Located about 40 km east of Johannesburg, Benoni is affectionately called "the city of lakes" by its residents, due to its four lakes. Similar to a lot of small towns in Gauteng, Benoni came into existence due to the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand reef in the 1880s.
Benoni may not have the variety of Art Deco buildings that its sister city, Springs, has, but it does have one notable example: the City Hall, which was built in 1937. In fact, the town does feature a lot of architectural structures flaunting styles from a bygone era, even though a lot of these buildings have sadly fallen into neglect.
In 2019, the town celebrated its 21st year of "Beautiful Gardens of Benoni". The annual event showcases a collection of gardens throughout the town that stand out in terms of visual aesthetics. This popular event, which is held by the Rotary Anns of Benoni to help raise funds for local needy causes, is attended by garden lovers from all over Gauteng every year.
A common definition for landscape architecture is that it "focuses on the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and other structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or aesthetic outcomes." As a multidisciplinary field, landscape architecture incorporates aspects of botany, horticulture, architecture, industrial design, geography, and ecology, among others.
In a nutshell, a practitioner in the profession of landscape architecture is known as a Landscape Architect.
Depending on what project a Landscape Architect is working on, their activities can range from creating a public park to planning the site for a campus and/or corporate office park. Designing residential estates, managing large wilderness areas, and reclaiming degraded landscapes (like mines or landfills) also form a big part of their job descriptions.
A Landscape Architect will incorporate both "hard" (built) and "soft" (planted) materials while working on a project, and will also integrate ecological sustainability. The most valuable contribution by a Landscape Architect can be made in the beginning stages of a project by generating ideas with technical understanding and creativity for the design, organisation, and general layout of the site.
It is the responsibility of the Landscape Architect to generate a master plan for the project (whether it's designing a new public park in a zoo or renovating an existing garden for a residential home), which will include detailed design drawings and technical data. In addition, the professional can also review proposals to authorise and supervise contracts for the project's construction.
Other general duties of a Landscape Architect include:
When working on a project, a Landscape Architect needs to ensure the end results are practical and attractive, beneficial to users' health and wellbeing, and won't damage the environment. The professional will usually work in landscape design, management, science, planning or urban design. He or she may specialise in one area or work across multiple. In his or her day-to-day role, the Landscape Architect will:
Technically, it is not compulsory to hire a Landscape Architect for every garden / landscape project, but consider the fact that a top-quality yard and garden can add curb appeal and increase your home's value by 14 – 20%.
In addition, the plans drawn up by a Landscape Architect can:
By strategically placing trees and other natural elements, a Landscape Architect can redesign your outdoor space to cut down on cooling costs in the summer months, which is quite the advantage here in sunny South Africa. Also consider the fact that Landscape Architects network with other professionals in the industry, meaning they can get you a discount on special materials, features and finishes for your outdoor spaces.