A 3,700 square metre parkland in the Heart of Southbank.
A Google map view of Melbourne reveals large swathes of parkland in and around the city – the Fitzroy Gardens, the Botanic Gardens, the Flagstaff gardens and the gardens which surround the Royal Exhibition Buildings. These gardens were established well over one hundred years ago, and visitors have been blessed by the foresight of our planning ancestors ever since. There have been fewer initiatives since then to bequeath parklands to Melbourne in quite the same way. Until now. Welcome to Melbourne Square.
So it comes as a revelation that Malaysian developer OSK Property is proceeding with a mixed-use development site that will include a 3,700 square metre public park, the likes of which is so needed in the apartment-dense suburb of Southbank.
The park area will not just be a flat bit of land with a few swings and trees. To design the park, following the masterplan design created by Cox Architecture, the developers have appointed a top Australian landscape firm, Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), whose works include Birrarung Marr, Sydney Myer Music Bowl and National Arboretum in Canberra.
With what details the public has in hand a present, the public can expect cascading water features and piazzas whose inspiration draws from the traditional parts of Europe.
In the context of a coordinated planning approach with Council, the City of Melbourne is also going ahead with its parkland development for Southbank Boulevard. Over time, the much-needed regeneration of parkland areas for Southbank will enhance its liveability aspects.
TCL Managing Director, Peter Lethlean says, “Melbourne Square’s dynamic public realm will be a centrepiece for Southbank, one that can be actively programmed for events or enjoyed at leisure.”
The park will have a gentle gradient with a feeling that the area is “folded” with pleats. The pleat motif is seen again in different aspects of the precinct’s building designs.
Executive Chairman of Malaysian developer OSK Property, Tan Sri Ong Leong Huat said Melbourne Square aimed to offer a leisure experience yet to be produced in Southbank.