Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) with Troppo Architects have been selected as the winning design team for the reinvention of Adelaide’s Henley Square, following an international design competition held by the City of Charles Sturt in South Australia.

Shying away from a design that would foster “highbrow gestures”, the site is intended to be playful, offering new outlooks to the beach.

The redesign, led by TCL, will include an expansive lawn for ball play, picnicking, theatre, art and events, and a large ripple lounge which provides connections to the jetty along with generous terracing to access the beach.

Whimsical showers, fun and practical for an after-swim rinse, will also be built, while a new permeable plaza will become a hub where locals and visitors meet, dine and are entertained.

Shade and protection, as well as vehicle and pedestrian traffic, have been carefully considered in the design, which aims to create a vibrant public precinct that celebrates beach life and embraces the unique elements of the popular coastal destination of Henley.

“The TCL Troppo design recognises the good bones of Henley Beach and provides layers of contemporary expression to enhance and extend the special qualities inherent in this place,” says Kate Cullity, Director of TCL.

“This well-loved coastal suburb has special qualities through the crossings and interaction of people and spaces, emotions and experiences. It forms a littoral zone where cultural space meets the expansive natural qualities of the gulf - where the intimate dwells within the immense and private and public spaces co-exist. Our vision is to create a revitalised square where public space remains for the people.”

The jury for the Henley Square Urban Design competition, which was open internationally from January 2013, met on 6 June to consider the stage 2 submissions and hear presentations from the three shortlisted teams. The judging panel included architects, landscape architects and urban designers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane.

 “TCL demonstrated a keen understanding of the site, brief and challenges of the design to produce a unique and innovative approach that will inform the future improvement of the area,” says chair of the jury and SA Government Architect Ben Hewett.

It was agreed that the winning submission was the most likely to produce a successful outcome for the square while meeting the brief’s many other aspirations. 

"The competition has generated some very exciting ideas and designs for one of our most loved community spaces," says Mayor of Charles Sturt, Kirsten Alexander

"One overriding factor highlighted by the jury, is the ability of the winning design to build on the unique character of Henley Square and adapt over time; what I also loved was the sense of fun and family that is present in the design. It really highlights all that we love about Henley Square."

TCL and Troppo will now be meeting directly with the HPCRG Henley Trades Association to present the competition entry. On 8 September, they will present their design at Henley Town Square to obtain feedback from the public, who can comment and offer their opinions on the day itself, or online.

For more information, please visit www.charlessturt.sa.gov.au.