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Historic Heart of Perth

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Historic Heart of Perth

The Historic Heart of Perth is a collaborative project initiated to bring life back into the oldest area of Perth city. Through a public-private partnership, and including the efforts and opinions of the community, this important and significant part of Perth city is seeing tourists return, businesses grow and new opportunities develop. Integral elements of a contemporary approach to restoring urban areas include points of interest, public art and encouragements to linger. .reSPOKE combined these elements into a series of benches and planter boxes.

Public furniture needs to be reliable, safe and lasting, so high-grade steel frames were constructed and skinned with more steel. These panels were painted by 11 different artists from diverse backgrounds, exhibiting unique styles and bringing colour to the urban surrounds. The benches were capped with jarrah, a durable and quintessentially Western Australian timber. Seating, especially if ergonomically designed and visually stimulating, encourages people to stay in an area, to feel comfortable and hang around for a moment longer. The effect of ‘lingering’ is seen in all successful public places, from squares and plazas to markets and shopping strips. Local businesses also benefit from such effects, as people slow down and take time to notice what is on offer or grab something to eat or drink.

The planter boxes were filled by Perth gardening guru Sabrina Hahn, who chose hardy yet beautiful plants with preference shown to those native to the Swan River region. This is essential in city environments where pollution and disturbances can weaken many plants. Through introducing colour, art, lingering and relevant biodiversity, .reSPOKE’s contribution to the Historic Heart is adding to its rejuvenation and future heritage.