The only new
major park within Melbourne’s urban milieu to be realized since the
Nineteenth Century, Birrarung Marr offers a strong commitment to
contemporary design through its internal rigor and the resolving of
its context. The jury was strongly impressed by the ability of the
project to deal with the existing fabric of the Nineteenth Century
Yarra River landscape and park system, while strengthening links
between Melbourne’s recreational zone and the CBD.
The park embraces aspects of its adjacent siblings, view, vistas, the
parterre garden and makes it its own. The native planting displays on
the embankments, complex geometry and the artificial topography that
defines pedestrian movements, sets up new views of the city and the
adjacent parklands and carves out the unconfigured functional spaces.
The jury looks forward to the maturing of the plantings and the
implementation of Stage Two, with improved connections and
relationships to Federation Square, the railway and the city to the
The scheme embraces the existing Elm walk and ornaments large areas of
lawn and granitic sand with the restrained use of garden beds and the
careful placement of furniture and lighting elements, the bridge and
the viewing platform. The scheme maintains a contextually strong focus
on plant material while offering new directions for the use of native
vegetation in contemporary landscapes.
The whole is
greater than the sum of its disparate parts.