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VicRoads’ excellence in urban design recognised internationally

A prominent Ballarat road project has won an international urban design award, beating rival entries from across the globe.

The Ballarat Avenue of Honour Interchange project claimed the prestigious Outstanding Award in Infrastructure at the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Asia-Pacific Landscape Architecture Awards last month.

Landscape architecture and urban design firm Oculus won the award in collaboration with VicRoads and Paul Thompson. The jury assessed winning projects based on quality, standards and thought leadership in design and practice, ensuring they were exemplary and provided a benchmark for others.

When the Ballarat Bypass was constructed in the early 1990s, some trees were removed and Avenue Road was closed at the Melbourne-Adelaide railway line, splitting the Avenue of Honour into two sections.

After VicRoads began planning to duplicate the Western Highway in 2010, it recognised that the new interchange at Remembrance Drive was a unique opportunity to reconnect the avenue.

The new overpass was designed to emphasise the sweeping vista along the Avenue and to allow trees to grow between the overpass structures. Overpass screens were patterned with 3801 grey and red leaves, each leaf signifying a person from the Ballarat district who served in World War I.

A special type of noise absorbing asphalt was also used to provide a momentary quiet period while road users drive over the avenue.

Nigel Powers, Project Director, North Western Projects, said VicRoads was committed to remaining at the forefront of urban design.

“It’s a fantastic design outcome that resonates well with the community and reflects well on Ballarat and regional Victoria.

“The new interchange features landscaped fields, modelled on the battlefields of World War I, and native wildflowers provide a blaze of colour throughout the year.”

VicRoads worked closely with the Ballarat Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee and Heritage Victoria to ensure the historical integrity of the Avenue was maintained.

The award was presented at a ceremony on 4 November at the IFLA Asia Pacific Congress 2017 held at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park.

The IFLA Asia-Pac LA Awards aims to build continuous awareness and recognition of landscape architecture together with other professions that play a key role in shaping our cities and environment.

The federation received a total of 104 project entries from 50 landscape architecture firms across 10 countries, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

This latest award follows the project’s ‘Award of Excellence’ in Infrastructure at the 2017 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards in August.

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