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2016 National Landscape Architecture Awards: Award of Excellence for Communities

Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct by Hassell/Sinatra Murphy Communities: Award of Excellence Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Jury comment

The Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct celebrates the concentration of Afghan businesses along Thomas Street in Melbourne’s Dandenong. The jury highly commends this project for its multivalent approach to community engagement and its exploration and recognition of the diverse Afghan communities in Dandenong, as well as deep collaborations between artists, landscape architects, community members, traders and local government. The project moves beyond the often literal clichés of ethnic branding and explores multicultural notions of place and space in our public streetscape environments. The stakeholder consultation revealed discontent with previous attempts at placemaking and contentious symbolic gestures. The landscape architects focused on providing a variety of means to bring people together through acknowledging specific cultural differences and spatial use patterns. The design for the Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct provides richly layered spaces for social interaction within diverse, specific cultural norms while accommodating shared festivals such as Nowruz (Persian New Year), reinterpretations of culture and daily life in the precinct.


Landscape architect
Project Team
Cassandra Chilton, Craig Guthrie, Ben Kronenberg, Jim Sinatra, Phin Murphy
Community Engagement and Brief Development
Sinatra Murphy
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Civil engineer Aurecon
Collaborating artist Aslam Akram
Construction 2Construct, Big Fish Workshop
Lighting & electrical WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff
Site details
Location Dandenong,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Landscape / urban design
Type Public / civic
Project Details
Completion date 2014
Design, documentation 3 months
Construction 24 months
Client City of Greater Dandenong and Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship



Published online: 27 Oct 2016
Words: National Landscape Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Andrew Lloyd, Hilton Stone


Landscape Architecture Australia, November 2016

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