Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP welcomed in the year of the Dragon by officially reopening Little Hay Street, Factory Street and Kimber Lane in Sydney’s Chinatown on 21st January 2012.
Although one of Sydney's most unique and well-loved tourist destinations, Chinatown had a public domain dominated by vehicles, with little emphasis on the pedestrian experience.
ASPECT Studios were engaged in 2009 as lead consultants for the Chinatown Early Start Project, with a focus on strengthening pedestrian connections, improving lighting and embracing the distinguishing character of each street or laneway.
Little Hay Street has been strengthened through widened granite paved footpaths, new street furniture, trees, and lighting. A new public art installation, 'Heaven and Earth' is located at the intersection of Little Hay and Dixon Streets. The work is a collaboration between Peter McGregor, Deuce Design and ASPECT Studios and includes new ground plane elements such as granite etching, custom cast iron pieces and LED lights.
Factory Street has been transformed into a tree lined share way, with a fine grain combination of granite pavers and setts carpeting the ground plane.
Both streets are linked through Kimber Lane, a previously underutilised and narrow service laneway running parallel to Dixon Street. ASPECT Studios worked closely with artist Jason Wing to integrate his public art installation 'Between Two Worlds' within the revitalised public domain. The brightly coloured work includes painted cloud motifs on the walls and ground plane, granite etching and a series of site specific catenary lighting elements which references both the site's history and cultural identity.
A site specific ribbon of custom designed furniture is due for installation in Little Hay and Factory Streets in late February, completing the works and further activating these streets.