KI is the studio of keen and innovative multicultural designers from different disciplines who believe in responsive design to both people and environment. Our work integrates design opportunities with social and environmental values to create better places and different experiences for everyday life. Our key focus in the resolution of projects is the identification of a site specific response and synthesis of the design elements to deliver more avant-garde solutions that respond to the uniqueness of the site, are environmentally responsible and that reinforce the sense of place and identity. For us, people’s needs are woven through the natural and cultural landscape matrixes and we aim to create usable, multi-use spaces through which uses can adapt and change over time.
We have a broad, local and international experience with in-house interdisciplinary skills which allows integral solutions to the complexities of our urban and rural environments that are site responsive and translated from the macro to the micro scale. KI people integrate urban planning, landscape planning, urban design, and landscape architecture skills into a pot of innovation to influence the quality and health of open space and ecological systems and to create a variety of open spaces suited to various project values and needs. Our landscape architecture approach is about respect for land, people and spirit. We can greatly influence the quality and health of open space and ecological systems along with all the social and cultural outcomes. So, we aim to maximise opportunities for integrating “blue and green” waters and landscape-to create a variety of open spaces suited to various project values and needs, be they rural, urban, down-town, city, public domain , or desert landscapes.
Our approach is to create exciting, aesthetically pleasing designs with sustainable outcomes that reflect the unique ‘genius loci’ of each site, ecologically and socially. As human health, social opportunity and equality, cultural diversity, community identity and spiritual expression are all significant issues to the wellbeing of the community, we develop an understanding of these elements as part of the design process. The resultant scheme must be self-maintaining in terms of the landscape and the land use/cultural/ social outcomes must be resilient to change in terms of socio-cultural and economic outcomes for the future. Challenging in older cities and downgraded places is the need for effective, creative urban renewal that respects people, place, space, ecology and community aspirations. These are projects where collaboration with the community is imperative to solve social and environmental issues and to create a successful rejuvenation. KI challenges current thinking, to change mind sets to open for a better future. A combination of innovative physical planning, with clever government policies, and creative design and emerging the team with community values and developing ownership and empowerment are key to success. In summary, KI strives to be a leader in greening our cities and enhancing the environmental quality of our urban spaces. To do so, collaboration, creativity, passion and commitment are core to our business philosophy. In another words sustainability is our focus; client responsiveness is our goal; challenges are our passion; collaborative thinking is our approach.
As part of the Glenfield to Leppington Railway project in Western Sydney, KI Studio, in collaboration with AMBS, was responsible for the integrated art and heritage strategy, which was resolved in a consolidated manner through integrating heritage interpretation elements as contemporary artworks within built form elements in areas of high pedestrian traffic at the station concourses.
The design outcome reinforces the sense of place through transforming the otherwise bland concrete retaining walls at the concourses into memorable spaces, by using them as a canvas to create engaging spaces.
Artworks were integrated within the built form applying contemporary designs with an uncluttered visual effect. The integration of art contributes to the sense of place and identity of the overall project, sustaining the values of heritage places and landscapes and educating the surrounding community on the history of the locality.
• Integration of art, architectural and functional elements to deliver more engaging structures.
• Compliant design resolution for the stringent rail corridor requirements- safety, maintenance, access.
• The integration of adult and children thematics to engage a wide range of the community educationally and create a journey experience.
• Innovation through using green technology (green walls) with cultural interpretation within a rail corridor.
• Fusion of Integrated Landscape/Urban Design
• Sustainable Approaches
• Community Education
The project aims to connect nature and culture, revitalising Wagga Wagga’s local identity and communities as part of an overall rejuvenation for the City.
The Riverside Strategic Master Plan for Wagga Wagga creates a long term vision to guide the future development and interface with Wagga Wagga’s most precious resource – the Murrumbidgee River. The plan reconnects the residents of Wagga Wagga with their iconic river and encourages social, ecological and economic growth. It envisions Wagga Wagga as a destination where natural beauty is accentuated and access, recreation, culture, environment and commercial opportunities are enhanced.
The Strategic Framework discussed five topics:
• Riverside Regeneration
• Landscape Management Zones
• Land Use Strategy
• Built Form Strategy
• Movement and Access Strategy
These resulted in Five Design Themes:
• GREEN FINGERS to reinforce the riverside presence into the urban zones and compliment the environmental objectives
• INTEGRATED LEVEE which focuses on reshaping the levee to visually blend it with the natural and built setting
• RE-INTERPRETING WATERWAYS to visually reinforce natural ecological patterns as part of the unique riverine setting
• PEARLS ON A STRING which focuses on connectivity, diversity and usage to create a continuous network of multi-use places and spaces based on the movement
• ACCESS STRATEGY and LAND USE/BUILT FORM STRATEGY to enhanced urban permeability and visual connectivity
KI Studio was commissioned to design the water park within Steel Park, in Marrickville. The concept extended beyond the original water play park brief to create a holistic whole of park design that incorporated Council’s individual park upgrades into one project, which saved time and money. KI Studio was responsible for the site planning, contract design & documentation for the Water Play Park, salt marsh, regional cycle way, bush tucker garden and carpark. Water sensitive design elements included. a salt marsh in the location of the existing carpark, bio-filtration areas, swales and low water use planting. Runoff from the Park, car park & surrounding streets is treated through grassed swales and rain gardens before it enters the Cooks River.
The water playpark design combines natural & cultural themes, stimulates creative, educational play with water, illustrating how water flows, stimulates the sensors, with a ‘source’ feature representing the water flowing from the mountains, a ‘rills’ section representing water flowing in a river across plains, and an ‘estuary’ feature which includes a collection of jets and sprays. Designed to encapsulate the total water cycle,water is recycled from the roof of the adjacent DAB Sports Centre and is fed into the interactive fountains, sprinklers and misty spray elements before being treated onsite through water aeration and manually operated pumps and cleansing mechanisms, before being recycled.
KI Studio developed a concept design, in cooperation with Arup consulting engineers, creating a unique and iconic bridge that provides a safe shared-path connection across the motorway to link to the nearby Ryde Train Station. The concept incorporates hanging gardens in three key sections to visually soften the harsh surrounding environment for bridge users. The gardens, integrated within the superstructure in the form of curving panels provides some protection from the elements and contributes to the overall journey experience, creating a high quality public space that is engaging. Changing colours, textures and shapes along the journey create strong identity and opportunities for interpretation if desired.
Plants will be grown in biodegradable tube stock holding growing medium, before being inserted into the green wall; the water will be recycled through remediation of any excess water at the base. Use of epiphytic and saxicolous plants that have evolved for nutrient impoverished environments and drought resistance are the key.
The plants grow through absorbing the moisture retained in the panel – unlike most European adopted green roof techniques that concentrate on draining away excess water.
Our key approach was to create an inspired sculpture in the landscape, providing a unique landmark that cements the identity of the Lachlan’s Line precinct. The sinuous shape and fluid form creates a sculptural quality from both in and outside, enriching the urban domain.
Following acceptance of a Landscape Master Plan for this unique foreshore park to integrate the New Hangzhou CBD development edge to the Qiantiang River, KI Studio was engaged to design and document the landscape design and the architectural concept design for 370,000m2 (2.5km long by 200 to 150m wide). The project creates a ‘green thread’ through the disparate city parts and complements the character of the New CBD – the ‘Wave City’. Critical to the resolution of the project was a thorough analysis of the access and circulation , level transitions and creating stronger links to adjacent parks, streets, and between the land and the river.
The project resolves the complex access /permeability problems of the site, integrates the formal central access with the linear park space, and creates usable, functional and adaptable spaces for the park that strongly reflect the “genius loci” of the site. The majority of the park is actually a “green roof” design which brought challenges of levels, drainage, and maintenance. Water features act as biological cleansers to the water prior to releasing it back into the canal or river.
The design promotes people to use the waterfront; provides pedestrian/cycle connectivity; incorporates tea houses and creates a river promenade that is alive at night and day. The landscape planting themes reinforce both the indigenous themes and the cultural themes of Hangzhou.
Allowance for Human Scale within the Grand Character
Articulation of Spaces & Forms
Open Space as the Linking Ribbon – offering Adaptability
Reflecting the Unique Story of the Site