Hassell completes new public space that connects the city to the waterfront
The government client’s ambition for this Public Private Partnership (PPP) project was to connect the centre of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory to the waterfront by developing and remediating a previous industrialised wharf area.
Delivered in 2009, this new connection creates a public waterside destination within an easy stroll from the city centre. New parklands, a new lagoon and wave pool enliven the public domain and provide activity and water access previously denied in the wet season.
The design solution expands the city grid to the water’s edge creating fingers of ‘wharf-like’ buildings that extended into the water. A new convention centre, hotel, residential apartments and cafes stimulate the public space and give a previously restricted site back to the people of Darwin.
The new public domain is defined by the residential wharf buildings, the undulating from of the hotel, and the new Convention Centre. These buildings are arranged to support the activation of the public space, and provide continuous sheltered access around the site. The building arrangement also responded to the wet and dry season breezes allowing air movement deep into the site and the interconnecting public spaces. The development reconnected an original green escarpment that is a feature of the geography of the site.
Darwin waterfront has become a focal point for the local community and visitors alike.