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Tokai Estate Life Retirement Village


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Location: South Africa / Type: Flood Resilience / Residential Parks / Built: 2019 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on March 13, 2024

Terra+ Landscape Architects were mandated as part of a design team to develop and implement the landscaping for the proposed development of Tokai Estate Life Retirement Village. This was an intensive and continuous process where all aspects were considered, including site context, accessibility, needs of the used and sustainability. TERRA+ were involved not only for the soft-landscaping but had input in the hard-landscaping and layout. The design intent was that all roads are pedestrian friendly streets. There was a clear understanding that there would be no sidewalks and people will be dominant of vehicular traffic. This would allow a soft edge of planting to “encroach over the edges and so further soften the street edge and “blur” the defined road edge making cars and driver slightly uncomfortable. This subtle discomfort slows down traffic and allows pedestrians to occupy the streets safely.

The planting vision was to create a vibrant ecosystem that would provide interest throughout the year while being low maintenance. The planting vision is supported by the following key principles: Biodiversity: providing a landscape that would support a vibrant biodiversity (Flora and fauna); Seasonality: Creating interest throughout the year and providing a landscape that will showcase each season. Playing with the seasons; Robustness; Low maintenance; Ecosystem design; Water wise;

The street trees were limited to three species. The design intent was to used a combination of decidiuous (Populus simonii) and evergreen (Syzygium cordatum) tree on the main road to provide a sense of avenue all year round. The side roads were planted with a decidious tree species (Celtis sinensis) to provide shade in the summer months and sunlight in winter. Erythrina lysistemon has been planted as a feature tree due to its striking red orange flowers in winter and spring.

The management of storm-water and irrigation should be seen as one system with comprehensive recharge of storm-water and management of best practice irrigation systems to limit transpiration. The rain monitors on the estate help adjusting the day to day irrigation regime to avoid over-watering. The irrigation system is checked regularly to avoid overspraying and bare dry patches. The resilient planting mix will allow for less watering as the plants established.

In addition to the scope of works, Terra+ were appointed to design the adjacent biodiversity park.

Project Data

Landscape Architects: Terra+ Landscape Architects

Other designers involved in the design of the landscape:

Architects: Craft of Architecture
Consulting Engineers – Aurecon Engineers (now Zutari)
Landscape Contractor – Arrow Landscapes
Townplanner/urban planner – Derek Chittenden – Bluegreen Planning & design
Major suppliers – Project had an on site nursery so all planting was cultivated on site

Project location: Cape Town, South Africa

Year completed: 2019

Photo credits: Maria Kulikovskaya

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