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Prahran Square

Prahran Square is both a generous and inventive reclamation of public space, and an example of a new form of urban space. By substituting a ground-plane carpark for 500 car spaces in two underground levels directly below the square, the design team created an opportunity for a major new civic space in a dense neighbourhood in desperate need of it. Through that design process, the team created a new typology that fuses the forms of the urban park, square, amphitheatre, playground, lawn, streets, carpark and retail.
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  • TRADITIONAL OWNERS & ONGOING CUSTODIANS OF THE LAND Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Country
  • CLIENT City of Stonnington
  • Location Prahran, Melbourne, Australia
  • Year 2016–2018
The sinuous edges of the structure wrap the square in a continuous “ribbon” that creates a unique streetscape accommodating the carpark entry portal, stair access, retail frontages, community spaces and service areas. This design strategy creates an “interior” landscape on the square, which is sheltered from the surrounding traffic and adds a separating layer between the public space and the commercial operations around it. This interior landscape comprises three sides that each slope up to the top of the ribbon and a fourth side that extends from the neighbouring supermarket.
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The square is part of a greater public realm strategy, which includes the surrounding streets, public forecourts and pocket parks, to create a new integrated precinct. Prahran Square is the centrepiece of a new “civic village” – a substantial part of a of a larger idea, where smaller projects work together to improve Prahran.
  • TEAM Lyons Architecture, Waterforms International, WSP, Artists – Paul Carter, Bruce Ramus
  • AWARDS 2021 Australian Urban Design Awards - Built Projects: Local and Neighbourhood Scale - Winner (with Lyons Architecture)
    2021 IFLA Asia-Pacific Landscape Architecture Awards - Built Projects: Cultural and Urban Landscape - Award of Excellence
    2021 Good Design Awards - Best in Class Precinct Design (with Lyons Architecture)
    2021 Good Design Awards - Best in Class Urban Design and Public Spaces (with Lyons Architecture)
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Bennetts. John Gollings