The Sprout wins AILA Award for best play space

George Pentland Botanical Gardens playground revealed as the state’s best landscape architecture for play spaces at the 2019 Awards

The Sprout is the key feature of the George Pentland Botanic Gardens playspace. Photography:  Wolf Nitch

The Sprout is the key feature of the George Pentland Botanic Gardens playspace. Photography: Wolf Nitch

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has announced the George Pentland Botanic Gardens playground as a winner of the 2019 Victorian Awards, the annual celebration of the profession’s impact in shaping the built and natural environment throughout Victoria.

The playground is a collaboration between Leaf Design Studio with the overall responsibility over the playground design, Damian Vick a Melbourne based sculptor with a strong focus on metal art, responsible for the centre piece sculptural play spaece, as well as All Play responsible installation and delivery. Together they developed the Sprout as a key feature contributing to the overall creativity and appeal of the playground. Says Damian Vick, Melbourne based sculptor: “Rather than creating a linear passage the challenge was to create an object that would entice creativity by enabling children to create their own paths while playing within a sculptured landscape of trees.”

By recognising the best in landscape architecture, the 2019 Victorian Awards shows the world how beauty, sustainability, creativity, nature and well-being come together.

“The Jury was pleased by the number and quality of award entries this year,” said Jury Chair, Mary Papaioannou. “We saw the contribution projects make through delivering public realm that encourages recovery and rehabilitation, inclusivity and engagement. We saw projects located in tertiary education settings that place student life at the heart of the campus experience, and many projects embracing the principles of biophilic design that celebrate the role plants play in the enrichment of human life. There was a strong geographic representation of projects demonstrating that landscape architects’ impact reaches far beyond urban environments.”

All award winners were revealed on Friday 14 June at a cocktail and presentation after-party at MAIA, Docklands.

Wolf Nitch is a German-French fine-art documentary photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. His vision is based on his professional experience in media and design and influenced via his third-culture upbringing. His exploration of the mediascape via architecture and human appropriation is a reoccurring theme throughout his work.