Australia’s urban planning has taken off over the past few years. Upping the ante and proving that industry Australia can tackle more than stand-alone buildings, major cities across the country have been designing and delivering precinct developments that aim to alleviate density while promoting connectivity, cultural celebration and economic growth.
The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) has recognised these feats through the announcement of the winning entries in the 2012 Australian Awards for Urban Design, with winners portraying “excellence and innovation in all elements of Urban Design.”
Taking home the prestigious Delivered Outcome award for the small-scale category is the highly acclaimed Brisbane Riverfront Project. Located at the southern end of Brisbane’s South Bank, the dining precinct has been praised for its key location, with PIA national president Dyan Currie appreciating the sustainable and heritage-promoting aspects of the redevelopment.
“This is an excellent redevelopment of the old Expo 88 Boardwalk precinct that not only recognises the past but delivers modern infrastructure and facilities,” says Currie. “The jury was impressed with the way the riverside park blends into a well designed arrangement of restaurants and buildings to create intimate meeting and gathering spaces.”
The development team of Arkhefield Architects and Interior Design and Cardno S.P.L.A.T Landscape Architects have been praised for enhancing the disused space and bringing back cultural vibrancy to the River Quay.
Winning in the Delivered Outcome – large-scale category is the Darling Quarter development, delivered by the team of ASPECT Studios, FJMT, ARUP, Hyder Consulting and Lend Lease.
The project, much like the aforementioned Brisbane-based development, has been praised for its celebration of culture and mixed-use function.
“(Darling Quarter offers a) vibrant and dynamic mix of commercial and public space with grassed community areas, a children’s theatre, retail terrace and a large illuminated water playground,” says the jury.
These two winners, along with the rest of the recognised developments, exemplify the best in precinct design Australia. As this industry sector continues to grow, as it is predicted to do quite drastically, so will its recognition.