The National Arboretum in Canberra wins WAF Landscape of the Year

Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG) have won the Landscape of the Year award at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) for their design of the National Arboretum in Canberra. TCL has now won the award for two years running, last year taking the top prize for its project the Australian Garden.

The Landscape of the Year award was awarded to TCL and TZG on 3 October at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The ceremony marked the culmination of WAF 2014 – the largest festival and live awards programme for the global architecture community, which ran over three days from 1-3 October.

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The National Arboretum opened to the public on 2 February 2013 and was the centrepiece of Canberra’s 2013 centenary celebrations. It comprises 100 forests of the world’s most endangered tree species on a 250-hectare former fire ravaged site in the centre of Canberra. It is supported by a host of visitor, educational and research facilities including a 900-person visitor centre by TZG; a demonstration native garden, conservation and educational resource; tree and sculptural installations by renowned Australian artists, and a state-of-the-art children’s playground.

“Rather than a collection of individual trees as specimens, we wanted to create grand forests that offer unique and contrasting visitor experiences and hold a viable population to preserve vulnerable and endangered species,” said TCL Director, Perry Lethlean, of the Arboretum. “It is a strategy, a program and an ongoing event, not a design based chiefly on aesthetics.”

Read Philip Thalis’ review of the National Arboretum here.

The WAF win caps off a big week for TCL, who also won the Rosa Barba Landscape Prize in Barcelona with Wraight + Associates for the Auckland Waterfront.


Landscape architect
Taylor Cullity Lethlean Melbourne
Project Team
Scott Adams, Chris Johnstone, Nicky McNamara, Emily Ogilvie, Sigrid Ehrmann, Simone Bliss, Elly Russell, Joe Morgan-Payler, Anne-Marie Pisani, Natasha Morgan, Grace Lin, Alex Lock, Nick Rose Landscape Architects, Peter Tonkin, John Chesterman, Juli Hallmann, Wolfgang Ripberger Project Architects
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Access consultant EMA
Art strategy Pamille Berg Consulting
Artists / play Bigfish, Agency of Sculpture and Arterial Design
BCA BCA Certifiers
Botanical consultant Mark Richardson, Planning for Plants
Civil engineer Cardno ITC
Civil engineers Andrew Matheson (GHD)
Construction manager Project Coordination
Design practice Taylor Cullity Lethlean Melbourne, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Electrical and mechanical engineer JRA Canberra
Facade Surface Design
Forest advisory group Robert Bowden, Ken Eldridge, Tony Fernside, Michael Kidd, Peter Kanowski, Adam Burgess, Emma de Landre, John Doran, Alan Franklin, Wayne Barlow, John Turnbull
Horticultural consultant Paul Thompson (Australian Planting Design), David Lock (Hortus Design)
Hydraulic engineer Cardno ITC
Interpretive design and wayfinding David Lancashire Design, Thylacine Exhibition Preparation
Irrigation and turf Austin Goodfellow (Goodfellow and Associates)
Lighting design Bluebottle
Planner CBRE Australia
Services engineer Cardno Young
Soil science Peter May (May Horticulture Services)
Structural engineer Don Kerr and Sophia Pan (Kersulting), AWT Consulting Engineers
Site details
Location Weston Creek,  Canberra,  ACT,  Australia
Category Landscape / urban design
Type Conservation, Outdoor / gardens, Parks, Public / civic
Project Details
Status Built
Design, documentation 72 months
Construction 70 months

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