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Celebrating landscapes of excellence

The winners of the Landscape Institute Awards are announced today (Thursday). These biennial awards recognise excellence and innovation in five categories: design, management, planning, communication and research. In addition awards were made in two student categories.

There were three winners in the design category, sponsored by L M Scofield Europe.

On British Airways' new headquarters, at Heathrow, for which the landscape architect was Land Use Consultants, the judges praised 'The brilliant execution of a catalyst for organisational and cultural change'. The ambitious project includes the creation of 110ha of parkland, reclaimed from damaged land, and more formal geographically themed gardens surrounding the building.

Kent Design was the landscape architect for the River Skerne Restoration Project in Darlington, converted 'from lifeless drain to delightful urban amenity'. Work including re-meandering the course, profiling the riverbank to give safely accessible slopes, and lowering the floodplain so that homes were still protected from flooding without the need to put the river in a deep culvert. Planting included 20,000 trees and shrubs, and 9000 bulbs and wildflower plants.

Tennant Garmory Partnership was the landscape architect on the Luma Building, Glasgow, the conversion of an Art Deco factory for the Luma Light Bulb company into 55 social-housing units for Linthouse Housing Association. The jurors said, 'The integration with the architecture of the building demonstrates a degree of understanding which is an exemplar to the profession.'

The two winners in the planning category were both character assessments on a broad, strategic scale which set the base for land-use and land-management decisions. They were a study of the landscapes in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, for Vale of Glamorgan Council by White Consultants, and the Northern Ireland Landscape Character Assessment by Environmental Resources Management, for the doe (ni) Environment & Heritage Service.

The communications category, sponsored by Melcourt Industries, had three very different winners. Insite Environments developed a virtual- reality model for the proposed National Grid substation at Northfleet, Kent to facilitate the testing and negotiation of different designs.

The Regeneration and Environment department of Wolverhampton mbc co- ordinated the production of a leaflet on the Black Country route sculptures, using pictures by local children both for an original approach and to keep costs down.

Mark Ross Landscape Architects produced the technical detail for the Rivers and Wetlands Best Practice Guidelines of the Environment Agency Midlands Region. Judges praised the layout and clear explanatory graphics.

English Landscapes sponsored the management award which went to Center Parcs UK for the village-specific ten-year plans that it produces and implements. Judges praised the work as 'co-ordinated, integrated, dynamic, enlightened and workable'.

Peak District National Park's Hay Meadows project, 'Meadows beyond the Millennium' won the research category. The study highlighted the plight of flower-rich meadows, showing that there has been a 76 per cent loss or decline, even in the National Park.

Ruth Slavid

In the student categories, the Portfolio award went to Daniel Males of Leeds Metropolitan University and dissertation awards to James Connor of Wye College and to Beverley Clark of University ofCentral England.

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