Victoria Square, Kerang
In 2016, Hansen Partnership was engaged by Gannawarra Shire Council to prepare a landscape concept design (including extensive community consultation and engagement) and construction documentation for Kerang’s main activity district, Victoria Street.
The new public space sought to clear outdated street furniture and vegetation and provide a modern yet functional design accommodating additional shade, seating, drinking fountains, lawn pods and importantly safer pedestrian movement across Victoria Street.
This project highlights our pedestrian oriented design (POD) expertise, in creating shared spaces for pedestrian and vehicular movement within built up areas. The benefits of POD include creating an engaging and lively place for people to spend time (to sit, to rest, to shop) while still allowing for vehicle movement at slower speeds to accommodate the safe crossing of pedestrians. This also encourages a sense of local identity and pride of place.
Based on an appreciation of Kerang’s surrounding agricultural context, as well as the unique heritage civic buildings within the main street, the design concept was based on a rural farmhouse surrounded by paddocks.
The following key elements form part of the overall design narrative:
- The forecourt of the heritage buildings allows for the integration of a ‘veranda’, a raised platform which encourages pedestrian movement north to south as well as gathering nodes at key locations.
- The outlook from the veranda comprises a large paved area extending across the road reserve creating a shared zone. This area represents the paddock, a vast, flat landscape with patterned affects at the ground plane.
- Breaking this open surface are several green pods to allow rest and relief. These represent the farmhouse garden, comprising formal garden beds, lawn areas and canopy vegetation.
- The arrangement of these elements are strongly guided by the architectural detail of the heritage buildings embedded along the ground plane in a grid structure as well as key pedestrian and vehicle movement corridors.
A key element that also informed the design was the retention of the magnificent 100 year old manna gum tree, located in front of the historic Kerang post office. This tree provides dappled shade and represents a key element of the regional native flora into the more modern aspect of the new plantings.
Also intrinsic to the new streetscape were bespoke-designed and built seating with directional shade umbrellas, bringing an innovative and more contemporary touch to this public space.
Once the concept design was adopted by Council, Hansen also prepared construction design and specification drawings to aid in the delivery of Kerang’s new public space.
Council completed construction in early 2018.
Award of Excellence: Urban Design
2018 AILA Victoria Awards
Landscape Architecture Award: Urban Design
2018 AILA National Awards