Swan Hill Rural City Council, Swan Hill, 2018
The Yamagata Japanese Garden sits proudly atop the bank of the Murray River; a gem in the crown of the Swan Hill Riverfront improvement. The project was conceived to highlight the special relationship between Swan Hill and its sister city of Yamagata, Japan. Its design combines traditional Japanese garden style and symbolism with the rural Australian landscape of Swan Hill to create a contemporary public garden.
The concept design emphasises Swan Hill’s landscape characteristics through borrowed views of the Murray, the use of native planting and a rustic bush floor. Local colour accents are complemented by Japanese themed planting and karesansui (raked gravel to form simple patterns). Proposed landscape treatments and elements create a contrast between the native rural landscape of Swan Hill and traditional Japanese landscape elements of Yamagata.
Continued consultation with Yamagata Council has provided further design development to express and enhance Japanese elements. In years to come, it is anticipated that Yamagata Garden will become a place of great significance within Swan Hill’s public realm, attracting both locals and visitors from abroad.