It is a fact of modern life that we frequently alter our surroundings and landscapes. In large cities, country towns and remote regions, people are constantly building and changing the existing environment. In the past, environmental impact and liveability were given little attention but now we are far more aware of these issues.
Landscape Architects such as Land Design Partnership work with and respond to these issues daily. Leslie Mohr of Land Design says that they try to do their work so that, “people react positively to changes, nothing looks out of place.”
Land Design help governments, local communities, architects and business owners to create their dreams. You will be surprised to realise how often you have seen or used their work without even noticing. Other times you might comment, “Gee, they did a really good job here” without even realising who “they” are. Land Design recommend and design landscape concepts for schools and hospitals, recreation facilities, gardens and parks, roads and trails. Visual impact, useability and of course environmental impact are always priorities.
Land Design often get involved at the inception of projects. Developing a land use master plan for expanding communities and councils who venture to look well into the future requires consultation with many groups and industry experts. Leslie says, “There are challenges at all stages of a project, but we are about solving problems. We usually start by asking our clients, ‘What are the issues and what are your aspirations?’” Once completed, a master plan guides stakeholders in future development decisions, helping them to maintain the original vision.
Underpinning all of Land Design’s work is the concept of “environmental sustainability”. Leslie says, “We have to be at the forefront of changing design practices in response to community needs and other factors such as climate change.” Much of their work now involves collaborating with developers and architects as they seek Green Star energy ratings for new buildings.
As Landscape Architects, Land Design strive for their work to be pleasing for visitors and users. Their creativity and responses to the challenges of change help make Victoria an even more enjoyable place to visit or live.
A diversity of projects
It is certainly worth a few minutes to visit www.landdesign.com.au to see the diversity of projects in which they have been involved. Whilst the following examples are well known projects, Land Design also take on many smaller and less prominent ventures.
Observatory Gate, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Winner of a Royal Australian Institute of Architects award, this facility is well used and admired by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It required high levels of cooperation with architects and the very knowledgeable staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Royal Children’s Hospital Still in progress, this project highlights the cooperative nature of Land Design’s work. To achieve a great outcome, Land Design is working collaboratively with architects, recreation planners, artists, engineers and lighting experts. Being in the Royal Park precinct, all the planning and construction work needs to be done within the framework of the park’s master plan (also a former Land Design project).
Geelong Botanic Gardens Land Design Partnership was involved in the master planning and design for this extension to Geelong’s major regional Botanic Gardens. The new section of garden has helped re-introduce a "lost gem" to the public and has been very successful. It provides a contemporary landscape response in a historic setting, enhancing the existing beauty of its parkland environment and capitalising on the stunning views to Corio Bay.
Victorian Mineral Water Reserves The mineral springs areas of Daylesford and Kyneton are major Victorian tourist attractions. Land Design is working closely with the management committee to redevelop these areas to greatly enhance the visitors’ experience.
Saward Dawson and Land Design
Saward Dawson’s relationship with Land Design initially involved assisting one of the directors with preparation of their personal income tax return. We were then asked to assist with Land Design’s business restructuring. This led to acting as accountants for the business, attending to the preparation of its annual financial statements and completion of quarterly business activity statements.
We meet with the directors throughout the year to discuss annual and interim financial performance and other business issues. Saward Dawson has also participated in directors’ annual planning forums where strategies, aspirations and issues are discussed.
Both Land Design and Saward Dawson value the strong working relationship developed over recent years. We are pleased to be able to respond to Land Design’s needs as its business continues to develop.