Set amongst the South Bank Parklands in Brisbane, the Hassell-designed Riverside Green is a plant-filled space that expands the parks and public spaces of the city.
With a population that continues to grow and an increased demand for greener spaces in metropolitan areas, Riverside Green is a timely, thoughtful and tranquil place of refuge for CBD workers, as well as city residents and visitors.
Described as the ‘green heart’ of the river city, Hassell Senior Associate Daniel Kallis says the project has been made to provide for the 14 million annual visitors to South Bank Parklands.
“Visitors can relax and gather on the riverfront’s expansive event lawn, rainforest and subtropical pavilion, which replaces restaurants damaged in the 2011 floods,” he says.
“The lush and shaded rainforest deck and pavilion is an inviting, free public space designed for Brisbane’s subtropical climate. Stocked with movable furniture, it's a unique and adaptable place for events and everyday life that leverages a prime riverfront position.”
The rejuvenated promenade includes rest and lookout areas with ample seating beside the river. A direct movement route where the riverside restaurants stood, combined with new connections between the major pedestrian spines of Arbour and Clem Jones Promenade, boost access for pedestrians and cyclists in the precinct.
A river lawn is a new green waterfront space at the centre of the Parklands that offers views to the river and CBD, with the ability to be able to relax, picnic, play or host special events afforded to those who utilise it.
The rainforest deck and pavilion, arguably the main feature of the project, is a sheltered and welcoming place designed for Brisbane's climate, where the community can enjoy the river view while nestled in a shaded rainforest setting. The pavilion’s elegant copper skin complements the rainforest setting, and brings durability and timeless appeal to highlight the civic function of the space. The existing parkland rainforest has been extended by Hassell by 650 square metres, creating a lush backdrop for the pavilion and Riverside Green itself. The rainforest extension boosts the urban tree canopy of the Parklands – and all planting is irrigated from a non-potable water source.
Riverside Green’s grotto is a sunken retreat immersed in nature. The vine covered pergola shades the space with 80 hanging plants, which change with the seasons and showcase Brisbane’s endemic species.
A new public artwork and water feature recalls the site’s history, marking a former creek that ran to the Brisbane River and inviting reflection, interaction and play. ‘Water is Life’ by contemporary artist Elisa Jane Carmichael, a Ngugi woman from Quandamooka Country, honours the significance of water to First Nations people.
The parkland project is a contemporary space that gives citysiders the opportunity to escape the daily grind amongst a space that is designed with modern biophilic principles in mind. Hassell has created a place that has been created in unfortunate circumstances that will shape the future of the Brisbane parklands.