Windsor has very little open space and the Council was seeking to develop more public space from streets.Two key public spaces where created. To the south a new “village square” reclaimed from the realignment of roads. To the north the existing roadway, was converted to a shared street and urban plaza.
The design has transformed the road area into a public space, providing a diverse space for visitors, the community and transport users. Benefits include:
• Rationalisation of local road network to reduce road width/creation of new shared zone streets for pedestrians and cars, which slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety.
• Prioritisation of pedestrian amenity and safety within station environment and connection to trams.
• Opportunity for occupation within the square through a variety of seating opportunities, lawn and flexibility for events.
• Redevelopment acts as a catalyst to promote business development.
The Junction is an important point for visitors and locals, it marks the southern entry into Melbourne’s premier shopping strip, Chapel Street. The gateway beacon is a bespoke lighting element that works by day and night. Features of the Beacon are:
• The ‘Beacon’ is a feature light that arks the location particularly at night.
• It is a bespoke designed element that draws its form from the early electrical and telegraph poles and glass insulators.
• LED light benefits from contemporary programming and runs through a blinking cycle that seeks to reference the prior Ballroom (burnt down) on site and the local Astor Theatre.
• The Beacon was designed and manufactured in Melbourne.
The design approach and detailing of the surface and furniture palette is to find a careful balance between referencing the significant history of the site’s context and celebrating the quirky, contemporary vibe of Windsor today.
• Contemporary Victorian glazed bricks used in the furniture, referencing the older 19th & 20th century brick buildings.
• Bespoke brass furniture, providing a jewel like quality to the place.
• Brass lettering and concrete forms referencing the post marks of the former Windsor Post Office.
• All bespoke elements designed and made in Melbourne and Victoria.
• Significant use of bluestone in multiple forms, from pavers, to pitchers and cobbles, creating a link to the bluestone heritage.
Five beautiful pieces of brick urban furniture take their inspiration from the heritage surrounds. The plaza is set between Windsor Station’s polychromatic brickwork, the red brick of the former Windsor Post and Telegraph Office and the postmodern fire station of architects Edmond and Corrigan.
The brickwork is laid vertically to contrast the traditional horizontal brickwork of the heritage buildings, colours and pattern play across their facets.
Brown salt glaze provides a rich, warm, slightly textured finish against toffee apple red.
The jewelled quality of the urban furniture is accentuated by their historic setting, carefully turned brass fittings and finely detailed precast concrete.
The key sustainability design features and benefits include:
• Creation of additional public open space in an area bereft of public space.
• Making the journey and use of public transport easier, more amenable and safer as well as supporting the reduction of vehicular use in the city.
• Additional trees, grass and plants to reduce overall storm water runoff of the area adding to the urban forest to mitigate the effects of the urban heat island affect.
• Reuse of bluestone pavements.