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    Australian landscape architect TCL takes on High Line New York in Barcelona and wins big

    Nathan Johnson

    Australian landscape architecture firm Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) has faced up to a field of 11 international landscape projects at the International Biennial of Landscape Architecture and come out on top.

    TCL and New Zealand firm Wraight + Associates (WA) were awarded the prestigious Rosa Barba Landscape Prize at the Biennial in Barcelona on September 26 for their Auckland Waterfront project.

    Their transformation of 1.8 Hectares of Auckland’s Waterfront, comprising North Wharf Promenade, Jellicoe Street and Silo Park, involved the conversion of a decrepit industrial maritime site into a vibrant and diverse public precinct.

    The design celebrates both the history of the precinct by encouraging public interaction with industry as well as new elements of Auckland culture, such as alfresco dining and outdoor recreation.

    The revitalised precinct attracts thousands of people daily to its casual alfresco dining establishments, harbour-edge pedestrian promenade, sub-tropical rain gardens, and a park designed around an original cement silo that plays host to a range of popular public functions.

    View down to the weekend Silo market and cinema from the gantry. The gantry is comprised of three levels and hosts a sequence of walkways, projecting gantry spaces and bridge structures. Photograph by Bas van Est.

    View down to the weekend Silo market and cinema from the gantry. The gantry is comprised of three levels and hosts a sequence of walkways, projecting gantry spaces and bridge structures. Photograph by Bas van Est.

    A marine revetment made of recycled concrete blocks connects the wetland to the harbour. Here Jon Baxter and Paul Mackenzie adapted the Tui Tui Tuia project for the blocks as part of the Matariki Festival. Photograph by Jon Baxter.

    A marine revetment made of recycled concrete blocks connects the wetland to the harbour. Here Jon Baxter and Paul Mackenzie adapted the Tui Tui Tuia project for the blocks as part of the Matariki Festival. Photograph by Jon Baxter.

    A rich ensemble of maritime streets parks, industry promenades and harbour provide visitors with a diversity of experiences. Photograph by Simon Devitt.

    A rich ensemble of maritime streets parks, industry promenades and harbour provide visitors with a diversity of experiences. Photograph by Simon Devitt.

    TCL Director Perry Lethlean, who presented the project at the Biennial, said winning the award from a field of some of the world’s most distinguished landscape architects and internationally renowned projects (including Field Operations’ famous High Line in New York), is a significant achievement for the firm.

    “We’re extremely honoured to win this prestigious award in what is the first time it has been opened to the international design community. The Rosa Barba Landscape Prize recognises the world’s best in landscape architecture from the past five years, which was clearly evident in the calibre of outstanding shortlisted projects,” he said.

    “It was an enjoyable design journey, the project is noted for its overlapping themes concerning friction, the ‘as found’ and reprogramming derelict artefacts,” said Lethlean.

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