Landscape architecture is defined as the design of outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes.
People enjoy being in nature for multiple reasons like trying to to escape from the stress of everyday life. Most of the time people have to head to the mountains or the woods to spend time in the great outdoors.
Thanks to landscape architects, more and more public spaces are being transformed into nature-like destinations. Restoring endangered wetlands, reducing hospital stays, removing toxins from rainwater – these are just a few examples of what landscape architects are designing right now.
In no particular order, here are some of the most influential and famous landscape architects in Australia.
1. Nathan Burkett
Nathan is a multi-award winning landscape architect based in Melbourne. Just this year, he was awarded a Show Garden Gold Medal at the recent Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show for his installation ‘Equilibrium’.
Nathan is noted for his innovative use of space, custom built installations, and subtle integration with existing structures. He is able to move from classic, subtle designs right through to the eclectic and cutting edge designs.
Recently, it was also announced that Nathan will be working on developing a garden for the 2016 Singapore Garden Show. The Singapore showcase has an attendance rate of almost three times the size of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
2. Richard Weller
Richard is an Australian landscape architect and academic. He now holds the Martin and Margy Meyerson Chair of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. He has won over 30 prizes in international design competitions, written four books and published over 90 academic papers.
Richard is also a board member of the Landscape Architecture Foundation in Washington and a judge of the 2015 American Society of Landscape Architects awards. Recently, he has been appointed creative director of the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture.
A devoted teacher, he was honored with an Australian National Teaching Award in 2012 “for sustained commitment to inspiring and enabling students to engage creatively and critically with complex design problems”.
3. Ruth Czermak
Ruth founded the company ‘Botanical Traditions’ in 1996, while she was completing a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture at Burnley. In 2006, she completed a Masters in Landscape Architecture. Before, she has taught topics on Plants and Planting Design and Landscape Materials at Melbourne University.
Ruth has extensive experience with raingardens and playspaces on elevated levels. She has designed landscapes throughout Victoria including public parks, community gardens, and historic gardens. She was recently awarded a Fellow of the Australian institute of Landscape designers and Managers (AILDM) for services to the association and industry as a whole.
Botanical Traditions specialised in the design of residential gardens in the inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne, then evolved into the retail nursery industry and the design of larger residential gardens.
4. Leon Lange
Leon is an Australian landscape architect who delivers professional and reliable services for landscape master planning and conceptual design, detailed design documentation, and contract administration. He has been working in the industry for over 25 years.
Leon’s hands-on experience in the horticultural and landscape construction fields began in 1987. He has established the company ‘Lange Design’ in 2003, which offers the uniqueness of a one-point contact, enabling an accurate and quick response of any landscape enquiry at any stage of a project.
He has a strong desire to provide a sincere and honest landscape architectural service for the public and private sector. Leon continues to be involved in a diverse array of projects including master planning, urban design, commercial, industrial estate design and more.
5. Catriona Glanville
Some of Catriona’s credentials include a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture, and a Certificate in Horticulture. She has developed extensive experience for projects ranging from gardens to large commercial developments. Her projects include office parks and shopping malls.
Her credentials include a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture, and a Certificate in Horticulture. She has developed extensive experience for projects ranging from gardens to large commercial developments. Her projects include office parks and shopping malls.
She opened ‘Outscape’ in 1992, after studying landscape and garden design history overseas. Her company offers a decade of established work in sustainable, low-maintenance landscaping suited to site, climate, water, and soil.
6. Matt Cantwell
Matt Cantwell is a well-known landscape architect in the Sydney landscape industry. He is the founder and director of Secret Gardens, one of Sydney’s most highly regarded landscape design and construction firms.
Matt holds a Diploma in Applied Science (Landscaping Construction and Design), and is an active member of industry associations, including AILA, AILDM and the LNA. He regularly conducts talks and lectures on gardening, and even interviewed for editorial pieces. For Matt, his greatest professional achievement is winning the Allan Correy Award.
His design aesthetic, according to him, is all about the client. He believes that the plot of land, the style of architecture, and of course, the client vary dramatically. Matt has always been passionate about plants and considers it the element of a garden design that excites him the most.
“Eclectic best describes it. If you look at our portfolio of work we are really proud that it is so varied”, he adds.
7. Paul Stein
Paul founded his company, SEED Landscape Design, in 2005 to bring his design aesthetic to contemporary landscape architecture in the Brisbane, QLD area. He aims to bring innovative solutions and extensive experience to improve the value and aesthetic appeal of homes or commercial projects.
SEED Landscape Design offers landscape architectural services to South East Queensland, providing sustainable designs that support environmentally responsive concepts. He publishes weekly tips and advice for Brisbane gardens on his blog.
Paul believes that gardens are an extension of its owners, and good design improves the way people interact with this area. One of Stein’s innovations is Corten steel in his modern or traditional landscapes.
8. Scott Brown
Scott Brown has been designing and consulting on residential outdoor environments since 1993. He has done more than 600 projects in metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria, Sydney, regional NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.
Scott was awarded a first class Honours degree in Earth and Horticultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Several of his designs have won gold medals at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. He continues to write for a wide range of national magazines on gardening and lifestyle.
Because of his experience, he has been an invited judge at the Landscape Industries of Victoria Awards for Excellence. His company ‘Scott Brown Landscape Design’ offers consultancy for clients whose budgetary considerations may not extend to a full design service.
9. Adrian McGregor
Adrian is a Landscape Architect based in Sydney, Australia. He founded the company ‘McGregor Coxall’ in 1998, and is also the current Managing Director. He has over 26 years of international experience working and teaching about urban design, as well as landscape architecture.
Adrian has been nominated as one of Sydney’s 100 most creative people. His expertise lies in combining development feasibility, politics, culture and ecology with a passion for design. He aims to create sustainable places in the built and natural environments.
He studied landscape architecture at Canberra University in the mid 1980’s. His fellow director Philip Coxall joined the company in 2000. McGregor Coxall has completed over 300 projects with the aim of pursuing design excellence.
Chris is one of the most sought-after Landscape Architects in Australia. He is the current founder and corporate director of ASPECT Studios, which he established in 1993. His reputation for creativity and innovation is equaled by his rigorous discipline and focus on delivery.
According to his website, Chris is driven by a commitment to deliver the highest quality design outcomes across the breadth of landscape architecture and urban design. He’s an expert in large scale urban and commercial development.
ASPECT Studios offers innovative landscape architecture, urban planning and design, with offices in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Shanghai. Once or twice a year, the company incorporates pro bono work, collaborating with people wanting to positively impact their community.
Know of any other influential architects in Australia that you think should have made the list? Let us know in the comments.