Lyons, in collaboration with iph and Aspect Studios — have designed Perth’s Yagan Square as a place for people to meet, discover and celebrate Western Australia’s unique local produce, culture and heritage.

Somewhat reminiscent of Melbourne’s Federation Square and delivered by the Western Australian government through the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA), Yagan Square comes from a unique partnership between the MRA and the Whadjuk people – the traditional owners and custodians of the land. The collaborative design process involving input from the Whadjuk Working Party has created a place of cultural authenticity. 

Neil Appleton, project director at Lyons, says that, “Yagan Square is a world-class development celebrating Perth and Western Australia. It is a vibrant meeting place, setting a new benchmark for city squares in Australia.”

“Yagan Square is a great marriage between architecture, urban design and landscape architecture,” he says, adding that, “Yagan Square is a major focal point that will bring together a diverse range of cultures into one event space.”

Almost 10 years in the making, the design team worked in close collaboration with a range of artists from the concept design phase of Yagan Square to create a uniquely integrated public art realm.

“The integration of art and artists was one of the most unique aspects of the project,” says Appleton.

“We worked with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists on forms, images and sounds which together formed a creative choreography with the architectural and landscape field of Yagan Square.”

“The successful integration of art and the Whadjuk consultation on Yagan Square paves the way for innovative thinking on future large-scale urban developments around the country,” he says.

In terms of the actual build, the sloping site, structural and technical issues, in particular, sandy soil all posed significant challenges that the design team overcame through collaboration and innovation, says Appleton.

“Integrating the sloping rail dive tunnel into the design for Yagan Square was an engineering feat,” he says.