Jul 02 2021, by Fleetwood Urban

‘Living form’ arbour at heart of award-winning reimagination

Awards season is in full swing and the good news keeps coming for Fleetwood-delivered structures. At the 2021 Victorian AILA Awards, held earlier this month, landscape architects REALMstudios were recognised for Excellence in Infrastructure for their wonderful integrated landscape project for Melbourne Water entitled Reimagining Your Creek’.

Part of a five-kilometre creekline revitalisation, Fleetwood worked with REALMstudios to deliver a fully-custom galvanised steel arbour at Arnold’s Creek, a community reserve about 50km north-west of Melbourne. Completed in the second half of 2020, the arbour has quickly become a popular local landmark.

As Jon Shinkfield, Founding Director at REALMstudios, explains, the arbour was designed to be a place of pausing, viewing and occupation: “The structure defines a new space for the community, activating a formed promontory at the joining of two local creek arms as part of Arnolds Creek, Melton.” 

“The design intent was to create a ‘living form’, a giant skeleton half buried, that changes in composition and spatial quality when viewed from a range of vantage points, inside and out,” he continues. “It both draws in and pushes out, forming an armature for the user that at one level contains and protects from its surroundings, yet at another connects to the creeklines beyond. The addition of a perforated shade device provides protection to the extended tables and seating during summer, together with exposed comfort from the winter sun.”

Far from a typical arbour, Fleetwood’s design and delivery teams worked extensively with REALMstudios to turn their design vision into a beautifully-conceived reality. “There’s no question it is a highly complex form,” says Jon Shinkfield. “It was modelled three-dimensionally and considered from multiple perspectives. It could have gone horribly wrong in the wrong hands, but Fleetwood captured the sculptural intent of the structure and added to its performative qualities through careful engineering and installation.”

“Melbourne Water is very pleased,” adds Jon Shinkfield, who’s personally observed the positive impact of the new structures since installation. “Having witnessed the use, activity, connectivity and movement that the site now facilitates – possibilities that were never there before – not to mention the return of the grasslands and the bird and critter life that is migrating into the establishing and remnant grassland landscape, it really has been a great outcome.” 

…and now also an award-winning one.

To put Fleetwood’s award-winning expertise to work on your next project, please contact us today for your FREE 1 hour Project Scoping Session.

You can view the full list of Victoria’s 2021 AILA Award winners here.

“Reimagining Your Creek inverses the standard approach of considering the environment as a resource to be controlled and used by humans. The strategic thinking and strong concept has delivered a scalable and adaptable framework that fosters a more equitable relationship between humans and the environment.”

2021 AILA Victoria Awards Jury

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