Synergy 32


Prepare yourself to hear something you probably already know; something you agree with; and something you wish you could sort once and for all. In this case landscape architect Des Cloake gets on the soap-box and does a good job of summing up the challenges and solutions.

But first a little about Des and the practice he’s a part of. PDT operate out of appropriately green offices in Brisbane’s edgy James Street precinct. They’ve been around for 75 years and the sort of projects they tackle are significant and complex – shopping centres, hospitals, museums and cultural centres. PDT is a one-stop shop for urban design, architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. Des and the landscape architecture team are forever specifying, and it’s one aspect in particular that hooks his attention – the soil mix. It seems – surprise, surprise – that soil is often seen as an item on the spec sheet where budget overruns can be clawed back. In other words, since the soil doesn’t matter, there are savings to be had by bunging in whatever’s cheap.


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