Integration of the public realm with large scale buildings and facilities is the key to ASPECT Studios design for the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the adjacent South Wharf mixed use precinct.
ASPECT Studios design allows continuous and seemingly uninterrupted access through the site and amongst the buildings. This was no small task for a precinct that contains a convention centre, hotel, retail, residential, public forecourts, promenades, laneways, heritage landscapes and the now refurbished Exhibition Centre Park.
The public realm is the external connective space and tissue of the precinct. It is about ‘places’ and ‘paths’, providing an engaging, directional and textured environment, to complete the missing link in the natural progression along the Yarra River from Southgate through Freshwater Place, Crown Casino and on to the Yarra’s Edge residential precinct.
A multi level urban landscape realm wrapped around two buildings drove the design towards a highly architectural outcome. ASPECT Studios was engaged to design and document the streetscape, pocket park, podium forecourt and courtyards for this mixed use development in the Docklands.
ASPECT Studios was responsible for the design to 717 Bourke Street public realm areas on ground floor, level 4 podium and connection to ground floor areas and bridge connection to Southern Cross Station, level 5 podium areas and connections to level 4 and private courtyards on level 4.
Redfern Park is located in the suburb of Minto, 60 kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD. Minto is an outer ring suburb currently undergoing a major urban renewal process as the result of changes to the State Governments public housing policy that is seeing the enclaves of the 1970’s being rebuilt as new socially diverse suburbs. The replanning of Minto has delivered a new subdivision layout, which has created an opportunity for several new parks. The parks are intended to foster and encourage social cohesion and identity for the newly reconfigured suburb by contributing to a strong local identity and creating a mix of opportunities for recreation and social interaction. JMDdesign are designing six new parks in the suburb.
With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.
The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880’s to 1930’s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.
The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.
The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.
The renovation of the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.
The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)
If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.
ETH Zurich, a Swiss University and the National Research Foundation of Singapore have signed an agreement for the “Future Cities Laboratory”. This set the seal on the structure of the new platform for urban development in Singapore.
In this project, it is collaborating closely with scientists from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. An agreement was signed in Singapore on 19 March 2010 forms an important link between the NRF and ETH Zurich as they build up their joint research activities. The plan is for the interdisciplinary research platform for sustainable urban development in Singapore to be staffed by September 2010.
The research focuses on three key scales: sustainable building technologies, the city as an urban system, and the relationship between urban and rural environments. The new strategy of the “Future Cities Laboratory” consists of combining these key points in an appropriate way and researching their interactions. The architects, planners and scientists see and design the city as a dynamic system in which people interact and in which resources such as energy, water, space, capital, materials or information are constantly in flux.
Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.
Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.
At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.
Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990’s to mid 2000’s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….
Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]
Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.