Where Perth meets the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, the Scarborough Beach precinct has long been a treasured beachside destination for locals and tourists alike. From an early morning surf to watching a spectacular sunset that farewells the Australian day, Scarborough is an established icon and expression of WA urban beach culture.
To address the needs of a growing community, the public realm infrastructure was well overdue for an upgrade. What was the foreshore’s past expansive carpark culture is now required to provide a welcoming active experience for all ages. The challenge for the design team was to maintain the gritty urban ‘edginess’ of the historic precinct through this historically sensitive, yet significant transformation. Our team recognised form an early stage that this intervention will not be the last and therefore adopted a more fluid approach to dealing with the site’s spatial values and by adhering to an over-arching principle: ‘It’s all about the beach.’
Two new promenades frame the waterfront, and within them spaces for recreation, relaxation, play and spectating have been created. Collaborations with Aboriginal artists enrich the design with place-specific narratives.
The transformation of the public realm from a carpark-dominated environment into a connected, activated and pedestrian-focused precinct has elevated the many qualities of this environment and cemented Scarborough’s national significance as a vibrant urban beachfront.