Prahran, Victoria, 2018
on Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Country
Landscape Architects: ASPECT Studios
Collaborators: Lyons Architecture, Waterforms International, WSP, Artists – Paul Carter, Bruce Ramus
Client: City of Stonnington
Change: finding new civic space in a rapidly densifying inner-city suburb
After decades of densification, finding civic space for the growing population of Melbourne’s inner suburbs is a challenge. Sinking an existing car park to free up the valuable ground plane was the starting point for Prahran Square. Although described as a square, the space is conceived as a hybrid typology merging attributes of a park and a square. A raised architectural ‘ribbon’ delineates commercial uses from the civic space designed to support diverse experiences ranging from the intimate and individual to the potential for large-scale collective gatherings. A central space is defined by four sectors: a mythical Victorian forest offering escape and informal play, a stepped urban amphitheatre edge, a gentle relaxed lawn space of trees and movable furniture and a library with a scented garden. No sector dominates - a design decision that reflects the need for civic space to offer flexibility and choice to increasingly diverse communities.