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Modern Living on an Ancient Landscape

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On the edge of Lane Cove National Park, Arcadia’s landscape for Shout Ridge responds to and respects the ancient landscape. The bushland setting provided an existing set of environs that allowed us to weave timber elements seamlessly into the landscape design. A feature of the landscape is the elevated blackbutt timber boardwalk, which weaves through the existing trees providing connections whilst protecting existing native grasses and landscape on the woodland floor. Filtered views from the apartments at Shout Ridge are dominated by the trunk effects of the Angophora dominant upper-slope shrubland adjacent to the site, and the use of timber in seating and handrails provides a cohesive design element that connects the various spaces of the landscape. Responsible material selection was an element which contributed to Shout Ridge becoming the first residential project to be awarded a 6-Star Green Star – Multi Unit Residential Design v1 certified rating in Australia.

Timber was the perfect fit as it responded to the bushland setting, while connecting the various spaces of the landscape. The blackbutt used will age and adapt to the environs creating a subtle transition and bringing the forest closer still. The timber handrails and furniture present the user with a tactile and comfortable interface with the landscape.

Architect/Designer: Michael Barnett, Arcadia Landscape Architecture

Engineer: SCP Consulting

Fabricator: Fleetwood

Builder: Design Landscapes


Timber use in this location is especially responsive to the context and setting. The elements used perfectly complement the existing natural elements on the site including native trees, indigenous flora, rocky outcrops and ravine like watercourses. The communal space outlook includes sandstone outcrops and tree trunk features, with scribbly gum, angophora, old man banksia and acacias all visible. The balance of materials throughout the spaces was carefully considered to achieve the appropriate character.

The creation of a sustainable community was a priority for Shout Ridge and to support this more than 25 per cent of the total site area has been developed for outdoor communal use, capitalising on its enviable Lane Cove National Park aspect. The bushland location presented unique opportunities and constraints for the landscape design approach which has integrated these iconic elements to protect and enhance the site character. Timber was used throughout the landscape to highlight the retention of many significant existing trees and complement the bushland planting palette made up exclusively of endemic species to the Lane Cove National Park. Carefully positioned into the existing landscape are a series of outdoor rooms for passive recreational use. These spaces adapt to the existing topography, with materials carefully selected to ensure the natural landscape feels like it creeps right up the building edge while providing separation and privacy from a user’s perspective. This includes elevated pedestrian connections, including the feature timber boardwalk, that weave through the existing trees, outdoor dining and cooking facilities, a community garden with composting facilities and worm farm, open landscaped areas for active play and seating areas in quiet zones, with access to sun and shade.

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