The City of Charles Sturt (CCS) is located in South Australian between the city of Adelaide’s central business district and the coast and boasts the longest uninterrupted stretch of metropolitan beach. Henley is made up of the Square in front of Henley Jetty, and Henley beach itself. Combined, it is a popular and vibrant destination within metropolitan Adelaide. With a strong regional appeal, Henley Square is the major coastal focal point.
Although Henley Square has a strong history and is a popular location it had become tired and cluttered. In 2013, the Council launched a national design competition to initiate the redevelopment of Henley Square to simulate future economic and community development of the neighbourhood and wider community. The team, consisting of lead consultants TCL landscape architects and Troppo architects, unanimously won the competition and was subsequently engaged as the consultants for the project.
The redevelopment rediscovers the “good bones” of the old Square, removing the obstacles of successive inappropriate interventions. It provides layers of contemporary expression to enhance and extend the special qualities inherent in this seaside location. The area now has a renewed sense of vibrancy with the heady combination of the following:
– A playful flexible and open plaza with shade structures inspired by the historic beach follies that were once in the Square, outdoor dining, seating and a cooling ephemeral water feature that can be turned off for events or during inclement weather,
– A big lawn for picnics, lounging and play, with a shade shelter at the northern end. The shelter has a slightly elevated ‘stage’ for performances and events
– A large promenade alongside the beach as well as looping around the lawn
– Ablution structures located in a prominent position that allows surveillance
– Generous terracing to the beach,
– An inventive ‘ripple lounge’ which provides an extended jetty connection-
– Whimsical beach-showers are practical, too as well as being a playful water-feature
All design elements are measured in how they can further contribute to the celebration of beach life.
This vibrant waterfront is the result of a tight collaboration with the local community and Council stakeholders. Designers met through-out the Detail Design phase of the project with a Henley Square Steering committee, which was composed of local traders, residents and Councillors. The designers also collaborated with Council to create a number of events where the community could view the design, discuss the project with the design team and provide feedback. The Council and the designers continually reviewed and analysed completed design work and analysed how feasible future construction works were to complete. It is by this means the Council was able to achieve a successful construction outcome within the prescribed budget, saving $1.4M from the estimated cost. The success of such a large-scale redevelopment, which experienced an intense level of scrutiny and community input, demonstrates how the effective collaboration between the Council, the wider community, the design team and contractors has created a popular and significant community place.
Henley Square is a destination that creates a sense of community, connecting people in a ‘village’ atmosphere. Through it’s character and heritage, Henley Square is able to transcend its role as a physical location and instead offer a genuine and meaningful way to link place and people.
Role of the entrant in the project: Lead Consultant and Landscape Architect
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Collaboration with Troppo Architects, Bluebottle Lighting, Wallbridge and Gilbert Structural/ Civil Engineers
Project location: Henley Beach, SA 5022, Australia
Design year: 2013
Year Built: 2016