Award of Excellence in Design
Northbridge Piazza, Perth
Landscape Architects:City of Perth
location:Corner Lake Street and James Street Northbridge, Perth WA
Area of site: 3,500 m2 (including through roads)
The Northbridge Piazza is a major new development undertaken by the City of Perth. It is situated at a prominent corner site in the heart of Northbridge, the city’s entertainment and nightlife area.
The brief was to develop a central focus for the area: a meeting place where informal activities and public events could be held in an attractive, comfortable and safe environment. The space was to capture the spirit and cultural diversity of Northbridge and attract a broad demographic.
The concept design was developed to convey a meshing of cultures and the vibrancy of the area. The resulting Northbridge Piazza features open space – paved and grassed, a large LED screen, a raised platform that serves as a stage, defining artwork, shade trees and planted areas. A community building, with a café that opens out onto the space, was included as part of the overall design and works.
The space includes many informal seating opportunities by way of a wide sweep of shallow steps, low walls and grouped seating ‘pods’. Incidental, though paramount to the effectiveness of the space, are the active edges (al fresco cafes, bars and restaurants) that border the space.
Lighting adds another dimension at night. Elements such as the glowing pod seats and the colourfully lit façade of the new community building, express the vibrancy of the area. A fully integrated remote lighting system allows street lighting to be dimmed and piazza lighting adjusted for better effect when required for particular events.
The success of the space is evident after only a few months since its opening. Taking advantage of Perth’s sublime summer evenings, the piazza has staged film nights, Festival of Perth performances, music events and concerts. Even when not being used for events, the space is always ‘alive’ with casual gatherings, incidental activities, or people just passing through.
The overall feel is that of a relaxed, welcoming, comfortable, and inclusive space – a space that exudes an air of expectation. Northbridge has been given a ‘heart’.
Award in Design
City Laneways – Howard Lane Upgrade
Landscape Architects: City of Perth
Location: Howard Lane, off Howard Street - Perth
The upgrade of Howard Lane was initiated by the recommendations in the City of Perth’s strategy 'Forgotten Spaces – Revitalising Perth’s Laneways Episode 1'. The project also follows the successful upgrade of Wolf Lane in 2001.
In Howard Lane the City has recognised and harnessed the potential of this underutilised laneway. What was once just a service laneway now has a unique sense of place and identity.
The physical intervention – the upgrade of the lighting, paving and addition of artwork – has worked with the context and most importantly, has maintained an element of the ‘grit’ and has been respectful of the past.
This project highlights the importance of the good quality public realm. As quality spaces attract people they are vital for economic growth. The creation of spaces for people fosters a sense of well-being and sends a clear message to citizens that they are respected and valued.
This project also acts as a catalyst for the transformation of other laneways in the City and the City as a whole making it safe, vibrant and inclusive at all hours.