Adam Nitschke: new alignments

Concepts for the Loch Ard Gorge region as put forward by the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan. Image: McGregor Coxall.


Adam Nitschke is a landscape architect and Manager of Master Planning at Parks Victoria. His work within the public sector on the client-side of major design projects includes the St Kilda Foreshore Promenade and master planning for Point Nepean, the Grampians Peaks Trail, Albert Park and the Shipwreck Coast. Adam will be speaking as part of This Public Life's conference program on day 2. Read more about Adam.

In his role at Parks Victoria, Adam Nitschke is leading a number of masterplanning projects that focus on augmenting our experiences in national parks. Ricky Ricardo caught up with Adam at Parks Victoria's Melbourne office.

Ricky Ricardo: Could you tell me about your role with Parks Victoria?

Adam Nitschke: My role is Manager of the Master Planning Branch. We produce masterplans for whole-of-park projects and precinct plans for significant subregions within urban, regional and national parks.

RR: And how did you get into that; what’s your background?

AN: I’m a landscape architect. I studied at Melbourne University. After graduating I got a job in a small architectural practice and then worked at the City of Boroondara and the City of Port Phillip, initially on design and planning projects. As the projects became larger and more complex, I worked with other landscape practices, as a project manager. At the City of Port Phillip I managed the St Kilda Foreshore Promenade project with Site Office, a number of masterplans for heritage gardens and even a few architectural projects.

About five years ago I accepted a position at Parks Victoria to develop masterplans for three new urban parks on Melbourne’s growth boundary at Merri Creek, Toolern Creek and Werribee. When they were completed, we commenced a masterplan for Kinglake National Park following the Black Saturday bushfires and then one for Point Nepean National Park with Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL). By that stage a little team had grown, preparing plans for parks such as Yarra Bend, Plenty Gorge, Cardinia and Frankston and, this year, Albert Park with Hansen Partnership.

On the back of Point Nepean and Kinglake (which were the first national park plans that I’d been involved with) I started working in the Grampians National Park, on fire and flood recovery projects and on a plan for the Grampians Peaks Trail. Most recently, we’ve been working on the Shipwreck Coast in south-west Victoria and in the Victorian Alps.

RR: Looking through your projects, each comprises a team of landscape architects (sometimes architects) from outside Parks Victoria. How are these teams appointed and what do they bring to the masterplanning process?

AN: We have two models. One is to use the skills of in-house landscape architects to prepare plans for projects of moderate complexity or where there’s a tyranny of distance. We’ll deliver projects in-house if it’s efficient and we’ve got the capacity. But for some of the larger projects, where specific technical expertise is required, or if we just want diversity and depth of experience, we’ll bring on an external team. I like to place the landscape architect in the lead role if possible as I believe we’re generally good project managers and collaborators. In this case we’ll prepare a project brief and take it to tender. A successful project starts with a good brief.

Originally published on ArchitectureAU on 31 August 2015. Read full article.