City of Stonnington


Concept Design, Design Development and Construction Documentation


Melbourne, VIC, Australia


ASPECT Studios, Lyons (architects), Waterforms International, WSP, Artists – Paul Carter, Bruce Ramus




John Gollings, ASPECT Studios

Once a street-level carpark has transformed into a multi-functional parkland

Prahran Square (previously Cato Square) is a leading example of new form of urban square.

What was once street-level carpark is transformed into a multi-functional parkland integrating a multilevel underground carpark, increasing precious parking space by 20 per cent, and restructuring the surrounding streetscapes into a pedestrian friendly environment linking the thriving shopping precincts of Chapel Street and Greville Street.

Four key spaces butt together to create an ambitious, vibrant urban landscape shaped to meet the site’s complex suite of needs. On one side, a steeply sloped forest, with a cleverly integrated disabled access path, will achieve dense tall planting by designing-in suitable soil volumes despite being on the carpark podium.

Rockwork and bespoke sculpture and structure create play areas throughout the forest. The gently sloped lawn area is a place for relaxing and looking at the world, and ideal for rolling down. The lawn’s edge of trees provide shade for summer amenity. The terraces on the Square’s third side create large scale amphitheatre style seating and have pockets of tree groves for shade and character.

Again, the soils and irrigation required ASPECT Studios’ considerable living architecture expertise and detailing to ensure the vegetation’s long term health.

The Square’s fourth side includes a café and eating area extending from the neighbouring supermarket, and provides programmable hardscape for events, markets and festivals, a scent garden, and links to four carefully distinct entry plazas. and craned into place.

Enclosed and open, park and square, challenging and intriguing, the 10,000m2, $60+ million project is one of largest and most exciting construction projects ever undertaken by the City of Stonnington.

It manages to capture the eclectic diversity of Prahran and creates an iconic cultural and recreational destination for residents, traders, shoppers and visitors.

Prahran Square shows the future of dense urban landscape and was only made possible by a holistic design and documentation process embraced by the full team of architects and construction.