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Monument Park

By

  • McBride Charles Ryan
  • Callum Morton
  • Oculus

Description

In mid 2012 MCR and MAB started working toward the realization of `Monument Park’ – a space between New Quay Promenade and `The Quays’ apartments. It seemed that this place had to address all the negative perceptions of the Docklands. The ambition was to readdress retail, to provide shelter, to engage all ages, be playful, somewhere to sit and be `Art’. The artist Callum Morton’s submission was chosen and the collaboration was further enhanced by the inclusion of the landscape Architect Oculus.

Key Features

1

GRC (glass reinforced concrete) was used to create the expressive forms for Monument Park. The light-weight nature of the material allowed for the complex design to be achieved in an environment with weight issues: the park was constructed on a platform over water. GRC was an economically viable alternative to concrete. GRC could achieve fine details giving us the creative flexibility not matched by any other material. In addition to being durable, the structures can be repaired on site, minimising potential costs. Digitally crafting and robotics were employed in the fabrication. The project has encouraged innovation and skill in Victoria.

2

It is important to say that this is not a park with sculptures in, rather it’s one work that is a public park, a type of garden, a place to congregate, to sit, to shelter and play in. The ground plane is in the end the true subject and unifying element. From the beginning the idea was to create an artificial topography that would rise and fall across the site, and that that topography that would rise and fall would create opportunities to open up new worlds, above, between, below and through the ground.

3

Casual seating, casual play, small groups, sun-trap, sunken space (sense of enclosure), framing views to the water, providing shelter.

Abundant green areas appear through holes created in the surface of the carpet. The plantings appear as if erupting from the ground below.

Due to the load limits of the wharf species that could cope with limited soil and drought tolerant were selected. These species were mostly native to Australia and flowered at different times of year for an ever changing environment.

The trees used throughout Monument Park will provide both the provision of shade and assist with wind conditions.

4

Inheriting failing retail at the perimeter, Monument Park had the ambition of enhancing public space enabling better connections and commercial outcomes.
Seating opportunities which also includes the sculptures are thoughtfully arranged throughout the park. A central lawn allows for children to play in a defined grassed area. The ‘concrete rug’ provides a fluid connection between park, seating and retail.

5

We explored the idea of using the original Hoddle Grid and its subdivisions as the pattern for the terrain that we referred to as a `concrete rug’ that was laid across the site and we looked at the public sculptures around the city. Using monuments such as Burke and Wills, Matthew Flinders, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Pathfinder, Captain Cook, the Marquis of Linlithgow and Vault, and draping them under the concrete rug as a way to create the topography. The sculptural approach linked the Docklands to Melbourne and its history.

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