C E L E B R A T E  8 8 !
Your Australian World Expositions Connection
- Celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 and Australia at World Expositions -

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by Lawrie Smith AM Landscape Director World Expo 88

World Expo 88 - the premier event to celebrate the Bicentenary of Australia in 1988, was staged on a 40ha site on the south bank of the Brisbane River in the heart of the city.

This international exposition was attended by more than seventeen million people. During the event period from April to October World Expo 88 offered an unrivalled, never to be forgotten experience, due primarily to the diversity of the site landscape which created appropriate settings for the pavilions of 36 nations as well as the corporates. The world class entertainment program staged day and night throughout the site, together with the brilliant climate and the friendly Queensland atmosphere ensured that World Expo 88 became an iconic destination and lasting memory.

Lawrie Smith (Landplan) was appointed Expo Landscape Director responsible for the overall landscape planning and design for this major international event.

The design required coordination of existing structures, streets, and parkland within a complex of new, permanent and temporary structures to produce a specialized integrated urban design of international consequence. The landscape philosophy for Expo 88 was developed to produce a site of diversity, exuberance and magic, integrated by a strong overall strategy to form varied and interesting spaces reflecting the character of the pavilions of the international participants.

These precincts were linked by a series of views and vistas created to lead people progressively through a range of stimulating site-wide physical and visual experiences. The vegetation strategy provided for a dominant spine of uniquely Australian specimens linking between specialized zones of massed species typical of the various world regions associated with the participating nations.

The site landscape and vegetation strategy was planned with three principal ideals:

1. to establish plants from throughout the world in precincts representative of the participating nations to signify that World Expo 88 was an International event;

2. to establish a network of unique Australian native species penetrating throughout the site to signify that World Expo 88 was the major Australian Bicentennial event;

3. to mass colourful sub-tropical plants dramatically in strategic site areas to reinforce that the venue for World Expo 88 was in South East Queensland.