NAT­U­RAL WAYS TO CON­NECT

The Courier-Mail - Home - - ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN - BELINDA CHILTON

A con­nec­tion to na­ture is vi­tal to our men­tal and phys­i­cal health, and land­scape ar­chi­tects are en­sur­ing this con­nec­tion is made in our in­ner-city de­vel­op­ments.

Verde De­sign Group di­rec­tor Chris Ma­honey said there was a much more recog­nised need for green spa­ces, and it was up to land­scape ar­chi­tects to find in­no­va­tive ways to in­cor­po­rate them in smaller spa­ces for res­i­dents. “We need to make sure we're creat­ing spa­ces that will have a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on their life,” he said.

Mr Ma­honey said he re­cently read a statis­tic that two-thirds of the world’s pop­u­la­tion didn’t have ac­cess to green space.

“Devel­op­ers are recog­nis­ing that own­ers, es­pe­cially in those high-end prop­er­ties, still want ac­cess to com­mu­nal or green space or nat­u­ral space, and they’re start­ing to re­alise the im­por­tance of not just putting all of your plant equip­ment on the roof, but creat­ing us­able space and max­imis­ing that space,” he said.

“For ex­am­ple, putting in pools, rooftop gardens and I re­cently worked on a project in Kan­ga­roo Point where we put in out­door fire pits. Peo­ple like liv­ing in apart­ments like they would live in their own house.

“Devel­op­ers are now be­com­ing more mind­ful of mak­ing sure they have an edge by of­fer­ing that con­nec­tion to na­ture.”

Mr Ma­honey said green walls were a cur­rent trend. “It’s a trend that’s gain­ing a lot of trac­tion. Aside from the aes­thetic, it’s great for in­creas­ing air qual­ity and for help­ing to ab­sorb heat, es­pe­cially in in­ner-city build­ings,” he said.

“Any land­scap­ing re­ally does have a pos­i­tive af­fect on us.”

He ex­plained func­tion­al­ity was one main thing to be mind­ful of in a smaller-style space.

“So you might use seat­ing that can dou­ble as stor­age, light­ing that is func­tional but also pleas­ing to the eye, even be­ing smart when look­ing at the plants, so choos­ing va­ri­eties that don’t need weed­ing or prun­ing. You want to min­imise in­put but max­imise out­put,” he said.

Verde are the land­scape ar­chi­tects for many de­vel­op­ments, such as New Farm's Point Luxe, plus parks, re­serves and high­way cor­ri­dors.

There is a grow­ing need for in­no­va­tive green space in in­nercity liv­ing, ac­cord­ing to land­scape ar­chi­tect and di­rec­tor Chris Ma­honey (right) from Verde De­sign Group.

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