The revitalisation of Dandenong’s Lonsdale Street – a collaboration between landscape architecture/urban design studio TCL and BKK Architects – recently received a major national award for its outstanding urban design. The public infrastructure project took out the highest accolade for urban design – the Walter Burley Griffin Award – at the 2013 Australian National Architecture Awards, held at the Sydney Opera House.
The redevelopment of Lonsdale Street is a key part of the $290 million Revitalising Central Dandenong Initiative, launched by the Victorian Government in 2006.
The jury noted that the strategic design approach, which has seen bus routes reconfigured and existing infrastructure integrated into the streetscape, has shifted the city’s centre of gravity and created healthy, vibrant urban spaces.
The design process was also applauded for being genuinely consultative and collaborative, with a resilient, clear masterplan that allowed the community and other stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to the vision.
TCL director, Scott Adams and BKK director Simon Knott thanked the project client, Places Victoria when they accepted the award. “The key to a successful project is a great client and a truly collaborative design process,” Mr Adams said.
Lonsdale Street was historically a prosperous retail spine but in recent years had developed into a major arterial route dissecting the retail heart and creating a significant physical and psychological barrier to the city. It was redesigned as a grand boulevard with a pedestrian focus. Through traffic was concentrated into a central band defined by four rows of trees. Adjacent to the retail frontages, a broad tree lined plaza, shared traffic zones and linear rain gardens provide a pedestrian realm of generosity and distinction. The design is an example of an interdisciplinary approach to the construction of the city involving expertise across a wide range of disciplines.
IMAGE CREDIT | John Gollings