A former industrial site in Fishermans Bend has been transformed into vibrant parkland by PTA Landscapes, providing this new community with its first much-needed greenspace.
Fishermans Bend is Australia's largest urban renewal project. Covering more than 485 hectares in the heart of Melbourne, by 2050 the area is expected to be home to around 80,000 residents. Completed by PTA Landscapes in October, Kirrip Park is the first greenspace to be built in Fishermans bend. As an open space project that is sensitive to the social and cultural context of the environment, the park will set the standard for all future parks in the development and will play a key role in supporting this growing community.
Given the site was once an old industrial development, transforming the space was not a simple task. Soil contamination and tidal flooding, not to mention a fire at a nearby factory during construction, were all challenges PTA Landscapes had to face. As head contractor on the project, PTA Landscapes undertook demolition, earthworks, bluestone, brick and concrete pavements, metal work, fencing, planting, rock work, concrete and gabion retaining walls, drainage, electrical services, furniture, timber work and irrigation works to create the now thriving community space.
The landscape was designed with consideration of environmental sustainability and active stormwater management systems. To that end, rain gardens and planted drainage swales feature prominently, creating a naturalistic landscape, providing passive irrigation, and improving the quality of the water flowing downstream to the Yarra River outfall.
The 9000-square-metre park is located opposite the new vertical South Melbourne Primary School. It includes a paved entrance and forecourt area, created from a mix of Australian and Chinese bluestone with feature-brick inlays. Terraced lawns feature curved concrete seating, pour in situ, and gabion cages were used as retaining in the grass mounds. Lighted footpaths help users traverse the space and native garden beds provide elegant boundaries throughout the park.
“PTA Landscapes are delighted to be a part of the build and are extremely proud by the quality product we have been able to produce. We look forward to watching the park grow and the community’s interaction with the greenspace,” states Andrew Wilson, Director, PTA Landscapes.
Kirrip means friendship or mate in the Boon Wurrung language – the native owners of the land. The name was selected by the local community, who took a liking to the idea of friendship being related to a gathering space, as well as its inherent warmth and respect for reconciliation and inclusion.