On the 6th and 7th of September, the Landscape Institute hosted its Annual Conference.

With a focus on connecting people, place and nature, the Conference was a crucial one in the Landscaping industry calendar. Some of the world’s foremost thinkers and speakers in the fields of landscape architecture, management and policy, planning, urban design and place making met to discuss, debate and deliberate!

The conference split it into two days, covered the following:

Day one was a day of high-level debate for leaders and practitioners in the fields of landscape architecture, digital, design, future trends and the topic of ‘valuing landscape’, looking at the impact on people, urban design and place making:

  • Valuing the intangible: Framework for measuring the cultural, economic and societal benefits of landscape.
  • Wellbeing: How landscape infrastructure can reduce health inequality and improve lives.
  • Urban value and competitiveness: Local-level transformation, sustainable management and integrated approaches that ensure strong outcomes
  • Innovation: Funding, partnerships and new ways of connecting stakeholders with landscape.
  • Leadership: Who we need, what we should do differently, and how we evolve to meet future needs.

Day two focused on policy, planning and management, explored through a packed itinerary of workshops and experiential site visits. It was ideal for landscape managers, planners and public-sector members, who:

  • Heard about the latest in UK and EU environmental policy.
  • Explored opportunities and implications for the profession following Brexit.
  • Examined how the combined skills of science and management unlocked the value of protected natural spaces.
  • Visited major regeneration sites in Greenwich and at Thamesmead, where gold sponsor Peabody Trust is delivering a multi-billion-pound, landscape-led development of 20,000 homes.

Hardscape was proud to sponsor to a successful and informative conference held by the Landscape Institute.

With Hardscape being a bronze sponsor for the event, the marketing team set up a traditional exhibition stand offering info and giveaways for more than 300 delegates whilst they moved from talk to talk, seminar to seminar.

Hardscape’s main involvement came on day two, where our Group Technical Manager and Senior Sales Manager for London, Asil Besim, along with Mike Martin of Turkington Martin (Landscape Architects), took delegates on a site visit around Greenwich Peninsula.

Asil and Mike have been involved with the transformation of the area, which has gone from a marshland to a mini metropolis. Some fifteen delegates were taken via coach from the conference venue over to the Peninsula, meeting Asil and Mike just outside the impressive O2 Arena. The tour began going around the stunning Ravensbourne University building, where the Kellen paving was first laid.

Asil explained, “Kellen was used on the scheme as concrete blocks fade with colour over time, this isn’t the case for this product as the natural aggregate top of the paver provides longevity.” This was evident in the paving, as the product has been down for over five years now and still looks fresh and striking up against the University building, which is a digital media and design school.

Mike then led the group to some residential buildings and to the Emirates Cable Cars, with further Kellen paving and Kobra granite benches. Here, Mike described the various art installations around the Peninsula, in-keeping with the area’s theme of art and design.

Mike highlighted “As we move in-between the residential areas you can see a slight change in tone of the paving. We wanted to keep the colours quite similar but different enough to outline walkways, parking bays and roads and we think it’s worked perfectly here.”

After visiting the apartments, the tour concluded with a walk Parkside and back over towards the cable cars and central Peninsula.

The area is beginning to thrive, as more work continues in various sectors, which includes additional living space and a creative centre for design. The diversity of design input across eight architectural practices is evident in the area and remarkably all seems to fit into place seamlessly, like an architectural jigsaw, both vertically and horizontally.

The tour proved a tremendous success and the immediate feedback from the participants was generous and encouraging. A thoroughly inspiring two days for those that attended and indeed from Hardscape’s perspective too as we engaged with like-minded professionals to discuss the palette of material choice we offer and to describe, in detail, some of the amazing projects we have had the privilege to be involved with and execute.

We are now looking forward to being Headline Sponsors for the Landscape Institute Awards 2018 on the 22nd of November – keep an eye on news updates and social media for more on this event!