About Elke, her projects and services

Elke Haege Thorvaldson   FAILA, MAIH
Landscape Architect + Consulting Arborist + Horticulturist

With over 24 years of experience (since 1999), Elke has been running her own practice since 2009.


Elke is a registered and fellow landscape architect (UNSW Hons) with AILA, The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects as well as a qualified consulting arborist (AQF Level 5) Dip. Arboriculture.

Elke has lectured and tutored at The University of New South Wales as well as Ryde TAFE for the Landscape Architecture program and the Consulting Arboriculture program respectively. Elke periodically presents at Ryde TAFE for the Diploma of Arboriculture course. Elke is a member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture

Elke is an award winning landscape architect + consulting arborist + horticulturist who is an enthusiastic proponent to the development and sustainable connection to natural systems.


Elke was nominated awarded a Fellowship in 2022 by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).

Elke was named as an Emerging Voice in Landscape Architecture by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

Elke has experience from over 24 years as a landscape architect. She has had the opportunity to work on international projects from road upgrades to resorts in countries including Fiji, Denmark, England and China.  Elke’s work is now predominantly in Sydney.


Being an experienced AQF Level 5 consulting arborist + horticulturist, Elke is often engaged on projects as both landscape architect and consulting arborist. This creates efficiencies and helps streamline not only the project from design to construction phase, but is also beneficial for project costs, communication and project management.
Elke is also registered in QTRA (Quantified Tree Risk Assessment).


Often asked about what her style in landscape architecture is, Elke describes style as influenced by the site, her style is either contextually based or influenced by the people who will be ultimately enjoying the space. Each project has different drivers and often many contributors including: the end user, the context of the site, the future maintenance and expected longevity of the landscape. Other key design drivers Elke draws in include the project’s social, physical and environmental context. Elke is particularly passionate about soils and often her projects are influenced from the site’s geological and soil capacity.

Where possible, Elke provides recommendations that can contribute design and value add solutions in a cost effective and environmentally sensitive way (as her passion lies in natural systems).


Elke is highly practical, realistic, hardworking, organised and efficient. Being very passionate about landscape architecture, there is rarely a time where a deadline hasn’t been met. Elke communicates with her project teams.


Elke has co-authored the award winning publication: “Soils for Landscape Development: Selection, Specification and Validation” published through CSIRO with soil scientist Simon Leake, SESL Australia: This text provides:

  • 13 typical soil specification examples which can be used for most projects,
  • The Soil Approach Method, and
  • The Soil Volume Estimator for tree planting in limited spaces.

– 2014 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, NSW award for Research and Literature

– 2015 Australian Institute of Horticulture award for Literature.

– 2018 Re-printed and republished through CSIRO, Australia



Following and part of the CSIRO publication, Soils for Landscape Development, Elke and co-author Simon Leake collaborated on developing the Soil Volume Simulator (SVS). Click here to see the SVS in action.

Elke is also a beekeeper.  She is one of the co-founders of The Sydney Bee Club established 2012.

Elke Haege Thorvaldson AILA FRLA, MAIH

ELKE Landscape Architect + Consulting Arborist + Horticulturist    0410 456 404

Level 1, Unit 2, 120 Oxford Street, Woollahra, NSW 2025


  • BLArch (Hons) (UNSW) Registered + Fellow Landscape Architect AILA FRLA (#001539)
  • Dip.  Arboriculture AQF Level 5. Consulting Arborist
  • QTRA Quantified Tree Risk Assessment . Registered # 7682
  • Member Australian Institute of Horticulture. MAIH #12631