As an Australian architecture and urban design practice, Arcadia Landscape Architecture prides itself on its greatest strength – a talented team of landscape architects. Not only are we driven to deliver our best work, day by day, we are passionate about landscape in general. There is an inquisitiveness and sense of adventure around our approach to projects that truly leads to unique outcomes.
Working in the Arcadia studio gives you a complete immersion into design and constructing landscape. It’s fast paced and adaptive while also being collaborative and supportive. There is a culture of rigor and collaboration that results in the delivery of outcomes that display design excellence, care and intent. As an emergent studio it’s exciting to see and experience the growth and evolution of the practice, collectively and individually.
Arcadia approaches every project from the perspective of the human experience. We put people at the forefront when developing our designs, carefully considering the most likely and advantageous use of every space. Human engagement and functionality are diligently balanced with aesthetics.
We confidently believe that great design can enhance communities and culture by affecting people’s perspective and understanding of the world around them. By expressing practical details and processes with a little more poetry, we can tell a story about the site and bring some creativity to elements once merely considered functional.
At Arcadia, innovation is not simply an outcome, it’s a thought process. It’s about having an adventurous spirit and seeking to advance the value that landscape architecture can bring to the table. We analyse projects from a broad perspective, looking beyond the most obvious solution for a better answer. It’s where we get to indulge our interpretative, progressive side in order to enhance our designs.
We take immense pride in our work, from conception to reality, championing our projects and maintaining a level of care and engagement long after they’ve been completed. We continue to visit our sites, monitor how their elements are functioning and nurture them through their formative years. This ensures that they age gracefully and endure.
Carefully observing how we work and who we work with ensures outcomes that adhere to our rigorous standards and simply grow better with time.
Key to the Arcadia culture is a philosophy to hire like-minded people that the team can see themselves not only working with, but also having fun with in and out of the office. We don’t live in each other’s pockets but we do have a lot of Arcadia social traditions that have evolved over the years including our annual ski trip, our Friday BBQs on the deck and our infamous Surprise Christmas Study Tours.
In 2016 Arcadia sponsored Australia’s first landscape architecture scholarship for indigenous students. By working with the University of New South Wales to develop this scholarship, Arcadia’s intention is to raise the profile of the landscape architecture industry amongst Indigenous school leavers by highlighting the career opportunities available in an industry which will benefit from their cultural perspective.
Located in one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs, the Park and Playground at ‘Luna’ is a defining space in the McGill Street Precinct in Lewisham. This public park, with through-site links to the Lewisham light rail, helps to fulfil the aim of Marrickville Council to transform “a former light industrial area into a desirable locality where people will want to live and spend time”.
Luna is a diverse mixed use development, blending old and new to celebrate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the site in a modern and innovative way. Arcadia met community needs by creating an integrated and unified design that is functional and vibrant, setting a high benchmark for future development in the vicinity. Sweeping bands of lush native planting, large open turfed areas, interactive play, winding paths, dining and bbq facilities, interpretive historical elements, passive seating areas and community gathering zones articulate the design. These elements are utilised to encourage social engagement and interaction, strengthening the sites identity, sense of community and pride in ownership.
The use of brick and concrete unit paving in the ground plane and walling expresses the site heritage, industrial character and red brick Victorian architectural context of the area. Timber boardwalks, shallow swales and precast concrete seating edges are all scattered throughout the WSUD infrastructure, allowing for people to access these treatment basins and engage in the stormwater cleansing process.
Arcadia designed the landscape for the modern, Brewster Hjorth designed O’Regan Arts and Cultural Common at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College in North Sydney. The performing arts building forms a new edge connecting to the existing heritage buildings, allowing Arcadia to create a new rooftop green courtyard, an upgraded entry to the school and landscaped terraces, with incidental seating provided for students through a range of steps and walls.
Arcadia was briefed to design a series of connecting outdoor spaces which could be used for flexible learning and performance. Arcadia’s design creates a landscape language across the Monte site for more efficient way finding and visual continuity, whilst utilising vegetation types that fit within the established heritage gardens, grow successfully in the local surrounds and which help establish biological diversity on the Monte site.
A stand out feature of the project is the Corian feature walls, the first major application of Corian as an external landscape material within Australia. The walls give visual impact to the contemporary approach to the new performing arts building and provide a striking contrast with the heritage chapel in the background.
Opening in 2014, the O’Regan Arts and Cultural Common has become a central hub for Monte as a space to stimulate minds and celebrate creativity and innovation.
Nestled into the edge of the Lane Cove National Park, Arcadia’s landscape for Shout Ridge responds to and respects the ancient landscape. The bushland setting of Shout Ridge provided an existing set of environs that allowed us to weave timber elements seamlessly into the landscape design. A feature of the landscape is the elevated Blackbutt timber boardwalk, which weaves through the existing trees providing connections whilst protecting the existing native grasses and native landscape on the woodland floor.
Filtered views from the apartments at Shout Ridge are dominated by the trunk effects of the Angophora dominant upper slope shrubland adjacent to the site, and the use of timber in seating and handrails provides a cohesive design element that connects the various spaces of the landscape. Responsible material selection was one of the elements which lead to Shout Ridge becoming the first residential project to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Multi Unit Residential Design v1 Certified Rating in Australia.
Carefully positioned into the existing landscape are a series of outdoor rooms for passive recreational use. These spaces adapt to the existing topography, with materials carefully selected to ensure the natural landscape feels like it creeps right up the building edge while providing separation and privacy from a user’s perspective.