing around with leaves and shapes, colour and flowers. Steel trees were utilized for height and depth because all landscaping was done on suspended concrete slabs and in planters. A number of fun usable spaces needed to be created for student


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

living and entertainment; this would be with limited depth for planting due to engineering constraints. The project had to be done in different phases: Phase 1a started in October 2016. Phase 1b was completed in June 2017. Phase 2a started in October 2017 and Phase 2b was completed in August 2018. Life Landscapes was responsible for all of the soft landscaping, including the irrigation, water feature, steel trees, artificial lawn and the sports court. Regular meetings with the client ensured that the design was suitable for the variety of spaces required. Obstacles faced during the construction: As is the case for most developments, it is always tricky to work around other constructions and contractors and Life Landscapes explain that they could only work in areas available to them at a specific time. There were different levels and floors from ground floor to the building's roof top and in many instances, material had to be carried up the staircase as this would be the only means of access to a specific level. The team used the main contractor’s crane to lift materials to higher floors but it was not readily available and thus, Life Landscapes had to work before or after normal working hours as the other contractors had to use it during the day. There were some nights that the team worked shifts from 18h00 till 06h00 trying to get planting medium to higher levels before the normal work shift would start for the team. Some construction detailing had to be amended on site due to various on site conditions. Construction time was very limited, especially nearing the end of the project, and we had to carry plants and material up the scaffolding staircase. It is always difficult navigating developments with differences in heights, but the outcome of this Urban space has made everything worthwhile for all teams involved on the project.

A B O U T PA R AG O N A R C H I T EC T S Paragon Architects, established in October 1997, is an internationally-active African design business, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the originator of the Paragon Group of design businesses, delivering commercial, retail, industrial, interior, residential and educational architecture and space planning to visionary clients in all property sectors. As a Group we are committed to Africa, and believe in the future of its cities. Our roots are here. We have much to offer. We are able and agile, and actively participate in the continent’s urban and human development. Paragon is flexible and diverse in its approach to design. Each project is unique and is not driven by style, but by lifestyle and a response to user needs. Elegant and efficient planning form the core of our designs. We understand the needs of our clients, and know how to generate ever new architectural forms in a competitive property market.

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This enchanting living green wall and rooftop garden in Cape Town's CBD, is the perfect example of urban greening. This is a collaboration between ARG Design, Architecture and Landscape Design Firm and EBESA Architects.

Timeline: March 2016- April 2018 Contract Value: R167 million Site Address: Located on two corners of Buitengracht, Hout and Bree Street, Cape Town CBD.


SUPPLIERS Architects: EBESA ARCHITECTS Landscape Architects: ARG Design Horticultural specialist: Urban Choreography Green Wall: MRC Landscape Contractor Roof Gardens: Interplant

ARG Design, Architecture and Landscape Design Firm collaborated with EBESA Architects on the design of an exciting living green wall and rooftop garden for a new office block and depot for the Electricity Department of the City of Cape Town. The custom designed landscape, offers a rooftop amenity space for office gatherings and special events, as well as an unusual living wall covering. The water wise vegetated areas feature succulent plant species that have Crassula Acid Metabolism (CAM). These plants are able to withstand high temperature and extreme conditions as they only open their stomata at night when conditions are cooler and are thus able to survive drought and extreme conditions that conventional metabolism plants are not able to do.

green wall and roof top gardens, which would add Ecological value to the site and form part of an indoor-outdoor experience for the users of the building.

The outdoor lighting creates an intimate atmosphere at night and illuminates the gardens and wall in a gentle glow for after-hours activities.

ARG Design’s Landscape Architect, Amy Rosenthal, worked closely with a Horticultural specialist advising on plant species and a suitable green wall system for her design. The ANS Living Wall Modular System was implemented which had advantages over the alternative hydroponic mat systems. The compartmentalized modular container system allowed for more space for plant roots to anchor plants and in turn protect

The performance based green roof system and living wall contributed to a five-star Green Building Council rating for the building. ARG Design was commissioned to design the

Green roofs can help regulate a building’s internal temperature, reduce stormwater runoff, and mitigate the urban heat island effect. This is particularly relevant in the CBD of Cape Town where the heat island can increase temperatures by as much as 6 degrees. The green wall design for Electricity House was intended to respond to the perforated white composite aluminium screen walls on the other facades and to create a “softened” façade along Buitengracht street.

the roots from overheating and desiccation when exposed in Cape Town’s hot and windy summer conditions. The plants too, were selected based on their ability to withstand high temperature and extreme conditions. The pattern designed for the plants was developed within a grid system. The system allowed for easier allocation of the correct plants for the best design impact. The plants were grown at a nursery and manually numbered in relation to the grid system designed on paper. This made it easier at the installation stage to place the pods/plant types in the correct position. The installation was accomplished using a scissor lift. The rooftop garden was designed in a similar manner to the green wall using plants that would manage the external weather conditions and create a sustainable ecological environment. Rooftop gardens and green walls are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world. In addition to their aesthetic benefits, and importantly for the electricity department, a typical 2-3 story building can experience 15-25 percent savings in summertime energy costs with a green roof and wall.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



SUPPLIERS Exterior Paint Plascon - (021) 505 2557 Composite Panels (Exterior) Etherington Aluminium - 021 981 9667 Borehole Bluescape Water - 072 293 8270 Terrazzo Tiles (circulation) Union Tiles - 011 663 2000 Composite Bamboo Decking Decks4Life - 021 762 4752 Paving Contractor Highland Paving Product Inca Concrete - 021 904 1620


ARG Design is a black empowered company, owned by Gita Goven, Alastair Rendall and Istvan Gosztola. The company was established in 1999 and has been in operation for the past 20 years. ARG Design offers Urban Design, Architecture, Town Planning and Landscape Architecture professional services to public, private and institutional clients, based in Southern Africa and Africa. ARG Design is committed to main streaming regenerative design and development throughout the built Environment Sustainability is a core value of ARG and members and employees have been trained to use the green building assessment tools of the Green Building Council of South Africa, as well as regenerative systems design approaches. ARG Design is registered with the South African Institute of Architects and its partners and employees are registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the Cape Institute for Architects, The South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) and the Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA).


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

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THE BLOCK desert INK designs an intriguing urban park in Dubai, re-purposing many materials on site, to contribute to a brilliant example of public landscape.


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


Covering statement: ‘The Block’ stands out as one of the most unique and innovative landscape designs in the Middle East. Instead of applying a 'one size fits all’ approach to landscape architecture, The Block provides a wonderful example of how site-found waste materials can be successfully utilised to create a unique character and function within a public landscape. This award-winning urban park project was constructed over a seven-month period, providing the primary outdoor recreational space for the Dubai Design District (d3), whilst simultaneously drawing in visitors from outside the community to explore this new urban district. desert INK seized the opportunity to utilize more than 700 surplus concrete quaystones abandoned at the site during the construction of the adjacent Dubai Water Canal. People This urban park re-purposes countless recycled materials, features many incidental play areas for children to explore, an outdoor gym, sports facilities and food and beverage outlets. By providing a framework of open spaces including plazas, lawns and an urban beach, The Block is truly defined by the people, events, artwork, activities that then populate the space, often transforming the landscape in ways that were not envisioned by its designers. The quaystones are a unifying element of the design, being utilized to creating a wide range of interactive elements for visitors of all ages and physical abilities from climbing walls to parcour zones and opportunities for play and exercise. During

the planning process, desert INK capitalised upon the city's burgeoning water taxi network, incorporating a station within the park, in addition to linking the park to the wider cycle/ pedestrian network which follows the new canal. Place As a recently-constructed design district within the city, the client was keen to create a one-ofa-kind design statement that aligned with the creative ethos of the district. The park itself is designed as a physical expression of d3's vibrant, colourful and creative brand and has gone on to not only reflect the district but be a significant part of the brand itself, attracting curious visitors who have seen this new landmark from afar. The park's design seeks to distance itself from existing urban parks in the city, which typically feature generic tropical planting, open lawns and a predictable sequence of spaces. In contrast, The Block seeks to foster a sense of excitement in visitors, using the quaystones to construct a series of expansive and intimate spaces which beg to be explored. One of the most intriguing spaces in the park is ‘The Siq’; a series of narrow winding corridors created by stacking quaystones up to 7 meters high. Very much like walking through a desert wadi ravine, the space remains substantially shaded and is noticeably cooler, making it ideal for budding rock climbers which populate this zone. Within just two weeks of opening, a number of significant events were held at the park, including the Prime Ministers 'Happiness Festival' and the 'Miami Vibes Food Fest'. The park’s plazas and lawn areas proved their worth, hosting food trucks, exhibitions, installations and activities.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



The ability to accommodate such gatherings was a critical part of the park’s design, with the design team acutely aware that such programming is equally as important as the physical fabric of the park in forging memories, community spirit and ultimately happiness in its visitors. Nature The Block provides a successful case study advocating the incorporation of native materials within landscapes and is set to change the region's predisposition and mindset that imported materials are somehow superior. Not only does the park utilise recycled materials such as spent scaffolding planks, but it actively pioneers new hard landscape materials, such as crushed local stone to create a hoggin-like floor finish. The desert INK team likewise showcase native plant species previously unused in commercial landscapes, such as the vibrant Leptadenia pyrotechnica. The use of such local materials not only serve to reduce environmental impacts of the construction process, but critically help to define a new, locally-relevant palette of landscape materials which truly belongs. This new palette, coupled with the fact that the re-appropriation of the quaystones saved 21,000 tons of concrete being landfilled, make The Block one of the most sustainable landscape installations in the region.

Third party affirmations “Since the completion of ‘The Block,’ there is now an increase in recreational outdoor space and greenery in Dubai Design District; a most welcome addition. Its vibrant presence definitely fits with the vision of the district, a destination for some of the leading creative minds in the city. Our creative partners and their staff alike have given positive feedback since it opened in February of this year. We’ve had a great response across social media platforms and it was fantastic to see the public taking part in the Happiness Festival along with the Miami Vibes hosted there. We look forward to hosting many more events in the upcoming winter season.” – Programming and Outreach Director, Dubai Design District "It was a pleasure to be involved in the journey of the The Block, from pre-design, to desert INK’s original concepts through to completion and what stands today as a distinctive landmark along the Dubai Canal. It was great to work with the team developing The Block's functionality around the people who would be using the facilities. The design to re-use the left over quaystones on site from the previous project saved considerable costs that would

have otherwise been required for demolition or relocation. With each quaystone weighing in at over 30 tons, the design efforts also spared what could have been a considerable environmental impact and created unique design & play features that added character and a unique sense of place to the project." - Design Project Manager, TECOM Group “From the very beginning of this project, we had our sights set on developing a public space that was completely original. desert INK provided apt solutions that proved not only cost effective, but sustainable, allowing many of the materials and components to be moved to a new site or recycled. The Block certainly offers users a unique experience.” – Assistant Project Manager, Asset Development, Development and Technical Services, TECOM Group. I visited the ‘Block Park’ recently and wanted to let you know how refreshing it was to see something different finally being applied to a public recreation space. It is really encouraging to see that there are finally Clients here willing to take a risk in breaking away from the norm. Generally speaking I get rather bored of seeing the same old formula applied to every public space and the lack of willingness to allow any alternative ideas or creativity to be considered. I am happy to say that, after more than 40 years in the region, It is great to see a continuing advancement of local landscape. ‘The Block’ certainly delivers as being an intriguing, exciting place to be. It is great to see defunct construction materials and native plants used to create a contrasting and more interesting sustainable landscape in an urban setting. Well done to everyone on the team. I hope we see more use of such materials and plants in the years to come to create a more recognizable landscape vernacular better suited to our climate and environment. - Julian Lee – Author “Landscape Plants of Arabia”


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

Growing Health

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P R OJ EC T F E AT U R E Size: 53 apartments Timeline: 20 months

URBAN ENCOUNTERS TENONQ Blok Developers create the contemporary TENONQ on the Atlantic Seaboard. This spectacular rooftop space with breathtaking views is the perfect spot for social interaction and urban encounters!

TENONQ is a new Sea Point development by the renowned Cape Town urban property developers, Blok. From the outset TENONQ had communal living as a key priority on the design brief. Human interaction is essential in this development and was drawn into the floor plans, with the focus being on not only the living space- but also the areas of social interaction. Cape Town architectural firm, WAUW, worked tirelessly on activating communal areas with specific activities in mind, imagining the entire development as an extension of each individual’s backyard. As architect Erik Janse van Rensburg puts it, “The apartments aren’t everything.” So, before the design on any individual apartments got underway, Erik and his partner Eric van den Berg first focused on the building’s shared spaces. Or, to embrace some of their architectural speak, “social planes”. The best views, the best light and the most space are shared assets that improve everyone’s experience and encourage residents to embrace a new, interactive way of urban living. These shared assets include special features on the development’s sixth floor such as an indoor gym with breath-taking views of Lion’s Head, a rooftop entertainment deck with a swimming pool and braai areas, as well as stunning views of the Atlantic Seaboard.

This prime property would be used for penthouses by most developers, but in accordance with the spirit of the development, almost all of the sixth floor has been made available for communal living. So, even if you live on the ground floor, you still get to savour rooftop sunsets. The 500m2 entertainment deck is finished with beautiful Brazilian tigerwood while the 39m-long pergola, seating and tables which were also constructed by Prime Projects, are Balau timber. Both are extremely durable hardwood that will ensure that these stunning features last for years to come. An array of planters have also been placed along the deck to add greenery and a more natural finish to the space. At approximately 17m3, the pool is one of the entertainment deck’s most stunning features and offers swimmers a cooling dip in summer and panoramic views of Lion’s Head and Sea Point year-round. The deck also has four braai areas that are positioned to provide residents and guests, plenty of space to prepare meals and socialise. "We have leveraged these incredible building amenities to create launchpads for resident’s lives. By challenging convention and questioning every design normality we continue to design spaces with duality and innovation," says Blok MD, Jacques van Embden. Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



Materials This eight-story building is home to 53 apartments – the most ever used in Blok’s portfolio, and, took over 1 million bricks, 4 000 cubic metres of concrete, 509 tons of steel, 25 kilometres of various cables and 18 kilometres of piping to complete. Working with Water "Construction of TENONQ took place during the height of Cape Town’s recent water restrictions, which meant that we adapted our methodology in order to conserve water and implemented various innovations such as

rainwater harvesting, treated effluent water usage and the development of our own desalination plant which saves the city’s dams over 10 000 litres a day." says van Embden. In conjunction with the way Blok builds, they also pay close attention to the products they supply to their urban homes and have included environmentally conscious features such as green water heating, low energy lighting and energy efficient window glazing; features that are in line with their vision of building modern homes that residents and the planet, can be proud of.

MEET THE TEAM Developers: Blok Architects: WAUW Construction and landscaping: Prime Projects SUPPLIERS Paving: Installer: Bon Civils Supplier: UBS Flooring: Oggie Tiling: The Tile House & Tiletoria - 021 202 0160 Pools: Designer: Pool Designs - 021 852 2484 Installer: Brite Pools, Horizon Pools - 021 845 4667 Softscaping: Urban Fox Glove - 076 421 3813 Lighting: Installer: Prime Projects Electrical Suppliers: ADA Lighting - 021 510 3896 Okavango Lighting Showroom 021 982 8124 Province Lighting - 021 464 4661 Electric Blue - 021 447 2483 Pergolas and Seating: Prime Projects Decking: Prime Projects Joinery: Prime Projects Planters: Stark Ayers - 021 685 4120 ABOUT BLOK DEVELOPERS Established in 2014, Blok has launched 11 developments across the Cape Town City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard. Blok’s latest development, EIGHTONN, encompasses a new boutique approach to independent living by providing highly accessible and spacious apartments for a more mature clientele who are looking for a future-facing modern home to retire to on the Atlantic Seaboard and is scheduled for occupation in Spring 2020. For more information on this and other Blok developments, please visit


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



Client: Equity Estates Size: Rooftop garden 588m2 Cost: +-R740 000

The Sage VIP Epsilon Building in Pretoria’s Menlyn Maine Precinct is paving the way towards a greener future. This building was the second building to be developed in the renowned Menlyn Maine precinct in Pretoria’s eastern suburbs, which is set to be South Africa’s first green precinct. With Architecture by Boogertman + Partners and a unique rooftop vegetable garden by Tim Conradie, this building epitomizes useful green space in an urban area.

The Concept The clean-lined black-and-grey building was designed to be simplistic in nature. Key aims were to limit maintenance costs and to integrate sustainable design principles in all aspects of the building’s design. Boogertman + Partners’ objectives and guiding principles in the design response to the Epsilon Building included integrating the building into the greater Menlyn Maine Precinct context (such as focusing on pedestrian-orientated design), ensuring viable interaction between public and private domains, as well as facilitating activitydriven, and interactive zones. The Rooftop When stepping out onto the roof, one is surprised to find a rooftop vegetable garden that also incorporates ample recreational space for employees. Fresh produce is used in the canteen and restaurant while the surplus is sold to local greengrocers. The high-rise mini farm expands the building’s green footprint by focusing on sustainability. Tim Conradie and his team were contacted by Justin Bowen of Equity Estates in March of 2011. This was with a view to supplying a design for the new Sage VIP building at the new Menlyn Maine precinct. Equity Estates were one of the equity partners in the Menlyn Maine development and Justin was their representative for the project.

Initially what was an SDP, required for council submission. After meetings with Gerhard Boer and Justin Bowen, the SDP was done in March of 2011. This was commissioned by Equity Estates. After that the proper design process began. The team was commissioned by WBHO to design the gardens, ground floor and roof.

the team went with stylized flowing lines of indigenous plantings. Menlyn Maine as a precinct had decided to go indigenous. We used a mix quite thickly treed areas (little forests) and flowing lines of indigenous shrubs, perennials, ground covers and grasses. At the main entrance we put an orderly forest of Cabbage trees (Cussonia spicata) and on the large balcony off the canteen echoed that with a mini forest of Large Leaved Dragon Trees (Dracaena aletriformis). In the main beds surrounding the building we brought in large trees (EOG) – Jacket Plums (Pappea capensis), False Olives (Buddleja saligna), Stinkwoods (Celtis Africana) and Coral trees (Erythrina lysistemon). The EOG trees were supplied by Tree Traders. The under plantings were a stylized mix of shrubs, perennials, ground covers and grasses. The ground floor and street gardens are 654m2. The construction of the gardens started in the 1st week of August in 2012. The team started with the hoisting of the topsoil and organics to the roof with the existing crane. Once that was completed, they moved to the ground floor gardens and finally the street gardens. From concept to delivery, this project is a fantastic example of utilising green practices in order to create a thriving environment for its inhabitants. From clever lighting and airconditioning concepts, to sustainable building materials, water cooling and heating systems, adjusted external lighting and landscaping, the rooftop garden is the cherry on the... top!

For the roof garden, Tim and his team wanted to build an urban farm. It was an appealing idea for a number of reasons. Sage were building a canteen/restaurant for their staff and the roof garden could be used both as supply for fresh food for the canteen and as a quiet space for staff to enjoy the outdoors. Roof gardens present their own challenges mostly because of the wind and the heat. The team used Pomegranates to create small hedges to protect from both wind and heat and lemon trees to provide focal points and some shade. They broke up the large rectangular spaces with the hedges and broad flowing lines of gravel and dump rock. The idea was to keep the farm aesthetically pleasing all the times. Aside from this, between crops you can have large barren spaces. Here uherbs and vegetables were planted to create flowing sections of plantings. The team concentrated on the herbs and vegetables most used in the canteen. The garden is quite large, spanning 588m2. For the ground floor and street gardens Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



REINVENTING SEA POINT'S PROMENADE The Sea Point and Mouille Point Promenade is seen as a metropolitan recreational facility which is used by people from all communities in Cape Town and international tourists.

The drafting of the Sea Point and Mouille Point Promenade Master Plan resulted from the preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and was undertaken by the City of Cape Town’s Urban Design Branch. The design process included engagements with the relevant local City of Cape Town Departments, Ward Committees and Rate Payer Associations. These discussions influenced the design brief which mainly focus on the upgrading of the existing facilities: play parks, parking areas, benches and signage. The Master Plan consists of eight Precincts Plans due to the long narrow nature of the site that stretches along 4 kilometres of the coastline. The eight precincts were identified based on their unique characteristics and uses. Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments were undertaken based on the Precinct Plans and some conceptual designs. The project aims to make the promenade more accessible to wheelchairs, bicycles and prams. SUPPLIERS Paving: C.E.L. Paving Products - 021 905 5998 Play Equipment: Crazy Concepts - 021 850 0102 Benches: Excelsior Flanges - 021 948 6138


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

The project’s marine context influenced the material selection for the following elements: 1. Paving materials: The old concrete pavers on the promenade were being eroded away by the salt in the sea spray that crystallise in the pores of the concrete bricks once the water evaporates. A paving trial was undertaken from 2009 to 2013, to test the durability of eleven paving materials in this extreme marine environment. The paver that was chosen is a concrete paver with a siliconbased salt repellent admixture. The majority of the pavers on the promenade were already replaced with these new pavers. 2. Sea Wall: The construction of the original sea wall commenced in 1926. Granite and Malmesbury shale blocks were used for the construction of this sea wall. Over the years the wave action and salt erosion resulted in the deterioration of the sea wall and railings. The upgrading of the sea wall involved the replacement of the dressed

stone blocks with precast concrete cladding panels and new stainless steel railings. The siliconbased salt repellent admixture was also used for the casting of the cladding panels and structures.




3. Benches: New benches with high quality stainless steel frames and hard wood (sugar gum wood) members are replacing the old damaged and rusted benches. The Sea Point and Mouille Point Promenade is a very harsh environment for trees and other vegetation due to the strong winds, constant salt laden sea breezes and poor soil conditions. Some trees and large areas of lawn died during the last two year due to the draught and water restrictions. The Recreation and Parks Department is working on a pilot project to test some more resilient lawn species in this environment. The upgrading of the Sea Point and Mouille Point Promenade is being done in phases. The construction work for the first phase commenced in 2012 and the last phase is planned to commence in 2021. The last phase of the project will include the installation of new signage, the upgrading of existing play parks and the informal parking area in Granger Bay. SEA POINT PROMENADE









Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019



Viewpoint Farming

Cnr Rondebult and Main Reed Road Comet, Boksburg 011 917 0493 | 011 9165904 | 0119165905

FIELDS OF APPLICATION • • • • • • • • • •

Commercial horticulture Landscaping Sod and seeding of grass Plant transportation and storage Nurseries, production plants Inner-city ornamentals e.g. planting beds, roof top gardens, vertical planting, hanging baskets, noise barriers Plantation of trees and shrubs Reforestation Rehabilitation of soils Bare root dipping

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With EXLGel

Volume % water


Without EXLGel

Days between irrigation

• Increases the water holding capacity of soils • Increases infiltration rates and decreases water runoff • Promotes the rewetting of soils and substrates • Reduces soil erosion • Reduces leaching of fertilizer • Improves plant survival • Promotes rapid plant development and uniform plant growth • Extends the shelf life of plants • Activates sustainable root growth

Days Irrigation Frequency

Water-Holding Capacity

EXLGel increases the number of days between irrigations, thereby reducing watering and will remain in the soil, ready to capture water on next irrigation.

EXLGel increases the capacity of soils to hold water and plant nutrients. It is extremely efficient in sandy soil.


A Checklist for Designing WATER-WISE LANDSCAPES

Part 2 of a 2 part series by Marijke Honig Design is a complex process involving many different factors and considerations. Until recently landscape design has been driven primarily by the client brief, the site and its context, and there is an established design process for this. However WATER is becoming another key design informant, and sustainable water use and management needs to become an integral part of the landscape design process. Despite my enthusiasm and commitment to water-wise design, I find that changing old habits is difficult: my natural inclination to design for function and aesthetics is like a runaway horse that bolts, leaving reality in the stable. I am not used to doing a water audit and calculating the available water budget, and then using this

to inform the extent and choice of planting. Not to mention hydrozones, and ensuring that the landscape water-use is properly metered, monitored and managed.

team to run through before each operation. Hospitals using the checklist have reduced the number of complications by a staggering 36%, saving thousands of lives every year.

There is a lot to consider during the design process, so I wondered whether a simple checklist could help? Checklists have been used to great effect in the construction and aviation industry. In his book The Checklist Manifesto, Dr Atul Gawande describes how he was asked by the World Health Organisation to look at deaths during surgery. Every year Âź billion operations are performed and 7 million people become disabled or die due to complications during surgery. After extensive research, consultation and trialing he developed a concise checklist for the surgical

Clearly landscape design is not a field with lifethreatening circumstances, but we do forget things and make avoidable mistakes. Perhaps a simple checklist could help? First I drafted a checklist (see www.prolandscaper download), and then I added more detail and turned it into a projectevaluation tool. Now one can assess a project and determine its water-wise design score, and see where there is room for improvement. My wish is that this assessment tool is refined by landscape practitioners and that a benchmark is developed for water-wise design.



No water

Survives on rainfall only. Water only in severe cases such as drought


Water every 6-8 weeks, or when plants show signs of distress


Water every 2-4 weeks


Water once a week, or more often during hot dry spells.

MAXIMUM THEORETICAL TOTAL: 78 POINTS Please note these scores are for design and project-evaluation purposes, and serve only to highlight some aspects of waterwise design. Checklist first compiled by Marijke Honig (April 2018), with valuable input from Leslie Hoy and Meagan Donnelly (July 2018). Revised in March 2019. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019




Water Budget A comprehensive water audit has been done, identifying alternative water sources for the landscape. The total supply of water for the landscape has been quantified / estimated (liters/month). No (0)

Yes (3)

A water budget has been calculated for a) the establishment period and b) the established landscape. The water demand will depend on local site conditions (e.g. slope, soil and climatic factors), landscape design and management. Yes (3)

No (0)

The landscape has been designed according to the available water budget, so that the alternative water supply matches the total water demand of the landscape. Yes (3)

No (0)

Source(s) of Water Potable Borehole Treated grey / waste water Water harvested on site (rain, storm water, basement water)

(0) (2) (5) (5)

(3) (0)

For this section, take a site plan and mark the following: • all planters and permeable surfaces in GREEN • all non-permeable surfaces where water is diverted into storage tanks / landscape in BLUE • all areas where water runoff is channeled into drains or catch pits in RED. This includes roofs, roads and parking areas that are drained into the storm water system. What % of hard surfaces on site (paths, parking, driveway) is permeable? (GREEN on site plan e.g. permeable paving; grass blocks; stone chip): <25% (1) 26-50% (3) 51-75% (4) 76-100% (5) Rainwater runoff is ‘planted’ in the ground using berms, swales, lowered curbs and/ or diverted into detention ponds. .e. (BLUE on site plan) No (0)

What % of storm water is exported from the property via a storm water system? i.e. (RED on site plan) 0-5% (5) 5-25% (4) 26-50% (3) 51-75% (2) 76-100% (0)

Landscape Maintenance

There is a rainfall gauge on site. Yes (3) No (0) Water usage and rainfall is measured and monitored regularly. not done monthly weekly daily

(0) (1) (3) (5)

There is regular feedback to staff / users regarding water usage (e.g. with a dedicated whatsapp group). not done (0) monthly (1) weekly (3) daily (5)

Landscape Design

Yes (5)

Infiltration of water & Groundwater recharge

Yes (3)

There are water submeter(s) in large landscapes > 3000m2. Yes (3) No (0)

Landscape has been zoned into low, medium and high water-use zones with type of plants and irrigation appropriate for each hydrozone.

Water Storage Rainwater is stored in tanks or reservoir(s). Yes No

There is a dedicated water meter for the landscape. Yes (3) No (0)

Partially (2)

No (0)

The hydrozones for the landscape are allocated according to certain limits. • HIGH hydrozone: up to 20% maximum of the total planted area • MEDIUM hydrozone: up to 40% max • LOW hydrozone: no limit • NO water hydrozone: no limit Yes (5)

Partially (2)

No (0)

Please refer to the hydrozone definitions and watering frequency in table. Part of the landscape will survive on rainfall only, once established (*) 0-25% 25-50% 50-75% 75-100% (*) establishment period = 2 yrs for shrubs and 3 yrs for trees

(1) (2) (3) (5)

Irrigation / Watering Irrigation / Watering method has been designed according to hydrozones. Yes (3) No (0) What is the total water usage of the landscape during hottest / driest season? Measure weekly usage. Average water usage = no of liters per week / (total planted area). <5mm/ m2 / week – (5) <10mm/ m2 / week – (3) <20mm / m2 / week – (1) >20mm / m2 / week – (0) On entire irrigated landscape On <50% of irrigated landscape Not at all

(3) (1) (0)

Watering basins (capacity 10-20 liters) were made around trees and shrubs, and filled with water during establishment period. Yes (3) No (0)

Open areas are mulched annually until there is 100% cover Yes (3) No (0)


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019


WATER-WISE DESIGN CHECKLIST Water Budget A Water Audit identifies all alternative water sources on site: Borehole Treated grey / waste water Water harvested on site (rain, storm water, basement water) Total water supply for the landscape is …… liters / month. The total water demand has been calculated for: a) the establishment period and b) the established landscape Landscape has been designed according to the available water budget i.e. water supply => water demand

Water Supply Rainwater / treated wastewater is stored in tanks or a reservoir. Infiltration of water & Groundwater recharge: A site plan is marked as follows: •

all planters and permeable areas in GREEN

• •

all non-permeable surfaces where water is diverted into storage tanks/landscape in BLUE all areas where water runoff is channeled into drains or catch pits marked in RED.

Maximise permeable surfaces (GREEN) Rainwater runoff is ‘planted’ in the ground using berms, swales, lowered curbs and/ or diverted into detention ponds (maximize BLUE) Storm water exported from site via a storm water system is minimized (little/no RED)

Water Management Dedicated water meter for the landscape Sub meter(s) in large landscapes > 3000m2 Rainfall gauge on site Water usage and rainfall is measured and monitored regularly (daily/weekly) Regular feedback to staff / users regarding water usage (daily/weekly)

Landscape Design Landscape has been zoned into low, medium and high water-use zones with appropriate plants and irrigation Part of the landscape will survive on rainfall only (once established) The hydrozones for the landscape are allocated according to certain limits: •

HIGH hydrozone: up to 20% maximum of the total planted area

MEDIUM hydrozone: up to 40% max

LOW hydrozone: no limit

NO water hydrozone: no limit

"Now one can assess a project and determine its water-wise design score, and see where there is room for improvement. My wish is that this assessment tool is refined by landscape practitioners and that a benchmark is developed for water-wise design."

Irrigation / Watering Irrigation / watering method has been designed according to hydrozones. Total water use of the landscape during hottest / driest season is ………mm / m2/ week Subsurface irrigation is used where possible Watering basins (capacity 10-20 liters) installed and used during establishment period

Landscape Maintenance Open areas are mulched annually until there is 100% cover

Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019





Winner of the International Plant Propagators Society’s prestigious annual bursary to Australia this May 2019

Tell us about your journey into the horticultural profession? I have always had a love of plants and I knew I wanted to study natural sciences, but I was unsure what. I had doubts about whether there were many viable career options in plant sciences. The course I finally chose renewed my passion for plant production and I realised how little I actually knew about the industry. I found a part-time work opportunity at a nursery through my supervisor. I was doubtful at first to be honest as I wasn’t too sure whether I wanted to go into the horticultural industry, but I really am enjoying my time there and I am still learning a lot. It was through my supervisor and her husband that I became a part of the International Plant Propagators Society. What did you study to prepare yourself for a role in the industry? I studied BSc (Agriculture) Applied Plant and Soil Sciences. This course is mainly focused on agricultural practices, covering topics like production practices, soil science, water and irrigation, plant pests and diseases and botany. I found all of these topics interesting, which makes it difficult to decide which direction I want to take. I really enjoyed learning how all the different aspects come together in any plant production system. Currently I am busy with MSc (Agriculture) Horticulture in tissue culture. What is your favourite realm within Horticulture? My favourite realm of horticulture is ornamentals, mainly indigenous ornamentals. South Africa has such a large variety of plants and I think there is so much potential to introduce even more of our indigenous plants to the market, as well as using them for restoration purposes or indigenous landscaping. Where do you do most of your work on a day to day basis.. and how does a typical day look for yourself? I am currently a full time master student at the University of Pretoria, so most of my time I work in the tissue culture laboratory on the university’s experimental farm. I have trials running almost full time and I like to start my day early in the lab. I only work part time at Du Prins Wholesale Nursery where I do stocktaking once a month to compile availability lists, I help with administrative work and I do some planting, mainly of indigenous grasses. How did you apply to win the pretigious IPPS bursary? My supervisor, Prof Elsa du Toit, and her husband, David du Toit, the owner of Du


Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2019

Prins Wholesale Nursery nominated me for this program. I then had to submit relevant information. Once chosen as one of the three finalists, I had to do a short presentation at the annual IPPS Southern African region conference about my background in horticulture and why I would like to go on this exchange program to Australia. From there the IPPS members voted. What does being the winner of this accolade mean for your career and for your personal development? This trip will give me a great learning opportunity. I will be able to learn from many professionals and different companies. I also think this will give me a boost with my people skills since I will be meeting people from across the globe. It’s a great networking opportunity where I will be able to make contacts that I can learn from for the rest of my career. What will you be involved in on your trip in May? I will be part of the pre-conference tour which travels down the eastern side of Australia, and afterwards I will join the combined IPPS Australian/International/New Zealand conference. During the pre-conference tour we will be visiting nurseries and different botanical organisations such as botanical gardens and farms every day. As part of the exchange program I may also be required to work at some of the nurseries to have a more hands-on learning experience. What are some thoughts you have for young members of the horticultural industry looking to get involved and actively pursue this type of career? An important thing to me is to build connections, the more people you know in the industry, the better. Many people are willing to help young members and networking leads to meeting future co-workers or suppliers. Also, never be afraid to take chances, it might turn out even better than you hope. Where do you see yourself within the profession in 5 years’ time? Within 5 years’ time I’m hoping to have a stable job in the horticultural industry. I am still open minded about getting my PhD or maybe even starting my own business, but I want to take my time to see whether I’m cut out for either of those and whether it would be worth it. I think I still have much to learn about myself and what I’m capable of, so for the short term, I want to gain as much work experience as I can.

BRINGING NATURE BACK TO JOBURGS URBAN CENTRES Norwood’s four-hectare Patterson Park has reached completion and Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, the custodians of greening, are thrilled with the outcome. This natural park was constructed with a focus around the storm water channel that flows through the park which is crisscrossed with spectacular pedestrian bridges taking centre stage in the fully landscaped park- set along winding pathways, park furniture, play areas and ambient lighting.

Visit more information on Water saving This project exemplifies engineering excellence for and landscape architecture distinction, to showcase howinitiatives a neglected space can be transformed to bring welcome relief and relaxation into a mixed-use high density area.

011 712 6600

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