Reservoir Urban Nodes
- Bellemo & Cat
- Public Realm ,City of Darebin
- Furphy Foundry
- Jack Hotakorzian
This is an Urban Design project in Reservoir, a northern suburb of Melbourne, that creates small nodes for personal interaction and repose within the busy traffic centred streets. This proposal incorporates seating, bollards, bike racks, paving and urban planning.
Reservoir’s unique spirit is celebrated through references to its multicultural community via the patterned steelwork. The use of the circle as inspiration for both the paving and the seats pays homage to this as the site of Melbourne’s first reservoir and the importance of backyard farming as foundation for this suburb.
The existing streetscape had a poorly delineated area for public seating abutting the intersections of busy streets. Our Urban rejuvenation project using a mixture of paving, seating, bollards, bike racks and planting has created respite nodes. The central theme of water is interpreted through paving as a strong pattern of circles within circles this is continued with the circular seats which are playful and inviting to a broad range of weary pedestrians. These nodes give civic pride to the local community and provides for a range of utility from parking your bike to offloading your shopping while chatting
For this project we developed a conceptual framework that revolved around key aspects of the suburbs history and people, after community consultation we refined the water concept to a universal circle and elaborated on the multicultural aspect by including patterns derived from ethnic groups, these were used in the banding of the seat which fosters a sense of ownership of the public space and has enabled a swift uptake and use by the community. They have been adopted as the Reservoir street seat and used in various other locations within the suburb.
The seats are both ergonomic and efficient enabling a variety of interaction. We observed elder pedestrians needing a rest whilst walking with their shopping so provided the concrete plinth adjoining the seat to easily place and retrieve bags without bending. We designed a two person/ friend seat and a larger 3 person seat with enough personal space for strangers to be comfortable. The cut out around the seats is not only a community tie it is also pragmatically a light source. In the paving a dynamic contrast is gained by using concrete and asphalt both robust serviceable materials.
For the urban design aspect we worked closely with the Public Realm department of Darebin City Council . It was decided to keep the planting area as a natural barricade to the street in the Edwards street node which being to the north will provide natural shade to this area.
For the design and construction of the seating elements, bollards and bike racks we worked closely with the manufacturer to ensure that the construction process was smooth and efficient. The resulting product is robust, serviceable and well used. For maintenance free paving we used concrete and asphalt.