The City of Fremantle had a vision of converting a narrow street into something that related better to its surroundings. The street is a narrow connection between the famous ‘Cappuccino Strip’ and the shops along Collie Street. It is lined by restaurants, cafes and bars, yet for many years was utilised only as a car thoroughfare or to service the venues. It was identified that this space could build on the pedestrian atmosphere of Fremantle, offer more places for people to relax and linger, and integrate with the surrounding land uses.
.reSPOKE’s design facilitated for pedestrians and shoppers to enjoy the sun and ambiance of one of Australia’s most intact heritage areas on custom made benches. Durable materials of polished aggregate concrete, powder coated steel and smooth timber were used to withstand the elements and wear and tear. The design of the seating facilitates groups to talk facing one another, or individuals to sit and watch the street. Geometric floral patterns were laser cut into the steel panels to create a link with the planter boxes above, bringing a much needed green and living element to the urban lane.
Festoon lighting was draped across the street, improving visibility and safety and adding ambiance to the many alfresco dining areas of surrounding restaurants. Indeed, quality public realm improvements such as these have benefits not only for locals and tourists, but also for established businesses, attracting more passers-by and enhancing their setting. While the Piazza development centred around reclaiming space for pedestrians, it has been designed in a way that still permits cars and service vehicles to use the street if needed or traffic conditions permit.
June 24, 2018