Pioneers Park Berwick Master Plan
Officers have prepared a concept for the development of the park for Council endorsement to go on community exhibition.
- A formal, passive central town park for the community of Berwick. The design proposes a series of safe outdoor spaces and experiences; that follow the traditional formal park of yesteryear - to an informal, natural landscape that is around us today.
- Development of a Heritage Building to include meeting/display areas and a cafe, provision of heritage gardens and reflection through public art and sculpture.
- Park design allows for spaces for both the local community and visitors to the Village
- A park that is developed in close partnership with the local community.
The key elements are outlined below.
- Central Junction: At the centre of the park is a formal junction of the pathway network. A formal grid of deciduous trees with seating under the shade canopy will provide an outlook over the key vistas, the playground and heritage arts works.
- Outdoor gathering spaces: The park will include diverse spaces for both indoor and outdoor community events. Spaces include formal paved outdoor terraces and gardens around the Heritage Building, informal amphitheatre adjacent to the central junction, sculptural playground, public arts viewing spaces, Berwick bandstand and open grassed play spaces.
- Village links: The park reinforces the existing Village landscape character via a shared use pathway connection along the Village’s boulevard entries (i.e. Lyall Road, Wheeler Street, Brisbane Street and Peel Street).
- A safe place: Central to the park’s design is consideration of community safety. Appropriate lighting and limitation of planting to tall clean trucked trees and low groundcovers to maximise visibility and sightlines through the park. After hours activity around the Heritage Building will assist to provide safe passage through the park. Perimeter anti-vehicular edge treatment (300mm decorative concrete edging will provide a vehicular barrier as well as good visual amenity).
- Amphitheatre: A soft, curving series of terraces will form a small informal amphitheatre - this will take advantage of the existing fall of the land, allowing people to relax and gather for lunch and events.
- Densely treed areas: Dense tree planting along the northern boundary. This will first lead through a traditional European copse of Silver Birches, changing to a strong and dramatic native copse of Eucalyptus.
- Heritage sensitive park design: All existing mature trees are to be retained (including heritage trees) and public art will reflect Berwick’s heritage.
- Heritage Building: The cornerstone of the park is the former Berwick Primary School Building. This elegant and significant building of Berwick will be restored and used. The adjacent gardens will reflect the formality and traditional style of the building. Several key spaces will be formed to allow for a mixture of meeting space and events/exhibition which will open to hard paved areas for local exhibitions to be mounted; an Al-Fresco Café for residents to gather and rest within the park. These spaces will be highlighted and separated by formal planting’s, in the form of traditional species and showcasing our native species in a formal arrangement.
- Sculptural playground: A naturally designed play space, formed by the landscape and constructed on site from local materials. The design will incorporate evidence of the local children’s’ ideas and wishes.
- Sculptural earthworks: The site presents an opportunity to work with and enhance the ‘lie of the land’. We can use the landform to create interesting changes and directions of travel, creating vistas and desires of more ahead, or around the corner.
- Formal deciduous treed avenues: Formal avenues of trees are a traditional form of parks, and their close canopies and guiding form reduce the scale of the surrounding environment to a more intimate experience and accentuate a sense of arrival.
- Convenient circulation: The desire lines of local pedestrian circulation has been identified and strengthened. This gives a pleasing and relaxing environment, for a park that meets local residents’ daily use. These paths will be formal and wide to allow the movement of people throughout. The paths also include small wooden bridges over landscaped valleys. The plan allows for disabled access throughout.
- A further set of footpaths is provided based on a softer and natural system for those persons who care to wander, explore and exercise within the park. These will be narrower and curve to reflect the slower pace of travel and dissect the larger formal paths and offer a change of environment.
- Residential interface: The design detail of the eastern boundary will be developed in close association with abutting owners.
- Landscaped valleys: These will reflect our native environment and allow for managed water movement on site. They will highlight the beauty and form of Australia’s diverse landscape. Planting species will be representative of different climates and planted to create a sculptural element. These spaces will act as a natural drainage corridor, working with the landscape to prevent sheet drainage across the site, and safely collect and channel overland flow.
- Public arts: Local artisans, residents and school children will be involved in creating public art and through this ‘own’ a part of their own town park. Sculptural artwork can be scattered throughout the site, in a variety of settings. Finishes along paths and structural elements, such as walls, can be used to incorporate ideas and impressions as a part of the finished structure. These pieces will be organised with local community groups and associations, to highlight local cultural, historical and environmental issues.
- Environmentally sustainable design: The existing hard surfaces (i.e. hard courts and concrete paths and foundation) will be recycled on-site and used as the base for the pathway system. Solar lighting will be used, indigenous planting species and water management will be based on natural principles.
- Berwick Bandstand: The rotunda is proposed be a traditional bandstand typical of an ‘old town park’. It would also be a place of shelter and a meeting spot for residents to enjoy informal and organised activities within their own town park.
The park concept recognises that the park will be developed in a number of stages as funding becomes available.