Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) with Troppo Architects have been selected as the winning design team to reinvent Adelaide’s Henley Square following an international design competition held by the City of Charles Sturt in South Australia.
Led by TCL, the redesign of Henley Square will create a vibrant public precinct that celebrates beach life and embraces the unique elements of the popular coastal destination of Henley. The Jury for the Design Competition met on the 6 June to consider the Stage 2 submissions and hear presentations from the three shortlisted teams. The jury included architects, landscape architects and urban designers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane and was chaired by SA Government Architect and Executive Director of the Office of Design and Architecture South Australia, Ben Hewett.
“TCL demonstrated a keen understanding of the site, brief and challenges of the design to produce a unique and innovative approach that will inform the future improvement of the area,” Hewett said.
The competition jury noted that while each submission accommodated a variety of future possibilities, the priority was the project’s immediate needs. While consideration was taken of Henley Square’s wider context and the site’s ‘interfaces’ with Seaview Road and beyond, each could be seen broadly as responding to the site’s three fundamental elements; the square, the promenade, and the beach.
The Jury agreed that the winning submission was the most likely to produce a successful outcome for the square while meeting the brief’s many other aspirations. “The competition has generated some very exciting ideas and designs for one of our most loved community spaces,” Mayor Kirsten Alexander said. “One overriding factor highlighted by the jury, is the ability of the winning design to build on the unique character of Henley Square and adapt over time; what I also loved was the sense of fun and family that is present in the design. It really highlights all that we love about Henley Square.”
Shade and protection have been carefully considered in the design as well as vehicle and pedestrian traffic, allowing people to easily filter in and out of the precinct. An expansive lawn, playful plaza and large ripple lounge will provide a connection to the jetty along with generous terracing to access the beach.
Whimsical showers will be both fun and practical for an after-swim rinse while a new permeable plaza will become a hub where locals and visitors meet, dine and are entertained amongst curious playful flotsam and jetsam objects.
“The TCL Troppo design recognises the good bones of Henley Beach and provides layers of contemporary expression to enhance and extend the special qualities inherent in this place,” says Kate Cullity, Director, TCL. “This is not the place for serious highbrow gestures, but a site for playful opportunities that offer new outlooks to a beautiful beach. Open lawns are host to ball play, picnicking, theatre, art and events while a promenade circuit allows for evening passegiatta which is an event in itself.”