The 2020 National Landscape Architecture Awards demonstrated lush and intimate spaces within Australian homes. AILA CEO Ben Stockwin said the strong representation of small spaces and gardens in this year’s awards program reflects the ecological, physical and emotional benefit these residential spaces can provide.

“AILA stands by city-shaping projects that improve community-wide liveability and urbanity, but it also appreciates and admires work done in smaller spaces – which can sometimes be the most challenging projects. We awarded five projects under the gardens category, which included the construction of gardens in both house and apartment settings, all of which contribute to the role and understanding of the garden in contemporary society and culture,” he said.

A project that embraced the local floral and engulfed the forms and vegetation of Sunshine Beach was Domic by James Birrell Design Lab. The jury noted the ultimate achievement of the developing garden that will further soften and envelop the building. In contrast, Clifftop Garden by Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture was awarded for its design crafting, plant appreciation, garden placemaking and unique understanding. The jury found that the garden was timeless and is quiet and subtle. “Nature and the outdoors are such an important element of our mental and physical health, and importantly, provide a space where small groups can safely come together,” he said.

Taking out the prestigious Award of Excellence in the Gardens category was Arkadia Apartments in New South Wales for its ability to design a high performing garden within the inner-city living. Others awarded included a living space in Fitzroy, Victoria by Fiona Harrison and Simon Ellis Landscape Architects. The jury believed this was a well-executed garden negotiating the complexities of private, shared and public spaces with a lush planting palette.

Lastly, a New South Wales living space by SBLA Studio and Rebecca White achieved a Landscape Award for demonstrating a different approach to rooftop and vertical gardens. The jury commended the project for providing ‘a beautiful backdrop to the communal spaces of the development’.

Readers also enjoyed Prince Consort Collective