CONTEXT is an award winning landscape architecture studio committed to the creation of inspiring and enduring places. We take pride in maintaining an integrated and collaborative approach towards landscape architecture and urban design that achieves creative excellence and innovation. Our design thinking is underpinned by the unique qualities of place, and strengthened by the expertise of the collaborators we work with.
The work of the firm extends from concept and master planning to detailed design and delivery, and includes public domain and parks, town centres and streets, education precincts, transport, communities, waterfronts, leisure, and tourism precincts.
For over twenty years, the practice has successfully worked throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and is recognised by numerous design awards and citations for design excellence.
CONTEXT is committed to developing inspiring concepts through our deep understanding of design and our extensive experience in a variety of project scales and complexities.
Set within the UNESCO World Heritage curtilage of the Sydney Opera House, the upgrade to Campbells Cove reinvigorates a crucial link along the waterfront of Sydney Harbour and its Cultural Ribbon – a nature and culture walk that celebrates and connects some of Sydney’s most significant cultural landmarks, places, and landscapes along the Harbour.
Building on the State Significant Development Application of JPW for the Campbells Stores and Cove Precinct, the objectives for the project included creating a greater sense of arrival, converting the old vehicle turning circle into a new public square, providing equitable access and establishing a distinctive curtilage to Campbell’s Stores and The Rocks Heritage Precinct.
The Central Plaza creates a multi-use shared zone, which plays a pivotal role in Sydney’s cultural programme, including New Year’s Eve, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and Vivid Sydney. The sculptural stair/amphitheatre negotiates the level change between Hickson Road and the waterfront promenade, providing a vantage point down to the water and access to Campbell’s Stores. The Promenade itself was lowered to improve both the visual and physical connection between the Stores’ outdoor dining area and the waterfront, while the existing significant Port Jackson Fig became an integral part of the design.
Located at the green heart of Singapore’s historic civic and cultural precinct at the mouth of the Singapore River, the twinned landscapes of Empress Place & Esplanade Park are contemporary in character yet retain strong references to its historic past. Laid out according to the Raffles Plan of 1822, the iconic park settings are fringed by a contiguous riverfront promenade and the city’s major cultural buildings, signifying both the historic beginnings and climax of the city’s green necklace at Marina Bay.
In 2013, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority held an international competition for a new Civic precinct masterplan to celebrate Singapore’s fifty years of independence. Cox Architecture and CONTEXT Landscape Architecture, in association with Architects 61, Arup, and Arcadis, won the competition.
At its core, the master plan sought to enhance the civic decorum of the public and ceremonial spaces, enhance the pedestrian and visitor experience, improve connections, and restore the status of the parklands as a much loved events and gathering space in the City in a Garden. The project has delivered improvements to the waterfront promenades and parklands, new events spaces, streetscape improvements, a new playground, two sets of water steps, special lighting, new signage, street furnishings, and extensive landscaping for the precinct.
A strong focus was placed on the potential of the landscape to create an environment where students would feel comfortable, stimulated, and connected to nature and the surrounding Homebush community.
The landscape was instrumental in strengthening the schools identity by referencing the history of the site and the surrounding community. The use of local and recycled materials, gentle manipulation of the topography, a diverse native planting palette, and the concept of ‘landscape as a learning’, all reference the site’s natural and cultural heritage—both Indigenous and European—within the context of Homebush.
A diversity of outdoor spaces, such as active sports, outdoor classrooms, quiet play, refuge areas, and educational spaces like the productive gardens, combine to provide a variety of opportunities for teaching and socialising during, and after, school hours.