RE:SQUARE – Architectural Competition

In collaboration with Formworks Architecture, Ecoscape provided an innovative submission for the Kings Square Architectural Design competition for the historic town of Fremantle in Western Australia.


 

A Town Square by definition is public open space at the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. They are also called urban squares, market squares, piazza, plaza or town green. At their centre is usually a fountain, well, monument or statue. What is important is that they are places where people gather and traditionally represent the heart of a city. But where does Fremantle’s heart lie? This is question often discussed and analysed in the Fremantle community. Is it the cappuccino strip, the historic West End, the Markets, fishing boat harbour or the rightful heir to the title – Kings Square? Has Kings Square become too “square” – out dated, old fashioned and conservative?

We need to RE-square the Fremantle’s CBD and re-establish Kings Square as the true heart of the City – a modern pulsing centre for people. We see this as a point of congregation, celebration, learning, articulating, informing and debating. In recent times the social context of Kings Square has suffered in part from out-dated design rationales, limited social activation and poor passive surveillance.
The 3 big ideas behind this entry to ‘re-make’ Kings Square are:

  • A simple, elegant building that hangs above where the historic High Street dissected the square, leaving the vistas open and accessible. The elevated position of the building heightens its civic prominence whilst accommodating a diverse, secure and vibrant community hub.
  • A large spiralled amphitheatre central to the open ground plane will support large events and small gatherings alike. When inactive or during storms, it fills with harvested rainwater as a large, formal reflection pond feeding tanks below for water recycling.
  • Tall masts re-define the perimeter of the square as a bold statement of verticality and central priority. These ‘smart’ poles are equipped with laser projection devices and horizontal wind turbines to harness the power of the ‘Freo Doctor’. These pairs of 40m tall poles support a matrix of fixture-points and aerial cables equipped with high-tech projection, sound and lighting capabilities with interchangeable accessories to create a dynamic, 21st century response to art and entertainment.

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