Lyons Architects in association with iredale pedersen hook architects and ASPECT Studios have commenced the design of Perth’s newest major public space, which is named after indigenous warrior Yagan of the Whadjuk Noongar people who played a role in the early resistance to British colonisation.

Part of the Perth City Link Project, Yagan Square will reconnect the CBD with Northbridge for the first time in more than 100 years. It is proposed to be an inclusive, welcoming and active cultural and civic destination, representative of the diversity of the local Perth region and broader Western Australia (WA).

The $73 million redevelopment is inspired by Noongar traditions and stories, with the design concepts reflecting the ideas of convergence; of geologies, tracks, narratives, indigenous and non-indigenous people and culture within the square.

The wildflower gardens for instance, will showcase the unique and diverse qualities of West Australian flora and provide a taste of the WA landscape with its variety of Eucalyptus species found across the State and gardens that heighten the seasonal characters and colours.

A water feature developed with artist Jon Tarry will reinforce the importance of water in the story of Yagan Square, in line with the ancient lakes that once ran through the city.

“As a sequence of connected elements, the water features provide physical and experiential enhancements to the public landscape, encouraging the visitor to look, touch, feel and enjoy,” says ASPECT studios.

The design also portrays a clear cultural idea of the square and how it fits within the city, with the composition of surrounding buildings – William Street Mall, a digital tower, the retail buildings and landscape – arranged to make and enhance connections and linkages to the adjacent areas of the city and Northbridge.

The area, located within the arms of the Horseshoe Bridge, will cater for events up to 8,500 people. It includes an amphitheatre, native gardens, cycling centre, fresh food market, a digital tower that will broadcast real time events and a canopy that will showcase light displays at night.

“We really don’t have a place where people can gather at night in Perth at the moment so I think Yagan Square, together with Elizabeth Quay is really going to enliven our outdoor experience, particularly at night,” Tourism Council WA chief executive, Evan Hall, told the ABC.

“Tourists are looking for an area where they can mingle with locals, so markets and evening events are wonderful places where you can find out what the Perth lifestyle’s like.”

Images: iredale pedersen hook