The Walyalup Civic Centre provides a new civic focus within the Walyalup Koort (Kings Square) heritage precinct of Fremantle, creating a vibrant and welcoming place for the community. The contemporary, elegant simplicity of the landscape and the building provide an interesting yet respectful juxtaposition with the surrounding heritage architecture, creating a seamless blend between old and new. Key aspects of the landscape design are:
- The public sloped lawn (“the common”) with broad paved terrace at the top contributes strongly to the civic function and amenity of Walyalup Koort by providing both a visual focus within the square, and elevated viewing opportunities over the square. The sloped lawn provides informal lounging and seating opportunities for relaxation and “peoplewatching”, or spectator seating when there are events or functions in the square.
- Bespoke long timber benches on the upper paved terrace offers more formal seating for relaxation and viewing. Delivery of the public sloped lawn (‘the common’) was a technically challenging task. Positioned on top of a suspended concrete slab (the library ceiling), a high degree of engineer coordination was required given the minimal soil depth, steep slope and drainage requirements.
- The sunken courtyards on either side of ‘the common’ are calm tranquil sanctuaries for the library below. Planted with ornamental deciduous Leopard trees, their broad canopies offer cool shade during the warmer months while allowing winter sun into the courtyards, providing weather protected break-out / learning spaces.
- The natural timber benches in the courtyards and terrace at the top of the lawn, have been constructed using reclaimed native Tuart hardwood (Eucalyptus gomphocephala), strengthening the local character of the Civic Centre through materiality. The Tuart timbers were locally sourced and milled reducing the projects carbon footprint.
- The plant and tree species have been selected to suit the site orientation and for their environmental benefits. Where possible hardy natives are used allowing for a sustainable water wise design, and drip irrigation has been used to all garden beds to minimise water use.