Home' Commercial : WAs Best Commercial Designs 2011 Contents 248 WA’s Best Commercial Designs 2011
established environment that makes it a place where people want to come and
live,” says Anthony. “We’re creating a place that feels part of that locality –
even though it’s created from scratch, it wants to seamlessly fit in. There are a
few more years of construction but already it has a feeling of place.”
The connectivity and ‘walkability’ of a landscape is also extremely important,
whether it’s in a new housing development, such as Port Coogee, or an urban
rejuvenation project, such as Perth City Link (see p42).
Reconnecting the city with Northbridge for the first time in 100 years,
Perth City Link will deliver a range of benefits to the community, including
improved public safety, access and connectivity, increased residential, retail
and commercial opportunities, and a high-quality public space. One-third
of the 13.5ha project area is dedicated to shared public space. East Perth
Redevelopment Authority says this will provide respite areas, improve
movement and create pedestrian connections between the CBD, Forrest
Place, the Perth Cultural Centre and William Street.
“Within Perth City Link, streets, piazzas and urban promenades will take
pedestrians on a journey through the area,” says EPRA. “The careful selection
and location of street furniture, landscaping, bollards, lights, art and colour
variation will allow for enjoyable, unimpeded movement throughout.”
Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says good landscaping is critical to the
success of large urban projects. “It’s important that it contributes to an
overall image or city character, as well as being both aesthetic and practical,”
she says. “It needs to create inviting spaces and can play an important role
in enhancing safety. On a larger scale, it can help to define an area or precinct
as being unique to the city.”
Lisa says that although Perth City Link is still in its formative stages, there
is every indication it will be a winner for the city. “We have already seen
development applications come in for properties adjoining the site, so there is
certainly a sense of anticipation. The redevelopment associated with nearby
140 William Street is becoming increasingly popular as well.”
HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
The idea that green landscapes have a positive effect on wellbeing has been
around for a long time, but it’s hard to put a measure on it. In the UK, the
government is running with this idea with The Big Tree Plant campaign,
which aims to get one million trees planted in urban areas over four years.
In a recent article on BBC’s online news magazine, Margaret Lipscombe,
from The Tree Council, is quoted as saying trees bring a plethora of benefits to
people’s lives. She says trees encourage healthier lifestyles and studies have
shown people are calmer when trees are in their environment.
The article refers to a Dutch study, which suggests every 10 per cent
increase in green space can postpone health complaints in communities by
five years, and a US study that suggests patients who have a view of nature
through hospital windows recover better after surgery.
Matt Huxtable says landscape architects are uniquely placed to contribute
to the protection, enhancement and regeneration of ecosystems that make up
both the natural and urban spaces around us.
“Competent design goes beyond dressage to buildings,” says Matt.
“It needs to convey meaning and context for culture and history, function
and add value to the population it serves by influencing and enhancing
human wellbeing,” he adds.
Anthony Brookfield says landscape architecture is playing an extremely
important role in transforming Perth into a real world city. “Landscape
makes such an impact on the quality of the environment, creating an
attractive place to live and work,” he says.
“We have sun, sea, river, great parks, an established city of business and
commerce, and great neighbourhoods. If Perth really looks at doing some
of the major projects being talked about, the city can really be transported.
And it’s the landscape that does it. You don’t go into buildings the way
you walk through a landscape.” c
TOP DME Contractors’ concept drawings of the City Beach Coastal Path,
showing barbecue areas. ABOVE Artist’s impression of the Port Coogee development,
with its interconnected promenades and open spaces.
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