New public tidal beach created on the Brisbane river integrates public art and playscapes
The design brief for the parkland required a high quality, environmentally and user friendly, visually attractive community park on the banks of the Brisbane River. The client's requirements called for the provision of large active spaces to accommodate informal kick-about activities, more structured features to provide for a diverse range of complementary uses such as performance and exhibitions, playground, landscaped arbour walk, outdoor dining and BBQ facilities, public amenities and dual access cycle / pedestrian paths to enable easy access to all areas of the park and connection to the wider network.
The establishment of a public tidal beach open to the Brisbane River is unique amongst what is still an industrial area on marine mudflats. Direct river access enables people to ‘reconnect’ with the river in a sensory and tactile way, providing a variety of play and learning opportunities and an ever changing character depending on the time, tide level and recent storm events, which bring interesting flotsam and jetsam and remind us of our environmental responsibilities within an urban river corridor. Environmentally sensitive features of the design include Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) grassed swales to filter road runoff, drought tolerant plant species, recycled timber from demolished wharf used as park furniture and artworks, 31 existing trees on adjacent site salvaged and transplanted into the park.
Riverside Park has set a benchmark in the area through its use of high quality, site specific custom designed features sensitively incorporated to celebrate the site’s social, cultural and natural context. To help express and celebrate the site's history, recognised indigenous artist Fiona Foley was commissioned and intuitively used the region’s flora and fauna to inspire a range of play items titled ‘Little Treasures’. Artist Jennifer Marchant undertook extensive research into the previous wharf location to develop a history walk and graphic timeline which was etched into the concrete pavers.