This is our concept design for the Perth Foreshore, developed of our own volition with the aim of contributing to the enhancement of our city and to boost the vitality of our treasured water’s edge setting.
The concept is bold and simple – raise Riverside Drive from its current position by 20m, encapsulate it with an architectural facade on all sides and create a linear roof garden.
The ground level becomes an enhanced civic space for people; a flexible, semi-sheltered space for gatherings, events, promenading, cafes, Perth Festival events, parks, destination pavilions, art installations, outdoor film screenings, music, markets and the like. This space is a grand ‘verandah’ and a celebration of our water’s edge, opened up for easy access from the city and transport networks.
Openings in the facade cladding enhance river and city views from the new raised Riverside Drive and most of all the existing road network connections are maintained via connecting ramps. No re-routing or new road networks. The revenue key is two levels of parking along the entire length of the raised structure and within the facade cladding allowing people to exit Riverside Drive and join the ground level or linear roof-top park via glass lift and stair cores every 200m along the length of the horizontal structure.
Three-storey linear wharf buildings run perpendicular to the water’s edge and either side of the Barrack, Victoria and Plain Street entry ramps. These buildings provide functionality and development opportunity at a human scale and a physical connection between water and land. Uses should be mixed and include a water’s edge boardwalk for restaurants and boating access, much like Sydney’s Darling Harbour and Woolloomooloo Wharf or Fremantle’s Success Harbour. Other uses for the wharf buildings could be residential, hospitality and hotel, commercial, performance arts, galleries, university, etc.
Major public cultural functions are housed in the east and west iconic ends of the structure which sail over the main entry ramps. Both of these cultural nodes have generous windows looking onto the Swan River from foyer areas. Potential venues include a theatre, concert hall, exhibition centre or visitor centre for the First Australians. The rooftop garden is an elevated park and a wonderful place to wander, have a coffee, sit on the grass, exercise, view the river or city and potentially catch a tram or light rail. We could also create an elegant chair lift up to King’s Park from the western end.
It is a bold vision, founded on providing high quality civic spaces and experiences for people and a new iconic architecture for a confident and prosperous future Perth.
This concept would work well with the proposed Waterfront project due to commence in April 2012 and deals with the loss of civic space and the traffic diversion issues. We feel this concept would give Perth an iconic design and long term urban and civic legacy.