MacKenzie Falls Gorge Trail
2016 National Award of Excellence - Parks and Open Space
2014 Victoria Landscape Architecture Award - Parks and Open Space
When you're in the great outdoors, it's easy to succumb to the beauty and scale of the landscape around you. But every now and then, you need some guidance – a light touch on the shoulder to point out something spectacular, or a gentle deviation in a trail to focus your attention on something that could have easily passed you by.
The remoteness of the site and irregular terrain, together with the lack of conventional survey and aerial information were all significant constraints which stimulated Hansen to develop an innovative landscape design solution.
Basic site analysis and construction techniques were what made the project process and final outcome so unique. Every rock face, landscape element and natural feature were inspected and documented through sketch design and on-site mapping using pen and paper.
The Mackenzie Falls Trail achieves this experiential quality in a way that is so subtle, it’s likely most people won’t realise they’ve been led astray. The standout quality is the focus on preserving the landscape qualities of the site the trail traverses; using materials that reflect its natural setting, and quietly emphasising the craggy features of wilderness it passes through. What could have easily been a ‘free-for-all’ across a stream has become a chance to take in a snapshot of something spectacular – a coming together of wild nature and designed infrastructure, in a way that is harmonious to both. This is a project that all landscape architects will aspire to visit.