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Griffith Street – a vertical park within a park

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

This park within a park was a response to a landowner owning a small piece of land adjacent an also small park.  The design proposes to vitalise the park and this end of Coolangatta’s main street by the creation of an urban park, funded by the developer buying the under ground land for carparking and air rights for retirement accommodation over.

The park is John Orbansen Park and provides linkage between the main street, Griffith Street and Chalk Street.  This permeability is a characteristic of Coolangatta’s main street which is made up of numerous linkages, lanes and alleyways.

The sites north facing orientation was a key consideration to ensure that the urban park provided recreational opportunities with ample light.  The  grass pockets would be the only public space in the street that face north providing winter sun rest and recreation for Coolangatta’s visitors and workers.  The park itself is a three 11m high void, with green walls, decks seats and textured pathways.  Commercial retail space fronts the street and the park and will assist to activate the thoroughfare with activity.

The residential levels yet to be designed will continue the landscape and park theme with large balconies and planter areas. The planning of each floor level includes a sky garden on alternating levels, which allowing planters with deep landscaping creating the effect of a vertical garden on both frontages.

Landscaping and the use of common spaces are in fact the main feature in this development, with much importance given to green plazas/breezeways, street permeability, resident communal spaces, private landscaped courtyards, multiple height voids, viewing decks and, as mentioned above, green wall streetscaping.

The commercial units make a statement on Griffith Street and John Orbansen Park via textured and patterned cladding, full height glazing around the void spaces and a feature oversized timber cladded awning wrapping around the main corner, creating the ideal small scale urban park within a retail precinct.


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