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November 26, 2009

Creating a sense of place is the key for landscape architects

The serene and dignified Omagh Bomb Memorial has picked up one of this year’s Irish Landscape Institute awards, in the public realm category. Five other main prizes were given to three projects, as well as a course that trains people to assess and analyse the Irish landscape in order to help protect it and playspace guidelines for Dublin’s docklands.

The judges said the Omagh memorial, by landscape architect Desmond FitzGerald and artist Sean Hillen, marked: “A successful collaboration between artist, landscape architect and craftsmen.”

Another link between a landscape architect and artists was heralded in the conservation and heritage award that went to Dermot Foley Landscape Architects for a parklands sculpture project at Lough Boora in Co Offaly which the judges said was “a sophisticated and imaginative project, which resolves a conflict between its two heritages – industry and ecology”. This shows what can be done with spent bogs.

A garden which is designed to be easily built and provide a good space for growing vegetables, playing and living in nabbed the residential landscape award for Sophie Giglin von Maltzan. It was described as: “A fantastically simple but elegant and practical 21st century response to garden design on a restricted budget, providing every element of sustainability,” said the judges.

Stephen Diamond Associates picked up the commercial and institutional landscape award for his walled garden at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology campus. It was: “A successful revival of the space into a contemporary format with appropriate consideration given to conservation of key elements.”

The Irish Times

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