Great reinvention of a former parking lot in south-east Melbourne, Australia. Reclaiming the space from cars, including Saturday night “burnouts,” Prahran Square was designed to recall surrounding landmarks, draw in citizens, and become a true public square, deliberately linking itself to existing spaces.[T]he square is part of a greater public realm strategy that includes surrounding street, public forecourts and pocket parks to create a new integrated precinct. “All the streets started to become shared, and with Prahran Square, we started to create a civic village, which is a combination of squares, parks, streets,” says Bauer. “That was always the bigger idea, defining little projects that all slowly start to weave together.”
The new installations were divided in various zones, all overlooking the central event space and providing varied uses.
A zig-zag ‘forest’ walk and playgrounds, sloped lawn, art and flowering garden-beds all triggered familiar activities for local residents to enjoy. Each corner of the square too has a different materiality, a different character and different things to see and do.
The whole project is now better integrated in the surrounding neighbourhood and welcomes a number of different needs and communities.
It’s very eclectic, it has something for old and new communities, passing populations of young people, different national backgrounds, night spots, market-going families, the fashion people, elderly and infirm people, people watching, meeting up, just hanging out.
Photos by John Gollings with permission from Foreground.