The Gap, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Strategically located along a waterway corridor, this site was a former landscape nursery and therefore the variety of plants and trees on site and within the adjoining creek corridor is broad.
Maximising the waterway corridor boundary, the majority of the individual townhomes will have a street tree lined boulevard on one aspect with a with rear amenity aspect facing the creek on the other.
This site has significant overland flow constraints and required a large amount of engineering works combined with ecological works to satisfy Brisbane City Council’s concerns.
In addition to the street tree lined boulevard, there is a communal recreation space with terrace stairs, plinth stone retaining and seating, feature site signage and lighting and an impressive mature Ficus tree that is to be retained as the primary landscape feature.
A bridge to the centre of the site will be lined with overhead streetlights selected for their unique design and specifications to minimize energy usage while decorative pavement finishes will identify pedestrian walkways and access points.
Other landscape features include:
- hardy succulent species selections
- feature flowering trees to streetscape nodes
- rear yard landscapes to each townhome.
Communal Recreation Area
Encouraging a community atmosphere to pro-actively engage and socialise with neighbours, friends and visitors.
The communal recreational area forms a space for residents to congregate and socialise. This particular area is dominated by the relocated Ficus tree and also includes barbeque and seating facilities for residents to enjoy the leafy outdoor environment.
The relocation of the ficus tree was the driving factor in the design and planning of the recreation area. The practicalities of moving such a large tree meant that the new tree position needed to be maintained at its existing ground level, and stormwater capacity requirement of the site dictated the location of the adjacent overland flow channel and associated retaining walls.
The result is a ‘sunken’ garden, defined by wide terraced lawn steps that provide a gentle transition down to the lower lawn and seating area centered around the relocated tree.
Lush, shade tolerant planting provides a sense of enclosure while also providing users with views into the adjacent creek. The space will provide a common meeting place for residents and offer an alternate recreation area to residents.
Relocation of a Moreton Bay Fig
Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla)
A mature Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) becomes the entry road focal point of the project. This impressive large Ficus dominates the entry road view corridor and provides a central feature to the communal recreational area for the site.
Although a number of trees needed to be removed across the site, one large Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) was deemed worthy of retention.
This tree forms a focal point of the entry road view corridor and is a significant spreading tree that covers a large area.
A detailed aborist assessment confirmed the suitability of the specimen for relocation. Long-term monitoring of the health of the tree is necessary to ensure the tree remains the focal point of the development.
Rehabilitation and Protection of Fish Creek
Achieving a Manning’s roughness of at least 0.08.
The site sits adjacent to the Fish Creek corridor, a natural asset attracting much local interest and concern. Several factors contributed to the removal of a large number of trees along the top of the creek bank.
A number of the trees were weed species, and earthworks associated with the development site and future bike way required additional removals.
Re-vegetation and erosion control of the disturbed areas became necessary in order to retain the integrity of the creek bank and contribute positively to the creek corridor environmental values.
The resulting re-vegetation strategy was guided by Brisbane City Council’s Natural Channel Design Guidelines and other applicable industry practices.
The re-vegetation of the creek embankment was required to achieve a Manning’s roughness of at least 0.08, a formula that indicates the flow through a channel that factors in vegetation types and densities, channel dimensions, surface finishes, as well as rock particle size.
This required closely working with other specialists within the project team to arrive at a solution.
Overland Flow Channel
Stormwater Control and Filtration
An overland flow channel cutting through the development area was integrated into the site design to accommodate stormwater entering the site from the end of Eranga Street, located to the north.
The landscape treatment of the overland flow zone aims to mimic a ‘natural’ creek bed, using vegetation and rock of varying sizes.
The understorey consists of Mat Rushes (Lomandra longifolia) planted in a ‘natural’ arrangement which will contribute to stabilising the ground for large rain events, as well as soften the adjacent retaining walls.
Citicene provided landscape architectural advice from concept to completion for this premium townhome development.