Fish Lane Town Square wins international landscape architecture award

Aria’s Fish Lane Town Square has secured top honours in the ‘Built Urban Design’ category in the 2021 World Landscape Architecture (WLA) Awards, outshining competition from China to the United States.

A collaboration between RPS Group and Richards & Spence Architects; the urban renewal project has garnered international recognition for its transformation of 38 derelict carparks into a 1,500 square metre subtropical urban oasis with over 3,000 trees and plants, while embracing the rail overpass overhead.

Referencing the pre-European landscape of the local Kurilpa area, a wide variety of native tropical trees and foliage were carefully sourced and planted to enhance the biodiversity of the public park. Upkeep of the lush greenery has also been considered with water conservation in mind. A rainwater irrigation system maintains each planting area and each tree fern is attached with a specially designed misting system.

Creating a place for locals and visitors to gather amongst its public street art, lighting installations and live music, Town Square also serves as a platform to support homegrown talent.

Three public artwork vitrines activate the space with a changing line-up of artists curated by Milani Gallery. An embedded timeline pays homage to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous history of the location, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the site’s history. A reflection of its locale and history, Town Square is a place that cultivates the cultural and social fabric of South Brisbane.

It has become an essential link between the Brisbane CBD, Cultural Precinct, Fish Lane Arts Precinct and the South Brisbane residential community. Representing Aria’s commitment to placemaking, Town Square demonstrates how overlooked and underutilised spaces can be converted into opportunities for local businesses and spaces to foster a sense of community.

“Fish Lane is a perfect example of the opportunities we have to transform forgotten, underutilised ‘dead space’ into places that the community can enjoy” said RPS Executive Director for Place and Environment, Susan Farr.

With the creation of a green communal space responsive to the Brisbane climate and lifestyle, Fish Lane has been remodelled as an entertainment, hospitality, and arts destination for South Brisbane. It is an exemplification of urban regeneration through subtropical design that seeks to inspire other environmentally and socially conscious developments of the future.

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