It’s Effluent Tourism Darling!

The AILA Cultivate group organised a tour to the fascinating Western Treatment Plant in Werribee Victoria last month, led by Principal Biodiversity Scientist from Melbourne Water Will Steele.

WTP SEWPaC visit 120206

WTP Figure 6 – Fauna and Flora

Siting facts:
– 105 square kms of WTP plant, built in 1896
– Treats 55% of Melbourne’s waste (shower water & sewerage etc.)
– Located in Werribee so mainly gravity fed as all downhill from Melbourne with only 2 pump stations (via 4.5m dia pipe)!
– Hoppers crossing pump is 8 stories high and super sci-fi
– And because sits in a rain shadow of the Otways ranges (ie lower rainfall to optimise evaporation)

You yangs

You Yangs

Habitat & Ecological values:
– Agriculture and urbanisation in Victoria has threated wetland ecosystems, subsequently WTP has become an important substitute
– The “old sewage treatment lagoons” have been modified and now provide a world significant bird refuge due to the provision of: lots of water – even in drought, nutrients and space with limited people & foxes managed
– Ramsar listed wetlands as a major migratory bird path with thousands of rare and endangered bird species!!!!
– Research counts have shown up to 300,000 invertebrates/m square on intertidal mudflats
– The ecologists working at WTP can finely tune the water levels of the ponds to provide a variety of habitat types for different bird species/plants
– Flat treatment lagoons with rock beaching are gradually being regraded with planted banks and an undulating base to the ponds to create more variety water depth


Reshaped retention pond to provide habitat diversity


Birds galore


Bird watchers

For $50/year you can apply for a key to access the prime bird watching areas.

Treatment steps:
1. Anaerobic pond – raw sewage is digested by anaerobic bacteria
2. Biproduct of bacteria is methane which is collected from under covers & powers 90% of the WTP!
3. Biosolids stockpiled from the ponds – not yet used from the WTP although used everywhere else in world (fertilisers, fuels or even concretes). Part of issue is they have stores from 1890s which include contaminants such as heavy metals (and they have not sorted by era).
4. Aerobic ponds/Stepped lagoons – nutrients consumed by aerobic bacteria, water evaporates
5. Class C water released into the bay
6. Some water is recycled, has been a valuable asset in times of drought

Great to see human infrastructure interventions with such a holistically positive outcome!


Piped to Hoppers Crossing


Stage 1, seagulls have first dibs


Methane gas captured from under the covers to provide electricity for WTP.

Methane plan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Auckland Waterfront featured in TOPSCAPE

The project designed by T.C.L with Wraight + Associates (WA) for the Auckland Waterfront won the 8th Rosa Barba Landscape Prize at the International Biennale of Landscape Architecture in Barcelona. North Wharf Promenade and Silo Park proves how a redevelopment project in a former industrial site can champion a new design sensibility for landscape architecture.

064 auckland REV 041214_Page_1064 auckland REV 041214_Page_2

064 auckland REV 041214_Page_3064 auckland REV 041214_Page_4

064 auckland REV 041214_Page_5064 auckland REV 041214_Page_6

064 auckland REV 041214_Page_7064 auckland REV 041214_Page_8

The redesign convinced local authorities of the important symbolic value of the port’s historic activities, and the wisdom of prizing them as strong elements in the neighbourhood’s new vitality. Avoiding real estate speculation and a waterfront tourist complex in favour of lowering costs by reusing materials, maintaining context and structures, and catering to activities like fishing, are some of the design strategies that convinced the Rosa Barba jury chaired by Michael van Gessel.

TOPSCAPE #18: p64 – P71

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

TCL wins the National Award for Research and Communication

all booklets cmyk 1As a profession landscape architects generally tend not to record the reasons for the success or failure of their projects to provide guidance for themselves or others in the future. Taylor Cullity Lethlean has recognized this and has instituted a dedicated research unit to capture and distil the lessons learnt, not only from their own projects but also from projects designed by other firms. More importantly they have generously set out to share their research with their colleagues in the landscape architecture community.

The research is carried out through a culture of staff involvement and involves alliances with fellow professionals and the medium through which it is disseminated is the Tickle series of booklets, of which five have been produced to date on topics such as Waterfronts and Streetscapes. These booklets are beautifully designed to present the material in a serious yet easily comprehended format, resisting the temptation to overcomplicate the data.

The jury commended TCL for this important contribution to the profession.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Topos 87 – ‘Coastal Strategies’

Our climate is in a constant state of flux where the forces of nature are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Previously, we witnessed the effectiveness of megastructures such as barriers, dykes, dams, and many more as a means of protection. However with the heightening sense of uncontrollability these structures now lack a level of responsiveness to the ever changing conditions surrounding us. Climate change and other phenomena have led to the questioning of the existing approaches undertaken as risk management when it comes to extreme weather conditions. Adaptive and flexible systems are emerging as a response to these conditions.

Topos 87 – ‘Coastal Strategies’ explores these issues through a series of projects that identify multiple contemporary frameworks of dealing with affected coastlines.

Topos_87-737x492Topos_87_coastal_strategies_Mossop_Mississippi-737x492The swamps and wetlands of the Mississippi Delta are being destroyed by interventions like the logging canals seen here in the Maurepas Swamp.

The Future of the Dutch Coast

The National Coastal Strategy was launched to challenge sea level rise in the Netherlands. Atelier Kust­kwalitei (Coastal Quality Studio), investigate natural dynamics as an approach to improving the quality of the Dutch coast; for coastal defence and spatial quality.

Zandmotor vlucht-30 10-01-2012 foto: Rijkswaterstaat/Joop van Houdt

Competition Rebuild by Design

How can coastal landscapes serve as protective ecological infrastructure for growing cities? How can we measure, test, and ­rebuild these critical – and endangered – shallow-water ecosystems?

One of the winning proposals “Living Break­waters” for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ­Rebuild by ­Design competition advances the ongoing ­exploration of the critical relationship ­between water, nature, and urban culture.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Atmeture’, bringing architecture to life in the UK.

Located in Letchworth’s Broadway Gardens ‘Atmeture’ has been described as an “experiment in breath and space” by its creators Mathias Gmachl and Rachel Wingfield from Loop.pH. The installation explores a process that merges biological design elements with digital technology. “The approach recognizes architecture as a process and in a state of constant repair, and builds on the unique ability of textiles to flow, dissect and create configurable, flexible and adaptable environments,” Loop.p.H explain. The properties of the materials used adapt and respond to their surroundings which allows the public to experience a constantly evolving structure.

This structure is featured at the Fire & Fright Festival, which delivers a series of events ad interventions commissioned by onedotzero and Letchworth Garden City Council.

The event runs from October 28 – November 5 2014.

3c48173eaba3f455113abe52f500b530 d175f8cfcd989f7b72705a73bc9ece7a30728b52fefa1810bf5d4cd763137043 bf70f240ec2346e564f54bfa9a9b18cd

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Remembrance Poppyscape


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre Competition Win


Our project design development has proceeded with three primary objectives in mind:

• To develop a concept for an Aquatic centre that would facilitate an expansion of both
the community appeal and the civic and urban programs possible within the Aquatic
Centre typology.

• To develop an urban and landscape proposal that is informed by a historical
understanding of the formation of the Green Square urban landscape from its
pre-European indigenous condition, its agricultural history and particularly its
contemporary transformation in the face of industrial obsolescence.

• To focus on the pleasurable and hedonistic potential of the swimming pool program
as a catalyst for expanding the project’s community appeal, with a particular focus on
analysing the physical and social characteristics of the very successful civic tradition
of Sydney’s coastal pools.

Out of these key objectives the conceptual basis of our design has been developed and
modified from our Stage 1 Entry in accordance with the adjacent diagrams.
Our design approach has been further substantiated with a closer analysis of the key
landscape elements of the beach and coastal pools. In the following analytical diagrams
we have attempted to articulate the language of both the formal and social elements that
constitute these successful civic structures. We have then used these diagrams to help
transform the orthodoxies of the Aquatic Centre typology by grafting these elements into
the formal and social structure of our proposed Green Square Aquatic Centre.


01_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy

02_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy 03_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy

04_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy
05_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy

09_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy 06_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy 07_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy 08_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL copy
10_Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre_ABA GRIMSHAW TCL

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment