Top notch: Nicholas Camerer
Landscape architect Nicholas Camerer, from Fremantle’s Ecoscape in Western Australia, is the winner of the first Intergrain Urban Timber Project.
Graduates and students pitched their designs for a functional piece of urban furniture for a community garden in Werribee Park, Victoria; a supportive cross-cultural hub for locals and Karen refugees.
The challenge: to find imaginative ways to use timber in a seat that invites the community to come together.
Camerer’s winning design, ‘Hatch,’ features a curved form and strong timber cross beams, which can serve as a leaning rack for tools and garden stakes when not being used as a seat.
Flashes of red, white and blue on inner panels represent the colours of both Karen and Australian flags.
The bench is designed for easy maintenance and cleaning, and complements an existing curved space.
“I’m thrilled to win the first Intergrain Urban Timber Project. I can’t wait to see my design brought to life and used in the fantastic community garden at Werribee Park,” says Camerer.
Winning Intergrain competition design, ‘Hatch’
The design was chosen by a panel of industry leaders, with AILA National President Daniel Bennett, Street Furniture Australia’s custom product manager Michelle Herbut, James Brincat from Parks Victoria, and Intergrain’s Amanda Chalmers.
“Nicholas has done a great job of incorporating all of the project elements, it is a well-considered design,” says SFA judge Michelle Herbut.
“The seats look rustic and light, which I think will suit the garden and the structure, and the pop of colour is a nice addition.
“The natural aesthetic of the timber is really showcased by using wide planks of hardwood and will only be highlighted further by coating it in oil.”
The bench will be constructed by Street Furniture Australia in Sydney, before its unveiling at the Historic Farm Precinct at Werribee Park in 2016.
The park’s community kitchen garden is maintained by volunteers, including refugees from the local Karen community, who are survivors of the long running war in Burma.
Karen volunteers are able to build up their skills in horticulture and English through their work in the garden, while sharing their culture with the community.
Karen volunteers work in the community garden at Werribee Park
Judge Daniel Bennett says, “We were looking for a design that would enhance this special and valuable space in the Werribee Park community garden, especially for the volunteers like the Karen people. And Nicholas’ design achieves this beautifully.”
James Brincat adds, “The winning design will undoubtedly contribute to and grow the valuable sense of community in the garden.”
Intergrain trade brand manager Amanda Chalmers says the judging panel was impressed by the quality of entries in this first year of the competition, especially the winning design.
“Hatch is a wonderfully thoughtful piece of furniture that will become a place of reflection in the garden, as well somewhere that brings the Karen people closer with members of the public,” she says.
Camerer will receive a $2,000 cash prize, a mentoring lunch with an industry professional, 50 litres of Intergrain product and a one year Graduate AILA membership.