African Design Magazine July 2016 - Page 75

Landscaping SALI Awards Judges’ comments The two Gauteng regional judges who visited this remarkable project for the 2016 SALI Awards of Excellence were landscape architect Karen Botes and environmental journalist Carol Knoll. They commented that the contractor’s compliance with the design brief and the entire construction, installation and planting of new elements had been highly skilful, despite the constraints of the construction period and the challenges of working with an existing park with heritage elements. They found the fact that the community had taken ownership of the park, hence creating a much safer place than previously, to be highly commendable, and one in which features and structures were almost entirely free of vandalism. The popularity of the park, even on a week day, is very evident as there are some scars showing high traffic but even though water restrictions were in place at the February visit, the lawns were still in good condition. The skateboard ramp shows wear and tear but no purposeful damage, as do the other elements for exercise and play. The old trees form a bold skeleton for this wonderful old Johannesburg park with its listed buildings. The original padlock on one of the old entrance gates is still in place, as are parts of the palisade fence, and new portions of fence that have been erected are accurate copies of the old palisade. An uplifting project, in more ways than one, with the contractor also responsible for manufacturing the fences, play equipment and other metal elements. The client for the original concept, the designer for innovation, the contractor for skill and the community in this older part of Johannesburg for their surveillance are all worthy of high praise. 75