- Article by Natalie Mortimer
Setting a “new benchmark for city squares in Australia”, Perth’s redeveloped Yagan Square reconnects the city and showcases WA’s local produce, culture and heritage.
The newly developed space was designed by Lyons in collaboration with iredale pedersen hook architects (iph), landscape architects ASPECT Studios and the Whadjuk people – the traditional owners and custodians of the land. The collaborative design process involving input from the Whadjuk Working Party has created a place of cultural authenticity, explains Neil Appleton, project director at Lyons.
“This project has formed a place of recognition for the Whadjuk story: It is a meeting place for people from all walks of life,” he says. “Yagan Square is a major focal point that will bring together a diverse range of cultures into one event space… it is a great marriage between architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.”
The design team worked in close collaboration with a range of artists from the concept design phase of Yagan Square to create a uniquely integrated public art realm. Artists include Paul Carter, Jon Tarry, Helen Smith / Jeremy Kirwin Ward, Sharyn Egan and Lance Chadd.
“The integration of art and artists was one of the most unique aspects of the project,” continues Appleton. “We worked with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists on forms, images and sounds which together formed a creative choreography with the architectural and landscape field of Yagan Square.
“The successful integration of art and the Whadjuk consultation on Yagan Square paves the way for innovative thinking on future large-scale urban developments around the country. It is a locally designed meeting place that opens up a creative conversation about reconciliation with a broad and diverse cultural and artistic expression.”