Posts Tagged ‘ Freedom Park ’

March 2014


Made at GREENinc in the last month : a rendering of a pool deck for a proposed hotel in Limpopo Province

Since the last newsletter, someone (?) posted a link on our Facebook page to an article on Inhabitat that reports on a study that claims that white (painted) roofs are better at combating climate change than green (planted) ones. The latter are more expensive (we knew that, I think), but the article concedes that over their longer life span, the additional cost of green roofs is insignificant enough that it shouldn’t influence your choice. The climate theory is that white roofs reflect sunlight, whereas dark-coloured ones absorb heat and so contribute to the urban heat island effect. The article refers to another study at Stanford University that suggests that although white roofs result in a cooler lower atmosphere, they also decrease the temperature difference half a mile up, and this might decrease cloud formation which would mean more sun getting to the earth and a net heating effect. So, green or white, then? The author can’t say, but does point to the additional storm water control benefits of the green, so whichever you prefer, as long as it isn’t a dark painted roof.

The next thing that got someone excited enough to post something was that Freedom Park was featured on Landezine. You may not get it, but this is very exciting! Check out the article.

Then, just yesterday James posted a link to an article on 7 record-setting streets, and I must agree with him, the nested turning circles in Swindon (the worlds most confusing intersection) are the funniest. They must also be the most dangerous – confusion at an intersection is never a good thing.

Facebook sent me a note a few weeks back saying that in future it will name anyone who posts on behalf of GREENinc. I haven’t seen that happen yet, but I am looking forward to being able to tell who posts what.

’til next time

February 2014


Perspective sketch for the University of Pretoria

Four days after I posted the last newsletter, our beloved Madiba passed away. What an emotional and exhausing last two weeks of 2013 those were.

During a quiet and philosophical builders’ break, the facebook page saw two quotes relating the place-making. The first, from Fred Kent : “If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” Profound, no? The next quotation was from Jan Gehl : “Cultures and climates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They’ll gather in public if you give them a good place to do it.” Both admirably illustrated by the most recent post, a link to an article on recent road transformations in New York City.  Use the sliders in the middle of the images to get the full effect!

James spotted some of our work while browsing in Exclusive Books in Nelspruit – yes, GREENinckers holiday in exotic locations. “New Landscapes 2 : Commercial and Public Landscape” features articles on Forum Homini and the Environmental Education and Research Centre at the Johannesburg Botanic Gardens,  and “New Landscapes 3 : Leisure and Tourism Landscape” includes Freedom Park and the Sharpeville Memorial. Freedom Park also featured in “Open Space – Urban Public Landscape Design”.

There is also a link to a “kinetic drawing” video clip featuring artist Heather Hansen.

We have been fortunate to have eager new faces in the office, as Abby and Mikael joined us for some vac work; they went back to school today, and we know they will do really well this year. Also, Wouter joined us at the beginning of the year to fill Elize’s shoes, she has taken a job closer to home, and we wish her all the best in her career.

And to everyone, all the best for 2014!

’til next time.

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September 2013

A week ago on Saturday, GREENinc was awarded its 8th (I was battling to spell eightth there, so went for the shorter version) ILASA Award of Excellence for its role on Freedom Park’s second phase. James was in charge of the excellent awards function at the Rand Club. Did you know, they let women in now? Welcome back, James, time for some landscape architecture. He didn’t have anything to do with the judging, he says.

The canopies and outdoor lounges at Bank City that I wrote about last month are complete. If only all our projects happened so quickly! Lots of in-progress photos went up on the facebook site in the last month. One of the photos has been seen by 1,774 people to date, our record for a post so far. Click here to see it. Also see the video clip of one of the canopies dancing in the wind. They give a really festive welcome into the CBD from the north. Congrats to Anton and the whole team!

Also have a look at the pool areas of the apartments being built on the Houghton golf course. Andrew has dedicated a significant chunk of his life to these spaces, and it shows in the detailing. There is also a link to the website of Candy Chang, who is “an artist who is passionate about the ways our public spaces can help us make sense of our communities and ourselves.” And James shared an article about putting a green roof on a bus. Why not?

’til next time.


The crocodile water feature at the Sentlhaga, Freedom Park

March 2012

Congratulations to Andrew and Maryke on the birth of their beautiful daughter Isla! And welcome back to the office, Annamari! (I nearly wrote welcome back to work, that wouldn’t have been right)

Just about the whole of GREENinc has registered early for the IFLA World Congress in Cape Town in September, we’re looking forward to seeing friends from near and far there. Especially far, you know who you are, you’d better register. Great to hear that you’re going to be there, Mandy.

James posted such a cute photo of himself and PG dressed as elves on site in Sharpeville about a month ago. But maybe rather have a look at the restaurant at the foot of a waterfall in the Phillipines that he posted. What a great landscape! And in a hot climate, I’m sure it must be great. I wonder if they have little fish that clean your feet while you eat? And if getting your feet wet isn’t enough for you, try this park in Austria. Annamari posted “Ever wondered what goes on in a designer’s mind?” I assumed she was talking about Anton, but looking at the posters, I don’t think so. Then again, who knows what goes on under that bonnet?! On the other hand, it’s obvious what everyone thinks about landscape architects. The Bo Kaap put Cape Town onto a list of the 10 most colourful cities in the world. This is really a visual feast. And Anton posted a video of Freedom Park made by Hugh Fraser. And I posted a link to a review of a new book called “Breaking New Ground” which claims that the distinction between landscape architects and ordinary architects 😉 is a “false dichotomy”. If we can integrate our work, it will be better all round.

’til next time.

December Newsletter

The end is nigh – of the year, that is. It’s been a big one, and I think we are all ready for the holidays.

We’ve worked on some fantastic projects –  the Innovation Hub in Botswana, the Memorial Acre in Sharpeville, hospitals in Mdantsane, Soweto, Parktown, Natalspruit and Phalaborwa, a traffic study in Rosebank and environmental upgrades arount the BRT here in Joburg were just some of them. We brought home an ILASA Award of Excellence from Durban. I went on a roadshow to several regional offices of the Department of Public Works around the country to tell them what landscape architecture is all about. Our founding partner Erika moved to a forest near Knysna. Molly left us, Flo and Elize joined us and Annamari went on maternity leave. The Gautrain started operating between Joburg and Pretoria, and changed our lives.

In the last month, we’ve posted an article on a beach promenade in Denmark, some new proposal sketch plan images and more pictures of Freedom Park. James did a walking tour with Johannesburg Ten Ahead author Gerald Garner for the Gauteng Society for Landscape Architecture year-end function, and posted a link to the Ten Ahead website.

With one week to go before we close our offices for the year, we are about to have our last Friday office lunch of 2011. Thank-you to all our clients and friends for your support during the year, and we wish you all a wonderful break and an even better 2012.

’til next year.

November Newsletter

Congratulations to Anton and Annamari on the birth of baby Eryn on 15 October 2011. Mom and baby are apparently doing well, and Eryn has started training her folks for their new lifestyle.

Two weeks ago everyone (except the new parents) went on an excursion to that other office baby, Freedom Park, taking the Gautrain from Rosebank. It was the first time that I’ve made the Pretoria trip on the train although I take it to the airport regularly, and it was definitely the best trip to Pretoria I’ve ever had. It was a beautiful, clear day and the landscape around the \\hapo at Freedom Park was looking spectacular. Many photos were taken, some have just been uploaded.
Also on the Facebook site, James posted an article about the launch of a new Pink Floyd album, check it out here. There’s also an article about parklets, small spaces in the city that are developed for pedestrians on municipal-owned land parcels, anything from parallel parking bays.   James also put up a link to the most beautiful salad patch he’s seen.

’til next time.

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