A MODERN NEW BUSINESS PARK WAS developed by Stockland at North Lakes on Brisbane’s north side is a notable achievement, so the landscaping needed to be equally impressive.
The first major landscaping project for the development was the park. Working to a design by landscape architectural firm EDAW AECOM, Eureka Landscapes Pty Ltd, under the guiding hand of company director Ross Kelly, began construction at the start of 2008. Approximately 12 weeks later, the project was completed.
The brief from Stockland was to develop a park area at the entrance to the commercial sub-division that would convey a message of welcome and serve as a focal point for the commercial sub-division. It also needed to be a functional space that the people employed by the various companies within the development could use. Towards this aim, there are seating and barbecue facilities.
The design references the commercial/industrial feel of the development through the use of coloured and exposed concrete and galvanised steel. To soften the effect, there are large shade trees and to give a feeling of openness, there are large lawn areas.
The key elements in the park area are the large, coloured concrete structures that draw the eye and double as seating. Of course, the park shelter is similarly eye-catching. It has a large off-form coloured tilt panel that was constructed on site and then erected and fixed to a galvanised-steel structure.
For Eureka Landscapes, the major challenge was the construction of the LCBs (Large Concrete Blobs) — the “technical name” the company’s staff gave to the 12m-long, 4m-wide and 2m-high, smooth-trowelled, sprayed concrete architectural elements within the landscape. In terms of size,this was a first and the fact that there were 12 different sizes and faces of varying angles only added to the challenge.
Due to the engineering and architectural requirements the concrete could not have any construction or expansion joints, which meant each element had to be sprayed in one process and the surface hand-trowelled to provide a smooth finish.
Coloured broom finish and coloured exposed aggregate concrete was used extensively throughout the park to provide walkways and bikeways, with smaller areas of decomposed granite to create interest. The retaining walls are of coloured off-form concrete.
The result is an aesthetically appealing parkland space that creates the right first impressions for those visiting the development and provides those who work there with somewhere pleasant to relax.