The remaking of Prince Alfred Park and its pool was based on premiating landscape over built form. The removal of the old pool facility from the middle of the park allowed the landscape to return to its pastoral state. New pathways echo desire lines and swales collect stormwater for re-use on the playing field. More formal activities are concentrated around the edge of the park, allowing a predominant character of rolling grassland. The green roof on the new pool building, folded out of the landscape, is planted with native meadow grasses through which the building seems to disappear. There is an emphasis on playful details, such as the light and ventilation funnels protruding through the roof as follies and the yellow umbrellas on the pool lawn. This is not to deny the serious ecological agenda underlying the work but rather demonstrates that for this park, developing its visual language was as important as planning strategies in making this a much loved place by the community.
For more coverage, read Julian Raxworthy’s review from Landscape Architecture Australia 141, February 2014.