When Designing Space Moves Outside

Lonsdale street dandenong

Due to its incredible benefits, both physical and mental, the connection between interior and exterior architecture has increased in popularity. This is especially relevant in neutral climes, where temperatures tend not to be too extreme, especially in terms of the colder months.

Here in Australia, the inside/outside design element is often essential, as our mostly warmer climate allows us to embrace the fact that open-air spaces work best. Landscape architecture plays into this reality, and is now really finding its relevance as we move further into outdoor spaces.

One design located in Melbourne is showing the power of landscape architecture in creating community spaces without walls.

The development, located on Central Dandenong’s Lonsdale Street is not only a great example of landscape architecture and its increasing relevance to this industry, but it will act as one of the centrepieces to the area’s multi-million dollar precinct redevelopment project.

The area has seen an increasing economic decline for quite some time now, and the new umbrella redevelopment has been created to help lift the socioeconomic status of Melbourne’s dubiously named ‘most dangerous’ suburb and turn it into a cultural urban hub.

lonsdale street dandenong

The design for the major boulevard on Lonsdale Street has a number of key design elements that offer to make it a highly functional, aesthetically pleasing community centre and re-instill ‘civic pride’ back into the community. Created by the team of artist David Sequira, Taylor Cullity, Lethlean Landscape, BKK architects and ARUP engineers, the design outlines the implementation of pedestrian friendly tree-lined plazas, shared traffic zones and generous garden spaces. While the garden areas have been designed in separate linear sections, they come together as a whole, further instilling a sense of community into the space.

Three key features have been cited as the focus lighting design features throughout. These include; a central lighting feature, pedestrian lighting and road lighting.

The first feature will act as the area’s key design focus. The central lighting feature is in effect, a spine of light that runs the entirety of the space, emitting lighting in a full colour spectrum. The colour and design of the lighting feature has been specifically chosen in order to represent the area’s varied and rich cultural past and present, in addition to working as a functional urban marker when unlit.

Pedestrian lighting has taken on a high level of importance and has been designed as such. Lighting schemes for those on foot is described as warm and vibrant, all the while creating a sense of intimacy that does not take away from the natural surrounds.

lonsdale street dandenong rendering

Lonsdale Street, Dandenong- Rendering

The road lighting is unique in the fact that pole height is higher in order to further shed light on the spaces underneath without creating a sense of clutter.

LEDs and CosmoPolis lamps have been used throughout all of the different lighting features in order to both create the desired colour aesthetic and save on excess energy use and the associated costs.

The realm of landscape architecture will always be an important part of this industry due to its relevance to the Australian climate and general lifestyle. It is incredibly positive to see an intermingling of the different sectors in the creation of these outdoor spaces as they encourage industry growth and synergy.

By Jane Parkins
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