Located in the south-west part of Sydney, the Narellan Town Center is 60 kilometers away from Sydney CBD. Early in 2017, the Town Center unveiled its $200 million-dollar expansion, in order to create a diversified urban living space that combines business, dining and entertainment.
The whole center was divided into two sections by Camden Valley Road, with a large retail mall on each side connected by a large pedestrian link bridge. There is a large central plaza on the side of Camden Valley Road, which is also the main site of our landscape design.
As a busy main road, Camden Valley Road has a negative impact on both sides of the site in terms of safety and noise. The primary challenge designers faced was how to ensure the safety of pedestrians on both sides, as well as how to cover up the noise caused by traffic.
The central plaza was lowered by the designers to provide an amphitheater effect and a strong sense of protection from the road. When a driver enters the project area, the sunken terrain prompts them to slow down and thus increases the safety of passing pedestrians.
In addition, adequate setbacks and vegetation buffers eliminate the need for fencing to set a safety distance, and at the same time free the two sides from being “divided” from potentially obtrusive fencing.
The dynamic water movement at key points around the site create a vibrant atmosphere, drawing visitors to stay and enjoy. The water falls straight into the pool with crystal jewel-like spray, leading to a loud clatter and sound attenuation.
The project incorporated a significant, world class central water feature, the first of its kind in Australia to combine programmed light, music and water jets. The water feature is entirely WIFI controlled directly from the center management office while a sensor array measures wind and automatically adjusts the traffic and height of jets.
The landscape design industry in Australia always values the sense of identity in the local areas, so that designed landscape is endowed with clear cultural meanings and cultural attributes. This project is no exception.
The public domain landscape design of Narellan Town Centre tells the story of how the area has grown over time. From the sequence of garden beds in lines representative of the farming heritage of Narellan, to the pergola structure that ties back to the vineyard heritage of the area, the design incorporates the elements that not only reference local cultural history but also create a sense of community identity.
The landscape design ties back to the surrounding environment and through incorporation of a public art strategy, the Town Center has been embellished to create a sense of individuality and point of difference from other emerging centers around it.
The impressive iconic rotary sculpture in the center of plaza enriches sensory experience and activates the entire commercial space.
The design of the public art installation references the endangered banksia species drawing public attention to this iconic Australian species in an artistic way.
The ideal space is not a place in a hurry, but a place where people could stop and socialize. Public seating is the ‘main furniture’ of the resting place, and the design and arrangement of it naturally determine how long people will stay in a space. The central plaza is mainly seating on all sides, enabling parents to supervise children playing, creating a child-friendly multifunctional space.
When it comes to plant configuration, low water demand native plants were predominantly utilized in the design to minimize ongoing irrigation requirements.
Ultimately, spaces are designed for the people who use them. The revitalized Narellan Town Center has become a regional landmark and meaningful space for the community-‘A World Class Development’ and ‘A World Class Shopping Center’, as praised by the New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.