Australasian landscape architecture practice ASPECT Studios shape spaces that respond to contemporary challenges and needs in inspiring and innovative ways. Adopting a human and ecological centred approach to landscape architecture and urban space design, ASPECT Studios is driven by a sense of obligation to better understand human impact on the world. Through design, they strive to positively influence human behaviours and to conserve the environment. ASPECT Studios questions traditional urban landscape typologies and anticipates emerging cultural and social activities. A contemporary lens to culture and heritage is overlayed by the practice, that’s respectful of the past yet mindful of current and future social and ecological challenges.
A core philosophy is to design places where people want to be and places that contribute to the resilience and diversity of the environment. The firm champions creative solutions that challenge the way people interact with the surrounds, pursue opportunities to innovate by exploring new approaches, techniques and possibilities and invite people of all ages to interact with nature in original ways.
ASPECT Studios seeks out ways to sync and interweave conceptual ideas with digital technologies, systems and practices in the development of new ways to address new problems. As the designers of Australia’s first large-scale green roof system ASPECT Studios is at the forefront of green infrastructure and living architecture. To ensure the quality and level of environmental performance is optimised in budget and aesthetic outcomes, each ASPECT Studios project is peer reviewed by environmental sustainable design professionals.
Incorporating animations and architectural visualisations into the design process has the intent of bringing different opportunities to landscape architecture projects and transforming the way future landscapes are perceived. Parametric modelling and software programming is used to create solutions for complex problems. The studio has developed information modelling methods, which help to inform critical design decisions and allow multidimensional projects to be communicated to stakeholders in fresh and immersive ways.
As well as breaking new ground, the firm is committed to the process of re-use to reduce the carbon footprint and to improve the health and wellbeing of the community and the environment. To achieve the best outcome for each project, ASPECT Studios consults and engages with the community and other stakeholders throughout the design process. Collaborations traverse disciplines and built and natural systems in a best-practice approach to involve leading professionals in the arts, sciences and technical fields.
In placemaking, ASPECT Studios bring together and express the essential qualities of the landscape, its history, social rituals, and cultural significance to create appropriate, interesting and attractive neighbourhoods and public spaces.
ASPECT Studios think critically and locally to deliver unique, site-responsive projects around the globe from studios located in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Shanghai with a shared culture of collaboration, debate, learning, passion and growth.
The Goods Line is a former rail corridor re-imagined as a public campus that stitches together city neighbourhoods and the surrounding concentration of cultural, media and educational institutions. A NSW Government initiative, it is an example of the potential for design to transform isolated city spaces into creative and connected public destinations that enhance public life.
Located in a highly urbanised part of Sydney, The Goods Line forms the key strategic link from the city’s Central Station through to Chinatown, institutions along Sydney’s Cultural Ribbon and Darling Harbour, which attracts 26 million visitors annually.
The design strategy was to create a human-centred place that offers social experiences for all demographics. The linear park is filled with ‘social infrastructure’ including an amphitheatre, Wi-Fi facilities, a play space and raised lawns. Bespoke seating and furniture echo the site’s industrial heritage while its blurred boundaries can facilitate pop-up events and festivals. Pedestrian and cycle connections are formed, unlocking access to existing streets and neighbourhoods.
Through digital modelling and a construction process largely consisting of prefabrication, each element was designed utilising the materials associated with its rail infrastructure past. The palette of hardy plants brings colour and texture to the post-industrial site. ‘Study Pods’ which cantilever over the adjacent city street are positioned between the canopies of existing fig trees and offer working and social spaces for all.
Loaded with civic ambition and public purpose, The Goods Line is a place that speaks to a new kind of social infrastructure for the city where multiple opportunities to gather, play and exchange ideas can occur.
Project Title: The Goods Line
Location: Ultimo, Sydney, 2007, NSW, Australia
Client: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (division of Property NSW)
Project Design Lead: ASPECT Studios
Design Partner: CHROFI
ASPECT Studios – Project Design Lead (Landscape Architect)
CHROFI – Design Partner (Architect)
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (Client)
ACOR (Civil, Structural, Hydraulic, and Electrical Engineers)
Deuce Design (Interpretive Design)
GML (Heritage Consultant)
JBA (Planning Consultant)
Lighting Art + Science (Lighting Designers)
AR-MA (Research for precast concrete)
Gartner Rose (Head Contractor)
Photography: Florian Groehn, Simon Whitbread
Length: 275 metres (North section)
Area size: 7,000 m² (North section)
Project title: Victorian Desalination Plant and Ecological Reserve
Location: Process Plant Site – Lower Powllett Road, Wonthaggi, Victoria, Australia
Whole Area Size: 225 hectares + 84 km pipeline
Green Roof Area: 26,000 square metres
Client: Aquasure and Thiess Degrémont Joint Venture (design and construction contractor)
Landscape Architects Firm: ASPECT Studios
Green Roof Design Team
ASPECT Studios – Landscape Architects
Fytogreen Australia – Green Roof Contractor
Practical Ecology – Ecological consultant
peckvonhartel – Architecture
ARM Architecture – Architecture
Beca – Architecture, Structural and Hydrologic Engineering
Parsons Brinkerhoff – Civil engineering
Australian Ecosystems – Seed Collection & Plant Propagation
Hart’s Mill Surrounds is a revitalised public realm in Port Adelaide with an enduring design quality and a materiality that reveals the cultural significance of the Mill and its surroundings.
Located adjacent to the wharf, the site has been sensitively structured around heritage-listed buildings and includes a large play space with new recreation areas. It provides a series of spaces for events and markets and is a premier destination to increase visitation, access and amenity to the waterfront.
The conceptual framework is drawn from a thorough understanding of the site’s history. An interpretive response to the milling process, the re-use of existing timbers, an industrial aesthetic and bold colouring are reflections of its former use and provide an outcome that is unique and sensitive to cultural significance. Through simple, durable materials, a robust planting palette and interpretive elements that weave a narrative of the site’s history, the precinct is a living museum with inbuilt flexibility as a dynamic event space.
The play space is a major feature of the site and is designed to reference the milling processes. It is complemented by raised grassed platforms suitable for a range of events, markets, and social gatherings. A repurposed flour shed extends the events space, while a continuous skateable concrete ledge provides informal seating. A central rail line is retained as a reminder of previous site uses and provides a curtilage and access to the western edge of the main flour mill and retrofitted flour shed. A long shelter, which provides space for tables and BBQ facilities, overlooks the Port River.
This new public domain is a dynamic and functional precinct rich in industrial heritage and primed to accept many future uses.
Project Name: Hart’s Mill Surrounds
Project Location: Port Adelaide, SA, Australia
Client: Renewal SA
Landscape Architects/Lead Consultant: ASPECT Studios
Mulloway Studio (Architecture)
LUCID Consulting (Lighting and Service Engineering)
SMEC Australia, (: Civil and Structural Engineering)
HydroPlan (Irrigation Design)
Completion Date: 2014
Budget: $2.1 million
Photography: Don Brice
Area size: 7100 square metres
Vanke Xijiu City Plaza is located in the heart of Jiu Long Po district of Chongqing. Surrounded by mature residential development, it lacks public open space and adequate city amenities. The design brief called for the creation of a new urban space that provided opportunities for un-programmed social activities for residents, catered to retailers needs and allowed for promotional curated events hosted by the client group, Vanke.
The design captures the site’s heritage and its distinct topography. The Chongqing mountains and rivers are reflected with graphic pavement patterns, a single linear water feature, terraced planters with integrated timber seats and concrete ledges to form a semi-enclosed space. Historical steel industrial elements and pavement inlays with meaningful phrases are used as features in the city footpath. This acknowledges the site’s former use and importance to the local community as both a steel fabrication area and a community hospital.
The design caters specifically to Chinese social pursuits, providing comfortable spaces for older people, mother and baby, families, dancing groups and other passive and semi-active pursuits. In particular, it provides opportunities for early morning and evening group social and recreational activities.
Locally sourced materials have been used throughout and the site’s southern perimeter is heavily planted with local tree species to provide shade during the middle of the day. As such, the site presents as the first ‘green’ plaza in this part of the city and has become immediately popular with residents.
The plaza encourages engagement and activity within the entire community. The result is a dynamic, memorable and innovative urban space that is distinctively Chongqing.
Project Title: Vanke Xijiu City Plaza
Location: Jiu Long Po, Chongqing, China
Client: Vanke Group
Landscape Architects: ASPECT Studios
Area size: 26,000 square metres
Photography: Andrew Lloyd
Box Hill Gardens is a much-loved historical park located 14 km from central Melbourne. In response to its increasingly urban setting and the area’s corresponding population growth, Box Hill Gardens Master Plan of 2011 proposed new recreation elements and the rejuvenation of existing spaces.
Three key concepts have driven the design. Firstly, the creation of a contemporary recreational and events surface that progresses from the traditional singular-use sports court. The surface functions as a community space, providing courts for multiple sport and recreation activities and areas for public events.
Secondly, the recycling and reinterpretation of the former tennis club house and clay courts. Part of the clubhouse has been retained and reused as seating platforms, while recycled bricks from its demolition have been utilised as feature elements within the construction of a new toilet block facility and associated brick platforms. The umpire chair and tennis roller from the previous clay courts have been salvaged and installed as playful remnants of the previous life of the site.
Thirdly, the use of colour and graphics to encourage use and activity and to create a distinct surface that differentiates itself from the existing park character. A dynamic and engaging super graphic defines play areas and creates an iconic and spirited destination for the growing community.
A 1km walking and running path will be added to the space in the near future. It will circumnavigate the gardens, with start and finish lines dovetailing into the multi-purpose area.
The final design of the space embodies a bold, contemporary aesthetic. It combines layers of history and memory with the careful integration of landscape and built form elements.
Project Title: Box Hill Gardens Multi Use Purpose Area
Location: Irving Avenue, Box Hill, VIC, Australia
Client: Whitehorse City Council
Landscape Architect: ASPECT Studios
ASPECT Studios (Lead Consultant and Landscape Architect)
NMBW Architecture Studio (Architect)
Whitehorse City Council (Client / Arts and Recreation Development)
GTA Consultants (Civil Engineering and Services)
FORM Structures (Structural Engineering)
Martin Butcher Lighting Design (Lighting)
Budget: $1.4 million
Area size: 3000 m²
Photography Andrew Lloyd