ARM Architecture and landscape architects Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) have unveiled design plans for the proposed upgrade of the Adelaide Festival Plaza.

The upgrade covers 26,000 square metres of public space surrounding the Adelaide Festival Centre, including Adelaide Railway Station, Adelaide Casino, Parliament House and Old Parliament House in addition to Station Road and Festival Drive.

Developed by ARM, TCL and the Adelaide Festival Centre's architectural consultants, Hassell, the design plans for the upgrade are now available for public consultation. A key objective of the upgrade project is to transform Adelaide Festival Plaza into the city’s premier public meeting place by providing an engaging, safe and accessible space for all to enjoy.

The draft plans for the Adelaide Festival Plaza upgrade have been formally lodged for consideration by the independent Development Assessment Commission (DAC). The redevelopment project will be financed by a $180 million infusion from the State Government, supported by a $430 million contribution from the Walker Corporation.

Five place principles were developed in consultation with key interest groups to ensure the vision for the plaza was reflected in the development plans.

1. A compelling destination: Adelaide’s premier entertainment destination and an engaging place that welcomes people from all walks of life.

2. The heart of the Riverbank: An integrated part of the Riverbank Precinct, with coordinated places and programs, and clear connections within and beyond the plaza.

3. Event-ready space: Well serviced with built-in facilities and infrastructure to enable convenient and elegant adaptation for temporary events, festivals and performances of different scales and durations.

4. Dynamic and evolving place: A place that offers a different experience every time, that celebrates the seasons, and is brought to life by a balance of curated and spontaneous activities.

5. Distinctive place: A memorable and distinctive place that embodies a unique account of the people, cultural life and character of Adelaide, combining relaxed sophistication with creative endeavour.

Design highlights of the Adelaide Festival Plaza redevelopment

Plans for upgrading Adelaide Festival Plaza cover the areas surrounding the Festival Theatre, Dunstan Playhouse, Space Amphitheatre and Southern Plaza, and include car parking, restaurant and convention facilities.

  • The promenade along the northern face of the Adelaide Festival Centre will be substantially upgraded to provide wider pathways and improved connections to the theatres
  • The new square will be Adelaide’s best meeting place, providing a space in which to pause, spend time and dine, and will also be used for gatherings and events
  • Station Road to be transformed into a picturesque north-south boulevard connecting the city to the new Adelaide Festival Plaza, Elder Park and ultimately the River Torrens
  • The Art Space Plaza (Dunstan Plaza) will feature a central garden where visitors can relax as they wait for a performance to begin or enjoy a bite from the adjacent cafĂ© facilities
  • A new pedestrian overpass will provide direct, level access from the Riverbank Footbridge to a new Adelaide Railway Station entry
  • The Adelaide Casino expansion will result in a new arcade linking the promenade to the existing train station entry and featuring an exquisite arched ceiling and retail outlets.

Community consultation

In addition to community feedback gathered by the State Government on the Adelaide Festival Plaza through its broader planning for redevelopment of the Greater Riverbank Precinct, Renewal SA captured feedback on the draft vision and driving principles for Riverbank reactivation. There is overwhelming support, with 91.7% of respondents supportive of the vision for the Riverbank to become Adelaide’s great park.

The resulting strategy for the Adelaide Festival Plaza is due to be delivered in May 2016. Written feedback on the design plans for the Adelaide Festival Plaza can be provided by visiting the Development Assessment Commission website. The feedback must be submitted by Thursday 4 February 2016.

Images: SA Government