At a point where City of Melbourne are grappling with multiple projects aimed toward beautifying Southbank, a current planning application at the behest of private Malaysian developer PJD Property intends to create a new park and surrounding open spaces far superior to anything currently found within postcode 3006.
Plans have been touched upon in recent months for 93-119 Kavanagh Street which many readers would currently identify as a sprawling open air car park adjoining CityLink that covers the best part of a city block or approximately 21,000sqm.
In addition to six intended high-rise towers for the site, project lead Cox Architecture and design partner Rush Wright Landscape Architects have added considerable green spaces into the project master plan. These spaces are expected to not only service the project which has been dubbed Kavanagh Park but also create a green space network throughout Southbank by linking with adjoining sites.
To the north of Kavanagh Park lies the Boyd Community Hub site which is due for a new high-rise residential tower and new public park while to the south lies ancillary green CityLink land.
The Kavanagh Park master plan identifies the need to "plug widely observed gaps in the more localised existing provisions of open space, local services and amenities in Southbank." As a guide the development team have referenced the design brief for the adjoining Boyd site in order to gauge the size and functionality of open spaces included within the Kavanagh Park site.
In addition to the new park and greatly enhanced public realm network Cox Architecture have identified active podiums, laneways and liveable streets as key CBD attributes which they have incorporated into Kavanagh Park.
A landscape master plan has been devised as part of the proposed development, with key design approaches identified. They include:
The most recent demographic data on Southbank’s population, received from City of Melbourne provides a picture of the makeup of households in the Southbank area. This research has informed our approach to an open space brief for the site, the potential residential and employment makeup and the different groups who may use the public spaces.
This data shows there is a need to balance the mix of open space offered within the Southbank precinct and across neighbouring park developments. The landscape design should focus on the role of open space for “backyard” functions in an area with 94% of dwellings being apartments.Kavanagh Park master plan
While the overall project is expected to be rolled out over six stages and possibly see additional parties join PJD Property in developing the substantial towers, the public park will be delivered immediately upon the master plan receiving approval according to planning documents.
Stage One will see the main park fronting Kavanagh Street, a supermarket, food hall, further retail, child care centre and gym delivered. According to the master plan creating the park and associated community facilities "upfront is a rare and positive outcome for the Southbank community as it fills the currently recognised gaps in services and activity for current residents."