An icon of the landscape architectural profession, along with 34 outstanding projects were celebrated at the 2011 Corobrik-ILASA Awards of Excellence ceremony held on 21 May 2011.

2011 Icon of Landscape Architecture

Celebrated as the 2011 South African Icon of Landscape Architecture, Ann Sutton is known as a pioneer of South African landscape architecture.

She is honoured for her inspirational career as she has shown the way in contextual landscape design, making extensive use of indigenous plants and construction materials sourced from site.

Her ability to design remarkable water features that capture the essence of a place is also admirable. Ann is also acknowledged for her astute business skills – having shown that it was possible to be a successful woman entrepreneur in South Africa long before women received the recognition they deserve.

10 Award recipients
Of the 34 entries received 10 projects were awarded the 2011 Corobrik-ILASA Award of Excellence – all in the category Planning & Design – Completed Projects. They are:

Eye of Africa Phase 1 by Landscape Architects Uys & White for Medallist

An Award of Excellence was given to Eye of Africa – Phase 1 for its appropriate response to both the natural landscape and the infrastructural fabric of the residential estate.

The design for Eye of Africa is based on an open-space system, with each park, designed around the demographics of that specific residential area.

Yet all the parks are linked via a neighbourhood recreational route as part of a multi-purpose road reserve.

Highveld House by African Environmental Design

Situated within a World Heritage Site – the Cradle of Humankind – and amidst relatively pristine Highveld grassland the landscape design of Highveld House is an outstanding example of sensitivity, responsiveness and restraint.

The design supports the concept of a sustainable landscape by making use of species specific to this eco zone.

The result is a contextual landscape, unique in character and with low maintenance and water requirements.

Hilltop at Zimbali by Landscape Architects Uys & White for Elides Investments

For its ability to push the boundaries of green building Hilltop Estate in KwaZulu-Natal receives an Award of Excellence.

The project is commended for its innovation in aesthetics and sustainability.

The landscape’s integration with the built structure and the bold approach to planting of a 5 m-high retaining wall and adjacent roof garden make for groundbreaking work and stands as an example to all future green wall and roof garden designers.

Life Sciences Development by OvP Landscape Architects for the University of the Western Cape

The Life Sciences Development at the University of the Western Cape receives an Award of Excellence for the outstanding example it sets of contemporary landscape architecture working in close synergy with the architecture and engineering of the site.

The innovative and environmentally-sound amalgamation of sculptural architecture, micro-climate manipulation, constructed refuge and natural wetland detention is commended.

Lourens River Flood Alleviation Phase 1 D by Megan Anderson Landscape Architects for the City of Cape Town

The Lourens River Flood Alleviation project is awarded for the landscape architect’s excellent research and thorough understanding of riverine rehabilitation which resulted in an extremely successful ecological restoration project that is thoroughly planned and well-managed.

Not only has the risk of flooding been reduced, but the rehabilitation of the riverine ecosystems of the Lourens River has helped to restore the natural environment within the urban context of Somerset West.

Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct by Iyer Urban Design Studio for eThekwini Municipality

The Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct is commended because of its multi-disciplinary design approach that has made the most of urban design, architectural and landscape architectural skills, driven by a visionary client.

Sharpville Cemetery Memorial by Green Inc for Urban Genesis

For its carefully thought-through design response to an otherwise flat and sombre Highveld cemetery that successfully creates a space for reflection and contemplation, the Sharpville Memorial receives an Award of Excellence.

The effective and clever application of scale, spatial proportion and level change through simplicity in design creates a place of memorial status.

Southdowns Country Farm Estate by V&L Landscape Architects for Centurus

In an area dominated by golf estate developments, the concept of the Southdowns Estate agricultural village represents a breath of fresh air.

Southdowns Estate pioneers urban densification and optimisation and proves that agricultural activities can sustainably and feasibly continue within the modern-day urban context.

Spruitview Multipurpose Park by Outer Space Design for Ekurhuleni Metro Parks

The Spruitview Multipurpose Park receives an Award of Excellence for its strong sense of coherence in design.

The skilful use of the lay of the land and the modelling thereof through earthworks result in effective spaces and landforms that aid in creating a sense of place in a neighbourhood deprived of quality urban open space.

Vineyard Hotel & Spa by Ann Sutton Landscape Architects for the Vineyard Hotel & Spa

For reflecting a successful balance between urban and natural context, the Vineyard Hotel & Spa receives an award of excellence.

It is commendable that the foundation and careful direction of this balance has been clearly informed, influenced and guided by the landscape architect ever since the outset of the project 30 years ago.

A noteworthy aspect of the estate gardens is the use of many roof gardens above basement parking garages.

Two special awards:
In addition to the 10 project awards, two special awards were bestowed upon:

Johannesburg City Parks

A special award recognises the contribution made by an individual, firm or organisation in terms of the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture.

The 2011 Corobrik-ILASA Special Award is bestowed upon Johannesburg City Parks for its development of three parks in Soweto and surrounds.

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Gerald Garner

Another award for an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture was bestowed upon Gerald Garner.

This is in recognition of his many years of work in the industry – especially in his original capacity as publisher of Urban Green File magazine and more recently as fundraiser and event organiser for ILASA.

Presidential award: Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct

The recipient of the 2011 Corobrik-ILASA Presidents Award is the Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct.

The landscape around the Moses Mabhida Stadium manages not to be overwhelmed by the scale of this striking edifice, which is no mean feat. Its designers have been confident enough to provide generous open spaces and demonstrate a fitting restraint in detailing and material specification.

The result is a bold and sophisticated setting for the stadium with a contemporary, world-class feel.

To view photos taken at the 2011 Corobrik-ILASA Awards of Excellence, please click here.