The ILASA Awards of Excellence 2022


Acknowledging our Heritage for a Smart Future  

The annual Corobrik-ILASA Awards of Excellence aims to acknowledge and promote excellence in landscape architecture by championing relevant projects that add value to the landscape, specifically in aspects of social or ecological health and well-being. This year’s Gala Event took place in Pretoria late September and was aptly themed ‘Acknowledging Our Heritage for a Smart Future’.    


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Category 2 A & B: Planning and Design  

1st Place Winner: Square One Landscape Architects  

BOSJES Farm, Breedekloof Valley  

Situated in the scenic Breede River valley, BOSJES farm has grown in stature and acclaim since opening in 2017. The Spens and Winkel – a pantry-style coffee shop and farm shop set amid imaginatively landscaped indigenous gardens – blend effortlessly into the gardens and broader landscape; a testament to the creative collaboration between Square One Landscape Architects, Steyn Studio, and Meyer & Associates Architects. The landscaped gardens are spread across three sloping terraces, connected by a curving pathway that provides universal access while creating a visual link between the woodland landscape, forested play areas, spacious lawns, and conservation garden planted with endangered renosterveld. Across the site there are visual cues that remind visitors of the cultural heritage of the valley. A series of water furrows and channels speak to the ingenuity of farmers in taming this drought-prone wilderness. The fragrant citrus groves in front of the Winkel and Spens are a reminder of the region’s rich agricultural tradition. Circular sandpits for children reference South Africa’s traditional farm dams and reservoirs, while in the dedicated children’s play area equipment includes kid-friendly farming implements, sandpits and splash-pads. 


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2nd Place Winner: Daniel Rebel Landscape Architect  

Jewel City, Johannesburg  

One of Johannesburg CBD’s most prominent projects, Jewel City, is an innovative urban re-integration project that sought to revive and establish more socially and economically inclusive public spaces. The Jewel City complex consists of six city blocks of industrial buildings, some dating back to the 1930s. The entire area was closed off to the public in the mid-90s and remained an isolated and forgotten node for decades. That was until Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects transformed the landscape of this pre-existing industrial complex into a vibrant, open mixed-use precinct featuring a large public square and urban park, flanked with trees and retail space as well as a safe children’s play area that spills out on to the square, animated by fountains and public art. The zero-level fountain is easy deactivate so that this central piazza can be used for events, including concerts, conferences, exhibitions and markets. The upgraded and repaired peripheral areas and sidewalks, as well as additional lighting come together to create a cleaner, safer space around the inner-city precinct.  

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Winner: Square One Landscape Architects  

BOSJES Farm, Breedekloof Valley 

The innovative design of the Winkel and Spens on BOSJES Farm is a subtle celebration of the region’s rich cultural history. Both structures are partially built into the hillside, the roofs overlaid with soil and planted with indigenous grasses and succulents to blend seamlessly into the landscape, leaving the panoramic mountain views untouched. The garden concept sought to incorporate ecology into the cultural landscape, turning the legacy of cultural heritage and the tradition of living off the land into something accessible and enjoyable. Curved trellises of oak – a subtle reference to traditional cattle kraals – serve as a visual focus that twists and guides visitors inwards. More than a dozen species of climbers, including bougainvillea, honeysuckle, star jasmine, and wisteria, add seasonal colour, texture, and aroma to the structure, creating a perfect blend of culture and tradition, natural beauty and inspired design, and a continuation of the design philosophy that has established BOSJES farm as one of the leading destinations in the Cape winelands. 

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Winner: Graham Young  

Graham is a multi-award-winning registered landscape architect with forty years of experience. He holds degrees in landscape architecture from the University of Toronto (BL) and University of Pretoria (ML), and is the owner of his firm Graham A. Young Landscape Architect. Graham has worked in South Africa, Africa, and Canada, developing valuable expertise in the practice of landscape architecture, urban design, and environmental planning. He recently retired as a senior lecturer, teaching urban design and landscape architecture at post and undergraduate levels at the University of Pretoria.

During his career he has received numerous ILASA and industry design awards. These include the ILASA Presidential Award for the Riverside Government Office Complex (with KWPNLA) and Isivivane Freedom Park Phase 1 (with NLA). One of his specialties is Visual Impact Assessment, for which he scooped up an ILASA Merit Award in 1999. He has completed over 350 specialist VIA reports for projects across Africa and in Canada. He has been widely published in local and international design journals and books, and recently co-founded the e-journal African Journal of Landscape Architecture, where he now serves as the managing editor. Graham is also a member of the Editorial Board of the African Landscape Network and the current president of the International Federation of Landscape Architects Africa Region. 

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Winner: Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects   

Deloitte HQ, Waterfall City 

This year, the winner of the Just Trees Award for the best use of trees in a landscape design was awarded to Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects for Deloitte, Waterfall City. The headquarters gracefully ease into Midrand’s urban fabric; the podium ramp, combined walkway/cycling route, and pedestrian link with Mall of Africa all providing comfortable visitor access to the building’s entrances. The landscape’s water-wise indigenous plant palette is irrigated with stormwater harvested from the building roof and harvested basement seepage water. Three-oval spill-out spaces east and west of the headquarters feature granite planters filled with an exciting array of plants. Large evergreen trees combined with Helichrysum petiolare, Gazania tomentosa, Plumbago auriculata, Elegia tectorum, and other shrubs are almost within touching distance of boardrooms and offices, inviting employees out of the building and into the landscape furnished with modified wood benches and decks for comfortable informal gathering. With their extensive use of trees, including Harpephyllum caffrum, Dombeya rotundifolia, and Erythina lysistemon, among others, it’s only fitting that Daniel Rabie Landscape Architects should walk away with this coveted landscape award.  

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Just Trees commented: “Tree species selection, design, installation, and maintenance have worked incredibly well here to deliver an environment that is functional and beautiful. It is evident that the trees are showing vigorous growth and are performing all their desired functions in terms of softening and complementing the modern building design as well as creating features, providing shade, and creating habitat for people and birds to enjoy. What has been achieved here is definitely a legacy for the future. Congratulations!” 


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