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His company included $1-million worth of granite cobbles at its Leighton
project, which Tony says was questioned by client LandCorp. “But overall the
square-metre rate for the landscape was low and it was a durable finish,” he
explains. “A lot was invested and the returns were multiplied. If there wasn’t
that commitment to landscape, there wouldn’t have been the same return.”
Anthony says developers now acknowledge the commercial opportunities
of good landscapes. “They’re asking: ‘Would anyone want to live here?’”
There are similar social effects. “If there is no pride in space and poor-quality
materials are used, it can result in antisocial behaviour,” says Craig. He
points to the landscape at Northbridge Piazza, which has inspired respect and
pride of place in an area that has long been known for disorderly conduct.
It’s about giving spaces back to the community. This is also being done
in laneway rejuvenation throughout the city. These outdoor spaces are now
being celebrated instead of being used as open-air urinals.
Hassell’s upgrade of the laneway and public realm around the Wesley
Church on the corner of Hay and William streets in Perth is another example.
In creating Wesley Quarter, Anthony says Hassell focused on providing a
landscape that offered a short-term stay. Sandstone seating, granite paving,
shady trees and lighting merge seamlessly into the existing urban fabric.
At Wesley Quarter, the history of the church has been incorporated into the
landscape in an interesting, witty and stylish way. “We’re telling stories from
the area and creating a sense of place,” says Anthony.
Hassell’s Port Coogee project is also a good example of place making,
amalgamating different design elements to create a new healthy-living
community. “It’s about appropriate space creation for the location and for
the area to be used for a long time,” he says. “It’s an amazing coastline and
an amazing climate, and it’s extremely important to work with that.”
At Port Coogee, Hassell has created multi-functional landscape spaces,
a system of interconnected spaces and street frontages that relate to the
promenade. There’s also a conceptual element with references to the marine
environment. “It’s the quality of the landscape and how it works with the
TOP Gardens From Eden and DME Contractors created an attractive landscape for students at
Melville Senior High School. ABOVE The estate development at the former Lakeway Drive-in,
Swanbourne, designed by Hassell and constructed by Landscape Australia, celebrates the site’s history.
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