Prior to the completion of Windsor Plaza, this inner-city Melbourne suburb had very few public spaces to express its strong village identity. Windsor Plaza changes this – it is a reinterpretation of a vital village square that references its historic context in new contemporary ways. The thinking behind the Windsor Plaza project dates back almost eight years to when the site was first identified as an opportunity to reduce road space and increase pedestrian areas under the Chapel Vision Master Plan by MGS and Jones and Whitehead. This plan was reiterated through the Stonnington Public Realm Strategy, which led us to being engaged by the City of Stonnington to create two key public spaces - a new “village square” reclaimed from the realignment of roads to the south, and a shared street and urban plaza, which was created through the narrowing of an existing roadway to the north. The two public spaces, which combine to create Windsor Plaza, function in different ways. Both provide an engaging means of funneling pedestrian flow - including children from the four schools located within the neighbourhood - to Windsor train station. Albert Street, to the south, is the larger space within Windsor Plaza and has a capacity for people to occupy it in different ways. It functions as a village square and the inclusion of green space was central to this – it is a site where children can play, teenagers can kick a ball and people from surrounding workplaces can sit and enjoy lunch. Maddock Street, to the north, is more aligned to retail and hospitality venues. A no-through road that services residential properties, the space has been narrowed to maintain residential vehicle access but car parks have been removed in place of greater public space. Trees have been planted, outdoor lighting has been enhanced and cafes benefit from more outdoor dining opportunities, which can be aligned with the plaza’s furniture. The design thinking was driven by the plaza’s surrounding historic features, such as Chapel street, the post office and Windsor train station, which have been referenced in subtle and thoughtful ways. Sawn bluestone pitchers create a connection to the material used along Chapel Street and the furniture’s red and brown glazed brickwork link to the adjacent buildings but have been laid vertically to contrast the traditional horizontal pattern of the heritage buildings. Carefully turned brass furniture fittings also provide a contemporary take on the traditional slatted bench seating on Windsor station platforms. Residents of Windsor regard themselves as a community and now they have a new public space to express this. Windsor Plaza references the historic context of the area while providing new ways of interacting with the landscape. Return to News
Windsor Plaza – a new village square for Windsor’s inner-city residents.