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    Water-lined steps and pocket piazzas to feature in Southbank’s ‘green heart’

    Kirsty Sier

    The regeneration of Melbourne’s Southbank precinct is nothing to sneeze at. Already, six towers have been announced for the area, including four luxury apartment buildings, a commercial tower and a hotel. Now, Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) have been chosen to provide the developing precinct with a much-needed green heart.

    The landscape architecture firm behind Birrarung Marr, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the Australian Garden in Cranbourne and Canberra’s National Arboretum will design a 3,700sqm public park for Southbank, comprising 20 percent of the total Melbourne Square redevelopment project. The park will be one of the first aspects of the project to be delivered.

    TCL will capitalise on the site’s natural slope to create an amphitheatre feel within the parklands. A floral display placed at street level will meet visitors at the park entrance, before water-lined steps lead them up to an elevated café terrace.

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    Sculpted lawns and gardens will be punctuated by ‘pocket piazzas’, designed to accommodate outdoor markets and food trucks. The park will also represent a new bridging pathway between the CBD through to Melbourne’s art precinct and the botanic gardens.

    “Melbourne Square’s dynamic public realm will be a centrepiece for Southbank; one that can be actively programmed for events, or enjoyed [for] leisure,” says TCL managing director, Perry Lethlean.

    “The park is part of a network of gardens inspired by Melbourne’s iconic Royal Botanic Gardens and qualities from other cities such as Paris, Berlin and Spain.

    “As this is such an urban environment, we have created vistas and seating nestled among the greenery. Generous promenades and plazas encourage the Italian tradition of promenading – taking an evening walk with family and friends. It’s about creating opportunities for residents of Melbourne Square and other buildings in Southbank to engage with nature.”

    One of the international elements referenced by Lethlean is the planned design of a tree-lined promenade, which was inspired by the Champs d’Elysées in Paris.

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