The Australian Garden in Cranbourne Australia, designed by Taylor Cullity Lethlean + Paul Thompson, won the ‘Landscape of the Year’ award this year.
This new Botanic Garden is set in a former sand quarry and allows visitors to follow a metaphorical journey of water through the Australian landscape, from the desert to the coastal fringe. This integrated landscape brings together horticulture, architecture, ecology, and art to create the largest botanic garden devoted to Australian flora. The garden includes some 170,000 plants across 1700 species, all adapted to its challenging site condition, using the Australian landscape as its inspiration to create a sequence of powerful sculptural and artistic landscape experiences that recognize its diversity, breadth of scale and wonderful contrasts.
The jury commended the project, saying, ‘This garden brilliantly summarises the great variety of Australian flora as well as the large part of the country which is arid desert. Like a botanic garden, it is a collection of difference, but with a strong unifying set of journeys through the various landscapes. This landscape stood out with its originality and strong evocation of Australian identity without having to use any signs or words – just the beautiful flora of Australia’s countryside!’
There were also two highly commended projects in this category. The first was the Qunli Stormwater Park, China by Turenscape which meets one of the key ecological needs of our time – dealing with water runoff – by turning the Stormwater Park into an ecopark. The second highly commended project was the upgrade of Prince Alfred Park+Pool in Australia by City of Sydney c/o Neeson Murcutt Architects. The judges said, ‘This was a clever reinvention of a 19th century park which faces a myriad of urban uses’.