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Country town high street renewal scoops Minister’s Award for Urban Design

The renewal of the high street of Barcaldine, in rural Queensland, has won the state’s top award at the 2019 Minister’s Awards for Urban Design in Queensland.

Fifteen nominations were received for the third iteration of the Ministers Awards for Urban Design program, with one project winning an award and two others receiving commendations.

Main Street Barcaldine by M3 Architecture and Brian Hooper Architect (architects in association) with Barcaldine Regional Council was named the sole award winner. The long-term redevelopment involved two major architectural projects in the Tree of Knowledge Memorial and The Globe Hotel.

“The Main Street of Barcaldine is an exemplar project,” said the jury in its citation. “This targeted investment in high-quality urban design values the distinctive qualities of place and has delivered an exceptional and revitalised main street in a small country town setting. The scheme has cleverly reinvigorated the main high street, working with the existing built fabric of the town to create a successful tourist destination that reflects Barcaldine’s rich social, built and cultural history.

“Anchored by the Tree of Knowledge Memorial at one end and The Globe Hotel at the other, the utilisation of these cultural and tourism attractions when combined with a narrowing and slowing of the highway successfully has created a high-quality experience for both locals and tourists.”

Main Street Barcaldine by M3 Architecture and Brian Hooper Architect (architects in association) with Barcaldine Regional Council.

Main Street Barcaldine by M3 Architecture and Brian Hooper Architect (architects in association) with Barcaldine Regional Council.

Image: Jon Linkins

“The relocation of car parking away from the Tree of Knowledge Memorial is a key strategic move that priorities pedestrians who can now engage more closely with the memorial and the town’s broader heritage setting. The success of the Main Street Barcaldine demonstrates the ability for urban design to underpin broader economic activity. Both the Tree of Knowledge Memorial and The Globe hotel represent exceptional built form outcomes that are inspiring and visionary.”

“Main Street Barcaldine is an excellent exemplar for regional towns across Queensland, looking to re-imagine their main streets through adaptive re-use of their historic buildings and high quality urban design outcomes to create unique and enduring legacies for their communities and visitors.”

Oxley Creek Transformation Masterplan by Lat27 and Oxley Creek Transformation in association with DesignFlow, Hydrobiology, Jacobs and Deloitte.

Oxley Creek Transformation Masterplan by Lat27 and Oxley Creek Transformation in association with DesignFlow, Hydrobiology, Jacobs and Deloitte.

Image: Lat27

Elsewhere, a team comprising Lat27 and Oxley Creek Transformation in association with DesignFlow, Hydrobiology, Jacobs and Deloitte, won a Commendation for the Oxley Creek Transformation Masterplan. The masterplan for the redevelopment of Oxley Creek would see the 15-kilometre waterway between Brisbane River and Larapinta reimagined as both a sanctuary for wildlife and an “urban playground.”

Urban Ground Guideline by City of Gold Coast with Archipelago.

Urban Ground Guideline by City of Gold Coast with Archipelago.

Image: City of Gold Coast

The jury praised the plan for laying out an “innovative governance model that is likely to set a new benchmark in the revitalisation, management and maintenance of urban waterways.”

Also winning a Commendation was a set of documents produced by City of Gold Coast with Urbis and Archipelago that will guide the future built form of the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast Building Height Study - An Approach to City Image and the Gold Coast Urban Ground Project was cited by the jury as setting “a benchmark for other Councils across Queensland experiencing rapid growth and urbanization.”

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