Townsville City Council
Cox Architecture t/a Cox Rayner Architects
AIA National Award for Urban Design 2013
Christopher Frederick Jones
Instead of turning a road into a pedestrian mall, this project does the reverse, mainly because the 1980s mall had failed to generate any urban vitality. The scheme returns Flinders Street to its historic role as Townsville’s main street, celebrating events on it such as the unfurling of the first Australian flag in 1901. The typically broad carriageway of the regional Queensland city street is modified to create wide pavements, along which a series of pavilions provide outdoor dining and social settings. In the middle of the two blocks, a cross-street of little previous purpose was converted into Townsville’s now central urban space, activated by a long outdoor cinema and café pavilion. It acts as a lantern at night, its translucency reflecting that of the smaller street pavilions. A sense of local ownership and character is conveyed by crafting elements in local materials such as porphyry, and by embossing or perforating textures taken from historic metal awning patterns.