Dubbed Brisbane's biggest park in 50 years, the masterplan for the transformation of Victoria Park golf course into the 45-hectare Central Park has been revealed. The park, which is planned to be a "sanctuary in the city", will include a recreational lake, walking trails, high-ropes, a Tree House, waterplay zones, a community garden, an urban farm, and much more.
While the putt-putt course, driving range and function centre will remain in the parkland, any property development proposals will be rejected to ensure that the space will be a sanctuary for visitors, according to lord mayor Adrian Schrinner.
The design will embody the spirit of the landscape with suspended canopy walks and a treehouse, encouraging visitors to connect with nature.
The masterplan covers a wide range of new features for visitors to enjoy.
A Cultural Hub will act as the park's central attraction. “Three constructed ecosystems will transport visitors to South East Queensland's subtropical rainforest, coastal communities or other distinct landscapes to explore our cultural connections to place…a 'must do' for visitors seeking a uniquely Brisbane experience,” states Brisbane City Council on the website.
The 1.4-hectare lake Barrambin will offer kayaking. The surrounding wetlands will feature boardwalks and hiking trails, while intimate spaces and large multipurpose areas will be created for socialising, events and art installations along the water.
The parkland will be revegetated to create forests, native bushland and waterholes that will respect the site’s origins. A nature and waterplay gully will feature naturalised constructed waterholes and a waterplay park at Centenary Pool for kids to splash about in.
Various sculptural buildings will be developed that will offer a “modern interpretation of traditional architecture, mimicking the form of the landscape and the patterning of Indigenous gunyahs (shelters),” states Council. A Tree House will stand out as a landmark in the landscape that encourages visitors to engage with nature from high above. A grid-like bridge will mimic the form of the Tree House.
The gentle slope on the park’s south side will provide the ideal location for community gardens and urban farms. A farm gate will sell produce from locals and may even include beekeeping and composting facilities.
The new parkland concept is in response to the significant drop of visitors to the golf course – more than 15 percent in the past eight years.
The draft masterplan is now available for public consultation, following the release of five creative concepts from architectural firms in 2019.
“This iconic park will also drive tourism by attracting national and international visitors, given its proximity to the city and public transport links, including the Brisbane Metro,” Schrinner said on releasing the plan.
The website states that “Victoria Park will become a natural retreat, an urban park for adventure, discovery and reconnection.” The park aims to celebrate Brisbane’s heritage and natural environment.