RPS Secures National Landscape Architecture Award for Australian Urban Developments

31 Aug 2016

Extensive collaboration was a key factor in the success of two major Queensland landscape architecture projects which have been named winners at the recent 2016 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) – Queensland Awards held in Brisbane.

RPS and Urban Play were awarded the Parks and Open Space Award of Excellence for their work on the new Riverside Green playground in Brisbane’s South Bank parklands while another successful RPS project, the Cairns Foreshore Redevelopment, took out the Tourism Landscape Architecture Award.

Andrew Green, RPS Regional Technical Director of Landscape Architecture said the success of both projects was underpinned by a strong collaboration between RPS, the clients and other consultants and professionals: “We are very proud to have our work on two exciting new Queensland destinations recognised by our peers in these prestigious industry awards. By working closely with our clients and other professionals, we were able to ensure the end results of the projects met and exceeded the expectations of the clients as well as the community. The overwhelming popularity of the new Riverside Green playground and Cityport South on the Cairns Foreshore is a testament of our success.”

Set within the heart of Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural precinct, Riverside Green playground is an iconic new family destination and replaces an older playground on the site. RPS was the landscape architect for the project and since its opening in October 2015, the innovative space continues to attract thousands of visitors every week. RPS collaborated with play consultant/lead consultant Urban Play and client City Parklands Services to create an innovative series of multi-level play precincts where play equipment blends seamlessly with shady gardens and seating.

AILA Awards judges made note of the range of experiences offered to both children and adults in a surprisingly small space and hailed the project as an outstanding collaboration between RPS, Urban Play and the client: “This playground demonstrates the vital role of landscape architects in the design of place-specific, integrated and challenging playgrounds, recognising play as fundamental to the life and culture of the landscape.”

The Cairns Foreshore Redevelopment has transformed a derelict but culturally-significant 2.6 hectare space into a vibrant and welcoming public waterfront area for locals and tourists. RPS was the project manager and lead consultant for the redevelopment, known as Cityport South, and collaborated extensively with the local community, State Government agencies, heritage and environmental consultants and the client, Ports North, to ensure the values of the site were sustained and enhanced.

Containing heritage-listed wharfs and trees significant to the site’s traditional owners, the Yidinjdji people, Mr Green said sensitive cultural heritage conservation was balanced with a need to produce a long-lasting revitalisation of the site. The project also utilised the latest surveying technology to determine the health of mature trees on the site. AILA Awards judges made note of the successful outcomes of the collaborative planning and design process used for the project saying: “This freshly activated piece in the Cairns foreshore puzzle is providing tourism benefits for the region, connecting visitors – and locals – with the cultural heritage of this landscape.”

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