On 28th September 2007, the Awards of Excellence was held at Kleine Zalze, Stellenbosch.

Registered professional Landscape Architects were invited to participate in this prestigious event. The category winners are listed below, congratulations to all.

THE 2007 MERIT AWARD WINNERS …presidential merit award… FORUM HOMINI, GREENinc

Forum Homini boutique hotel is located in a private game reserve, near the Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind, outside off Johannesburg. Examples of important palaeo-anthropological sites situated in the Sterkfontein Valley are Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, Coopers B and Wonder Cave. These sites have produced the remains of hominids dating as far back as 3.3 million years ago. Of all the important finds in the area, the skull of an adult female Australopithecus africanus, nicknamed “Mrs. Ples.” is the most famous.

The Cradle of Humankind’s World Heritage Site status has led to increased local and international interest in the tourist potential of the area. Economic investment into projects such as the Maropeng Museum and the Sterkfontein Caves Visitor’s Centre by Provincial Government, has also added to the feasibility of this up-market hotel. Definite properties purchased the site with an existing log-cabin-style lodge on the property. The lodge was demolished but the development rights stayed in place. Earthworks started at the beginning of 2005 and landscape construction commenced during July 2005.

The hotel received their first guests during February 2006. The scope of work increased considerably due to extensive rehabilitation work and the implementation of a critical storm water management system, resulting in a revised project value of just under R2 million, almost double the initial allowance.


…design category… LAKE MICHELLE, CNdV AFRICA

Lake Michelle is a unique environmentally sensitive, high quality residential estate nestled around a lake in the Noordhoek Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. The site, previously a sand mine, is situated around a 30Ha large saline lake, offering the opportunity for a unique water-based development.

The detailed aesthetics of the roads, bridges, ponds, boardwalks, external lighting, signage and open space design was led by the landscape architect, ensuring that the project was design-driven. The landscape design incorporates a variety of bird habitats – the densely reeded lake edges, shallow sandy areas along the shore for wading birds and several islands.

A network of paths, boardwalks and jetties create a varied link across the circulation ponds and provide access to the lake. Approximately 750 linear metres of boardwalk, 150m² of decking and kilometers of pathway have been incorporated into the design. Besides the numerous jetties and decks provided, the development also sports a communal multi-functional boathouse, so that the lake can be fully utilised for non-motorised boating and canoeing.

MITCHELL’S PLAIN TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE, CLARE BURGESS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

The Mitchells Plain Public Transport Interchange is an example of a successful and innovative, large scale urban renewal project. It incorporates an integrated design approach prepared by an inter-disciplinary team of consultants, local government and community role players.

The landscape architectural components of this project have been carefully workshopped with all role players and sensitively designed to accommodate a harsh and sometimes hostile economic and environmental climate. The implementation has been executed effectively within the allocated budget despite difficult contractual circumstances. The overall impression of the combination of new access routes, buildings and landscaped places for trading and commuting in this urban centre is one of an integrated whole that is reinforced by the repetitive design features of the tree planting programme, public artworks, paving patterns and street furniture and this makes a significant impact on the lives of the Mitchell’s Plain community.


…environmental category… TAUNG SKULL WORLD HERITAGE SITE, BAPELA CAVE KLAPWIJK cc

This project from the start has been extremely complex and involved in that it has entailed a multitude of outcomes that needed intensive coordination and management both of the human and the natural resources.

It required a very sensitive planning approach that had to integrate palaeontology, archaeological history and modern history (Precambrian to present) without destroying the site significance. All this had to be captured in a manner that would grant the site World Heritage Site status. This we believe was done to such a standard that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee responded on awarding the World Heritage status that the documentation and management plan was one of the most comprehensive and thorough submissions they have received for such an application for which they congratulated the team.

Rarely does a project of this caliber become available and as a landscape architect it was certainly a privilege to have managed and planned such a site.