Mindeerup Plaza on the South Perth Foreshore at the Mends St Jetty creates a memorable arrival to South Perth from the city.  The initial place planning imagined the gravitas of the site at scale of State icon, regional foreshore parkland and a place for the locals.

The design re-imagines the foreshore park as an iconic part of the popular tourist journey from Elizabeth Quay to Perth Zoo, extending the zoo experience through the main street, enhancing city views, and boosting local businesses.  Spectacle and curiosity encourage people to stop and stay. The ‘parade’ of animal sculptures big and small has sparked people’s imagination, generating publicity and support for local businesses and the zoo.

At night the piazza becomes a performance space. In collaboration with a local Noongar artist and lighting engineers a light and sound scape has been curated to provide public theatre immersing people into a dreamtime world of water, animals and spirits.

The plaza is also a significant regional node along the Perth Water foreshore loop, known colloquially as ‘Bridge to Bridge’ by joggers, walkers and cyclists. At a local level it’s used frequently by residents and workers.

Building an engaging narrative into the design has been fundamental to creating a memorable experience. The narrative is built around 3 key themes including the nearby Perth Zoo, South Perth’s reputation as a green suburb and the Mends Street Jetty as one of three jetties servicing South Perth and a lasting reminder of the importance of river transport to the early Perth settlers.

The idea to use animals as the inspiration for the design was initiated during community engagement with local families and traders. The numbat and frilled neck lizard were selected in consultation with the zoo, to raise recognition of endangered local species. The animal sculptures extends the zoos influence beyond its boundary to the river and foreshore. While zoo may no longer encourage visitors to handle animals, the sculptures bring to life the desire for eye-to-eye contact, shared by people of all ages.

Community feedback was collected through a comprehensive community consultation program with many of the design ideas being carried through in the design process and realised on site.

Project category: Public Project
Role of the entrant in the project: Project Lead
Project location: Mindeerup Plaza, South Perth WA 6151
Design year: 2017
Year Built: 2019


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