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   -   The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design
   -   Joseph Reed Urban Design Award 2004

Birrarung Marr
by City of Melbourne in association with Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Paul Thompson and Swaney Draper



Over several years, the Victorian Government and City of Melbourne have worked to re-connect Melbourne to the Yarra. Federation Square and Birrarung Marr complement a series of projects extending in time from refurbishment of the Myer Music Bowl to redevelopment of Southbank. Together with traditional settings for events in the Alexandra Gardens, these create a precinct encompassing a multitude of recreation and entertainment opportunities and which attracts metropolitan, Victorian, interstate and international visitors. In October 1996 Melbourne City Council approved funding of $15 million for the development of 8.3 hectares of new parkland adjoining proposed Federation Square. The first new park created near Melbourne's CBD in a century, Birrarung Marr was conceived as an urban space embracing public activity as an intrinsic part of the landscape, and as a flexible

and broadly-accessible social space where a variety of activities can occur. The aim was to complement rather than duplicate existing parks by supporting a mix of passive recreation with organised public events. As a formal design, the park combines references to the site’s natural and cultural history including its riverine geology and the railways, which represented an important part of Melbourne’s civic imagery. Features such as the pedestrian bridge, the shell grit-paved south swale and the ‘Federation Bells’ contribute to a rich sensory environment, which makes a vital contribution to the park’s role as a space for casual enjoyment at the same time as it provides a distinctive setting for public events. Birrarung Marr was officially opened on 26 January 2002, when Melbourne’s new riverside park successfully hosted the Australia Day celebrations

Melbourne, VIC
City of Melbourne in association with Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Paul Thompson and Swaney Draper
Contact address:
Project Team
Project architect: City of Melbourne
Project architect: Swaney Draper
Project manager: City of Melbourne, City Projects Division
Structural consultant: Connell Mott MacDonald
Civil consultant: Connell Wagner
Landscape consultant: Taylor Cullity Lethlean
Landscape consultant: Paul Thompson
Lighting consultant: Vision Design
Lighting consultant: The Flaming Beacon
Services consultant: AHW Consulting Engineers
Quantity consultant: Donald Cant Watts Corke
Programming consultant: LMA Partnership
Photographer: Trevor Mein
Photographer: John Gollings
Photographer: Ben Wrigley
Other Team Members : City of Melbourne: Rob Adams, Joanne Bourke, Ian Dryden, Ed Jardine, Ronald Jones, John Knaggs, Helena Piha, Shane Power; Taylor Cullity Lethlean: Perry Lethlean: Scott Adams, Nick Loschiavo, Kevin Taylor; Paul Thompson; Swaney Draper: Sally Draper, Shahab Kasmai

Photographs by Trevor Mein, John Gollings & Ben Wrigley, text by City of Melbourne in association with Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Paul Thompson and Swaney Draper

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects