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felix. » Henley Square Urban Design Competition

Henley Square Urban Design Competition


Field of Dreams

Treating the entire square as a series of relations between performance, spectator, space and place the Henley Square shade structure figures a new territory for communal habitation. The relations of all the individuals, landscape demarcations and urban terrain create a new type of activation. The rules remain simple however offer potential for new relations to develop between the spatial conditions, community and the ongoing seasonal change throughout the year. The shade structure becomes an infrastructural element that can be modified and inhabited in different configurations to cater for events, festivals, shows and performance.

The Urban Terrain and the Performance Spaces mediate each other throughout the Square. The Urban Terrain offers different levels of intensity, maybe a picnic or BBQ with the kids, catch up at lunchtime with the book club for lunch or a crowd of people develops around a clown busking in the performance space. The performance spaces are cleared, void if you will. The actions of the individuals allow these spaces to come alive or remain poetically silent throughout other parts of the day. The largest performance space is the main event space to cater for large performance like a Cirque de Soleil or music concert.

The commitment by this design is, the bringing to life of, the ephemeral. Initiated by the hovering anti monument of the shade structure, reinforced by large drapes which use the wind to figure dynamically and landscape vegetation creating sculptural moments through the square. Mist will be a feature of some of the areas which create fluctuating levels of opacity and transparency. The mist will also offer a cooling effect during the hotter summer months. There is a fire pit; a common ceremonial space for a type of reconciliation space for all communities.

Infrastructure, Sustainability and Social interaction.

The design team is authentically committed to sustainability. As a given we believe that the infrastructural system which allows for the ephemeral and the dynamism of the space will provide the opportunity to harvest the sun and harvest the water. We believe that Henley Square will be carbon neutral and water positive. The infrastructure will act like a micro ecosystem. As well as the ability to harvest within the urban condition the structure is set up as a prop. Power and Wi-Fi are essential in today’s public spaces. Each of the columns will be technologically enhanced and have water and power access points.

The infrastructure is the main investment in this scheme. We envisage that the square will be invigorated by a weekly farmers market, antique car shows, sculpture competitions similar to the sculptures by the sea already popular in New South Wales and Western Australia. It would also be an easy process to setup an outdoor cinema utilising the structure to stretch a large screen. Another popular event is Night Markets. Food Stalls are setup in the evening normally on Friday and Saturday nights. South Australia has an exemplar reputation for food and wine. The night markets could become a must for locals and visitors to Adelaide.


Status: Competition

Project Type: Public Urban Space

Client: City of Charles Sturt, Adelaide



Team: felix.

Landscape Architect – Pullyblank