Reclaiming a car park to create much needed public space in Prahran
Stonnington City Council has reclaimed what was once the Cato Street car park—a vacant lot for cars to park in the concrete jungle of Prahran—and transformed it into a multifunctional, pedestrians-first urban parkland for locals.
The new Prahran Square delivers 10,000 square meters of trees, grass, mall and terrain that beg to be explored (no matter your age). Lyons, in collaboration with landscape architects Aspect Studio, designed Prahran Square to be a place for pet owners, yoga-lovers, families and locals to escape the busy roads and concrete footpaths of this retail hotspot.
This $60+ million project rises up above the street on four sides—removing cars completely and shielding visitors from external views and sounds of traffic. The four raised precincts to the north, south, east and west each offer visitors the opportunity to use the space as they prefer—whether seated in the terrace or lounging on the sloping lawn. Prahran Square provides a safe and open public space for rest and relaxation, with the flexibility to host vibrant community events large and small.
A 20% increase in parking capacity has also been achieved. Beneath the square, 500 car park bays are available within a hypercoloured underground car park.
Despite the square’s four raised sides, the clear X that cuts through the square seamlessly connects pedestrians and provides easy passage to Izett, Wattle, Cato and Chatham Streets.
A space as diverse as the community it is designed for, Prahran Square provides much needed open public space in an area of Melbourne that continues to grow yet has the second-lowest amount of public space per capita of Victorian council areas.
For more information about Prahran Square visit the project page.
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