[U/C] Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#91 Post by Matt » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:19 pm

http://indaily.com.au/news/2014/01/13/f ... e-mystery/

Festival Centre plaza’s future a mystery

Image

The Liberal Party says it will abide by any contract to redevelop the Festival Centre Plaza if the State Government signs one with Walker Corporation within the next five weeks, despite yesterday releasing its own vision to overhaul the aging public space.

Leader of the Opposition Steven Marshall told InDaily this morning it would be too difficult to unwind any contracts the State Government might sign before it goes into the pre-election caretaker mode, such as with developer Lang Walker who has submitted a proposal to redevelop the site.

The comment comes as Premier Jay Weatherill fueled confusion about the Walker proposal, promising that the Government would not build a multi-storey office block on the plaza.

“If the Government does a deal with Walker Corp before they go into caretaker mode then we will of course honour that agreement,” Marshall told InDaily.

“[We have] no desire in any way shape or form to move away from contracts that the Government has already created, expectations that the Government has already created in the business community.

“But the Government has been talking about this for years, there hasn’t been sufficient progress, and we needed to clarify our position in the lead up to the election.”

Walker Corp was selected by the Government in 2012 to provide plans for a revamp of the Festival Plaza and the car park underneath it. The Government has been considering Walker’s submission ever since.

This morning both Marshall and Premier Jay Weatherill ruled out a commercial office block on the Festival Plaza, despite the Festival Centre publicly calling for one as a way of generating revenue for the centre’s own redevelopment.

Walker’s submission – currently confidential – includes an office block, The Advertiser has reported. That stacks up with the Festival Centre’s own redevelopment plans released in 2011 which included a commercial office block on the plaza.

The centre’s redevelopment envisaged rent from the commercial office block being used to fund renovations to the centre’s ageing theatres.

Marshall said the plaza’s redevelopment would be viable even without an office block. He said he would hand control of the plaza’s car park to the Festival Centre, which would allow the centre to generate revenue and attract financing for the redevelopment.

“Carparks are a valuable income stream. With the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval and the need for additional carparks in that region there is no reason to suggest the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust wouldn’t be able to get finance to redevelop the carpark, create an ongoing income stream for themselves.”

In an apparent sign of its intentions, the State Government rezoned the Festival Plaza to significantly increase height limits making a large, multi-storey development possible.

At the time Planning Minister John Rau said the rezoning was needed because “At the moment, the present plans do not enable a number of the developments that we think would be appropriate to occur,” The Advertiser reported.

But on ABC Radio this morning Weatherill ruled out a large commercial office block on the site.

“We won’t be having a 13 storey building on the plaza area,” he said.

“We can rule that out straight away but we are entertaining a proposition that we went out to tender for which is essentially a car park and associated with the car park we do think we can do something exciting with the plaza in a way that does create some of the excitement that we’ve seen in Melbourne with a Federation Square style development.”

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#92 Post by Patrick_27 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:40 am

Quite a complex idea, but I'd like to see the government buy the InterContinental.

Sell both the building + land and the government offices next door to SkyCity and let them use both sites to build whatever casino precinct they please.
Then the government can move all offices from the building sold to the Adelaide Railway Station, this would give offices in the area to provide foot-traffic to the area. And allowing more space for the proposed entertainment precinct.

Personally, I'd like to see a proper concert hall in the mix for the area (an addition to the Festival Theatre) the ASO could make it their new home (rather than their Granger Studios on Hindley Street). Non-musical people may not understand, but the current festival theatre auditorium is not an adequate venue for orchestral or operatic performances, all other major capitals have provided and spent appropriately on fantastic venues for their state orchestra (e.g. Hamer Hall - Melbourne) except SA and I feel this also holds us at a disadvantage in drawing international orchestras when on tour.

I'd also like to see a specific modern art gallery operated by the Art Gallery of South Australia (rather than the old RAH site - let the Museum expand on that site). Melbourne expanded their National Gallery into Federation Square when they couldn't expand the current site any further due to heritage restrictions.

With building's on the site. I think height restrictions should be imposed to match the height of Parliament House so no development dwarfs the surrounding buildings, it's all dandy for both leader to 'promise' no high-rise developments on this site but I'd like to see something that ensures they keep their word. Those who think that any high-rise is a good high-rise really need to think about how damaging a high-rise will be for the area.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#93 Post by Matt » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:29 pm

From In Daily:

Revealed: The tortured tale of the Festival Plaza

Adelaide | The Adelaide Festival Centre has played a key role in killing off Walker Corporation’s proposal for redeveloping the Festival Plaza to include an office building, InDaily has learned.

Multiple separate sources have confirmed that the centre’s opposition to various versions of the redevelopment plan has been central to a long-running stalemate within the State Government about the plaza’s future.

Walker’s plan has been progressively scaled down over the past 12 months, from a full revamp including a new car park and an office tower, to simply a car park.

The internal debate among stakeholders explains the long silence from the State Government on Walker’s proposal for the site and why the bid has been scaled down to a shadow of its former ambitions.

Walker Corporation refused to comment on this story, citing a confidentiality agreement with the State Government.

The centre says it is waiting to see a final proposal from Walker before it can make a final decision on whether it will support the redevelopment.

InDaily understands that a final proposal has been prepared for cabinet. This proposal includes a car park redevelopment and not much else.

Our investigations have revealed that internal Government debate over the site has centred on the Festival Centre’s desire – expressed publicly – to gain a much-needed revenue boost from the plaza redevelopment.

Walker was given the exclusive rights to develop options for the plaza by the Government in December 2012. It first presented a proposal to the Festival Centre board in March 2013, which was immediately opposed – at least informally – by the centre.

Walker’s original plans included a large office tower located north of the plaza – which centre management believed would compromise their vision to turn the plaza into a public space.

The centre is also understood to be unhappy with Walker Corporation’s unwillingness to implement elements of the centre’s 2011 masterplan for the site in its redevelopment.

Festival Centre head Douglas Gautier is a member of the Executive Steering Committee that the government set up to oversee Walker’s bid, known formally as the AFC Car Park Request for Proposals.

Sources say Gautier has opposed Walker Corporation’s proposals within the committee, which last met in October last year. The committee provided a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposal, but the Festival Centre says it does not know where the current plans sit.

Acting chair of the Festival Centre Trust Bill Spurr told InDaily yesterday that Walker Corp was now dealing with the government direct and the board was unaware of the latest plans.

“My understanding is that that committee hasn’t met for a long time,” he said. “I don’t know the details for that committee, not involved at all. But the trust itself has not seen any detailed plans of the Walker Corporation. I understand that the Walker Corporation is just dealing direct with government at the moment.”

Spurr said the trust was keen to work with all proponents.

“We don’t want to get into politics here. We just want a solution to the car park and plaza, and also the redevelopment of the Festival Centre. That’s our one aim in all of this and we’re just waiting to see what firstly the Walker Corp come out with, what the Government come out with and what the Opposition come out with. We will work with anyone and that’s been a clear direction of the trust right through.”

Asked if Gautier had been lobbying against Walker’s plan, a spokesperson for the Festival Centre said that “the AFC is continually lobbying for the advancement of AFC interests. The AFC Board and Management have long argued that maintaining an income source from the car park is an essential part of the AFC business model and that the plaza needs to be developed as a public space for all South Australians.

“The AFC has also argued that the plaza should have a leisure, arts and entertainment focus.”

InDaily understands the Government is now considering a proposal from Walker for a car park redevelopment only.

The process is being managed by the Chief Executive of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Rod Hook.

Festival Centre management is understood to favour a model in which ownership of the plaza and the car park beneath it are both given to the centre and a redevelopment is undertaken jointly by the centre and the Adelaide Casino.

This model has won public support from Opposition Leader Stephen Marshall, who was convinced of its merits by the Festival Centre Trust. In response to the Marshall plan, Premier Jay Weatherill ruled out an office block on the plaza.

At the moment the Festival Centre operates the car park but does not formally own the title. The car park generates around $900,000 in revenue for the centre every year.

Adelaide Casino sees a need for more car parking space near their venue once their expansion is complete.

The Casino is understood to be very concerned about the price Walker Corporation is proposing to charge them in its redeveloped car park (Casino management declined to confirm or deny this). It is understood this led to the development of the coalition between the Casino and the Festival Centre – “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, as one source put it.

Skycity is likely to rent out a large section of an expanded car park, giving the Festival Centre a guaranteed revenue stream.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#94 Post by Matt » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:07 pm

$46.5m facelift for Adelaide Festival Centre’s neglected Hajek Plaza

http://m.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south- ... 6823791521

FESTIVAL plaza will get a $46.5 million facelift and a 1400-space carpark will be developed to replace the existing one, the State Government has announced.

Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis reaffirmed the government had ruled out building office towers on the neglected plaza, between Parliament House and the Festival Centre, which had been part of a proposal and provided for in the rezoning of the site.

Walker Corporation will develop the new carpark and under the agreement the government will lease 400 car parks at a capped cost of $30m over 30 years.

About 400 car parks will be provided to the Adelaide Festival Centre to be used as an ongoing revenue stream, with some reserved for Parliament House use.

The remaining 1000 parks will be leased to Adelaide Casino on similar terms to that of the government.

The government investment would contribute to the car park, the plaza and the interface
between the plaza — also know as Hajek Plaza — and the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The deal is in contrast with the Liberal Opposition’s proposal that if elected, would give the plaza and the carpark underneath back to the Festival Centre Trust to develop likely as a joint venture between the Trust and Adelaide Casino.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the investment would be overseen by a new Riverbank Authority, to be chaired by former Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy and draw on the input of the Festival Centre led by Douglas Gautier.

“Today’s announcement provides a canvas upon which we can imagine a new future for the

plaza,” Mr Weatherill said.

“The use of this space during the Festival for Barrio captured people’s imagination about what
the plaza could be.

“The plaza will be the centre piece of the riverbank precinct and will be the city’s premier
cultural and entertainment place.

“This project is the first stage in a greater redevelopment of the Adelaide Festival Centre which
is an ambition the State Government supports.”

Walker Corp was believed to have proposed a 13-storey office building on the site and wanted to block in the plaza with buildings on three sides.

In October the government rezoned the area to allow building up to 20 storeys or higher on the plaza.

Last month, the Sunday Mail revealed the Opposition’s proposal for the site which was endorsed by Trust chairman Barry Fitzpatrick.

Mr Fitzpatrick, a former Adelaide Bank chief executive, said at the time that it was financially viable to expand the crumbling carpark without any direct government funding and use it as a revenue source to redevelop the plaza.

He said a joint-venture with Adelaide Casino would be the most obvious way to proceed and that the Trust had developed an independent business case.

Opposition leader Steven Marshall said returning control of the carpark to the Trust would allow it to be self-sufficient.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#95 Post by Matt » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:11 pm

Walker Corp scores Adelaide Festival Centre plaza car park deal

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/21399749/wal ... park-deal/


Developer Walker Corporation has been given rights over 1,400 car park spaces under the Adelaide Festival Plaza.

A previous proposal for a multi-storey building on the plaza has been scrapped and the South Australian Government instead has given the control of the plaza space to its new Riverbank Authority.

The Government will spend $46.5 million on the site including the leasing of 400 car parking bays at a cost of $30 million over 30 years.

Premier Jay Weatherill says most will be given to the Festival Centre to provide it with a secure revenue stream.

A remaining thousand bays will be leased to SkyCity Casino, which is planning a $350 million expansion.

The Government has announced its Riverbank Authority will be chaired by former Tourism Australia chief Andrew McEvoy.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#96 Post by Honey of a City » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:45 pm

Have read all of the articles, clicked all the links, watched the (old) Riverbank animations and still none the wiser about what's actually going to happen to the plaza, other than a carpark. Am I missing something?

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#97 Post by Matt » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:48 pm

Apparently it's just a carpark, then the top is a "blank canvas" to be decided on later.

From what I could gather from Twitter, it'll mean creating one continuous level from North Terrace to the casino (again), too. Back to the future.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#98 Post by AdelaideAlive » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:18 pm

http://indaily.com.au/design/2014/01/20 ... architect/
A still from the Festival Centre's Masterplan showing the Plaza and Centre joined on the same level.

Adelaide | The architect behind the Festival Plaza admits its design hasn’t worked – but he still dreams of it becoming Adelaide’s central public space.

It’s always difficult for an artist to critique their own creation.

They become attached to it, invested in it, and such investment lends a film of mildew to the critical eye.

Some believe time is the best treatment. American photographer Garry Winogrand, for example, wouldn’t process the negative of a photo he’d taken for a year, to give himself the emotional room to asses it objectively.

Lu Balsamo has recently retired after a glittering 40-year career with HASSELL. He worked on the Adelaide Festival Centre and Plaza’s design teams almost four decades ago.

In the time since, Balsamo has had a chance to reflect. He knows what went wrong with his creation. But more importantly, he believes it’s nothing that can’t be set right.

“There’s no reason to go there – that’s the biggest issue,” he tells InDaily Design.

“If you had kiosks, if you had formal entry to the theatres, if you had booking halls … once there’s activity, people will go there. If there’s nothing there, then people won’t go there.”

The original AFC Festival Masterplan, which crucially linked the Plaza and Centre on one level.
The original AFC Festival Masterplan, which crucially linked the Plaza and Centre on one level.

The problem, Balsamo believes, is the separation between the Centre and the adjoining Plaza. A renovation split the two with a large gulf that drops down to the access road below, and moved the entrance to the theatres to the basement level.

When he designed the Plaza, he envisaged it coming alive whenever there was a show on; patrons could mingle before and after the show, eat at food stalls.

The Plaza is built on the thin concrete roof above the Centre’s car park. But the design of the Centre means the Plaza can be avoided by anyone who drives to the car park – they walk back along the road to the Centre’s basement entrance.

Balsamo says that could be addressed by having lifts from the car park taking people straight up to the Plaza. The Centre would be joined to the Plaza by building a roof over the road, creating a single space with new entries to the Festival Centre theatres on that same level.

His solution – which is contained in the Festival Centre’s masterplan – is architectural, but it’s also about people: if you get people on the Plaza, their presence becomes transformative. Suddenly commercial activity makes sense; the plaza becomes full of food trucks, musicians and other performers.

“The Plaza was always meant to be an open space that would be available for multiple and varied venues and productions. You could put marquees on it, you could do things on it, so it was always meant to be a very flexible space.

“The idea was always with the tank traps and the City Sign (Hajek’s sculptures), they were things that were fixed. But with clever theatrical thought you could use those things to advantage – you might use them in a set, you might use them for people to sit on.”

A revamped Plaza could finally fulfil Balsamo’s original vision. More than that, it could provide the city with something it currently lacks – a central meeting place along the lines of Melbourne’s Federation Square.

“There is no central meeting place in Adelaide,” Balsamo says.

“Even Victoria Square doesn’t get used that way. You need one big space where if the Crows win a grand final, you could have 15,000 people sitting on the Plaza watching the match.”

He admits there is another flaw with the current design – it features too much concrete and too little shade.

“The big criticism always has been … in very extreme temperatures, it’s a very hot position. That does, to a certain degree, restrict how it has been used.”

When Balsamo originally designed the Plaza, he had plans for dealing with the heat, but they were knocked back because of budget constraints. Since then, nothing has been done to address the lack of shade.

“It was just a limit in the budget. I did schemes to put up some tent-type structures on the Plaza to try and mitigate against the heat.

“So it was just left as a reflection of what South Australia was about – it’s a hot, dry climate. We should celebrate that, to a degree, and allow things to happen there that allow their own shade when the function dictates that is what’s needed.

“[But] it’s a funny balance. I think in the past people thought that way. Nowadays you’d say it would really make it more useful if it was covered in some sort of way.”

The Festival Centre is currently the site of much political intrigue, with the Opposition recently announcing plans for a revamp and the Government holding its cards close to its chest.

Balsamo says whoever ends up winning the election in March has a responsibility to the Centre, and to the city.

“I think since [it was built] both sides of government have really rested on their laurels a bit and said, ‘We’ve got this fantastic reputation of a great arts centre, a fantastic festival of arts’. And yet they’ve never supported really good maintenance and redevelopment of the theatre complexes, hence the Plaza’s suffered, the car park’s suffered.

“It’s aged very well, but all buildings need to be maintained. It was built in an era when things were done certain ways – now things have moved on.”

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#99 Post by ChillyPhilly » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:52 am

Despite all this latest news, my head still hurts about that area.
Our state, our city, our future.

All views expressed on this forum are my own.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#100 Post by Matt » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:26 am

The Festival Centre masterplan was a good read, actually... some great ideas.
Here's hoping they can find someone to fund some of them, because the incoming Liberal government is unlikely to provide much assistance.

I'd really, really love to see that brown glass replaced for a start.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#101 Post by bm7500 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:48 pm

Honey of a City wrote:Have read all of the articles, clicked all the links, watched the (old) Riverbank animations and still none the wiser about what's actually going to happen to the plaza, other than a carpark. Am I missing something?
Without any indication of timing or plans of any description, it all sounds a bit BS to me at the moment. :roll:

There is not even an infamous fly-through for this one.
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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#102 Post by Matt » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:40 pm

Festival plaza cost back on taxpayer

http://m.indaily.com.au/news/2014/02/12 ... -taxpayer/
UPDATED: The State Government’s rejection of Walker Corporation’s comprehensive proposals to redevelop the Festival Centra plaza means that the taxpayer will now have to pay the bill for its much-needed redevelopment.
Under the original process, developed by former Infrastructure Minister Pat Conlon, Walker Corporation would have constructed a mixed-used building and rebuilt the crumbling car park. In return, the taxpayer would have gained a redeveloped plaza.
As InDaily has reported extensively, the Walker proposal hit a brick wall in Government – due in part to the concerns of the Festival Centre . The lofty plans were scaled back and back, until they were reduced to simple a car park deal.
Despite the Government’s spin, Walker didn’t propose a towering “office block” (although it seems that the concept of “towering” is in the eye of the beholder – certainly it didn’t bear much resemblance to the soaring image released by the Government in conjunction with the Development Plan Amendment for the area).
It actually wanted to build several lower level, but still significant, constructions which would have provided some office tenancies, yes, but also retail, entertainment and cultural spaces. However, some of those who have seen the final version of the proposal – completed in October last year – believe it didn’t allow enough open space on the plaza.
Yesterday, the Government announced it planned to spend $46.5 million to “transform the Adelaide Festival Centre Plaza into a unique cultural and entertainment hub within the Riverbank Precinct”.
The announcement is almost a carbon copy of the Liberals’ plan, announced in January, to turn the plaza into our own version of Melbourne’s Federation Square.
There are some subtle differences.
Under the Liberal plan, the Festival Centre would have control of the car park, thus gaining a much-needed revenue stream.
This issue was at the heart of the Festival Centre’s opposition to the Walker proposals.
Labor’s solution is essentially a compromise.
Under the plan announced by Premier Jay Weatherill yesterday, a 1400-space car park will be developed by Walker Corporation to replace the current car park.
The Government will lease 400 car parks from Walker at a capped cost of $30 million over 30 years. About 400 car parks will be provided to the Festival Centre to be used as an “ongoing revenue stream”, with some reserved for Parliament House. The remaining 1000 parks will be leased to the Casino for its exclusive use “on terms to be agreed with the parties and on similar terms to that of the State Government”.
The question is what the taxpayer will get for its money, apart from the car park – and how much it will really cost in the end.
Weatherill said yesterday the State Government funds would contribute to the car park, the plaza and “the interface between the plaza and the Adelaide Festival Centre”.
Bearing in mind that the first stage of the Victoria Square revamp, for example, is costing close to $30 million, there will clearly need to be more taxpayer input if the plaza is to meet the Government’s ambitions.
The fine detail will be worked out by a new Riverbank Authority headed by former Tourism Australia boss Andrew McEvoy.
Liberal leader Steven Marshall has told InDaily that he will stick to any contract signed by the Government, so the plaza deal will go ahead, no matter who wins the March election.
The whole saga seems to stand in stark contrast with the Government’s treatment of the consortium that will develop industrial land at Gillman.
In that case, also reported extensively by InDaily, the Cabinet simply signed off on the deal – within the space of a few short months, partly on the basis that it wouldn’t cost the taxpayer any money. No tender, no drawn out negotiations.
Walker Corporation could be forgiven for scratching their heads at the treatment ladled out to them over the past year.
They first won an open bid to develop a proposal for the plaza in late 2012. Since then they’ve been put through the wringer and forced to progressively downscale their ambitions.

It's a very interesting contrast.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#103 Post by thoughtfactory » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:02 pm

I walked the plaza yesterday in the early evening. I was shocked at how it is currently a run down, dirty concrete wasteland and a heat trap. It is a classic example of how Adelaide has been unable to build a proper public space with shade where people can gather and hang about. What has been built is a dead public space. I just cannot see it becoming a Festival Square under current proposals with respect to extra buildings and revamped car parks.

How about a public design competition to design the plaza so that it becomes a genuine piazza, or public gathering place.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#104 Post by Waewick » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:16 pm

thoughtfactory wrote:I walked the plaza yesterday in the early evening. I was shocked at how it is currently a run down, dirty concrete wasteland and a heat trap. It is a classic example of how Adelaide has been unable to build a proper public space with shade where people can gather and hang about. What has been built is a dead public space. I just cannot see it becoming a Festival Square under current proposals with respect to extra buildings and revamped car parks.

How about a public design competition to design the plaza so that it becomes a genuine piazza, or public gathering place.
the problem with public design comps is noone has the money to build what has been propsed.

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[U/C] Re: PRO: Adelaide Festival Theatre Redevelopment

#105 Post by monotonehell » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:23 pm

What needs to be done is take the new footbridge's design as a style cue, and expand that throughout the entire Festival Centre and surrounds. Remove all the barriers to foot traffic, like the bisected plaza (what were they thinking?). Create good links to all sides and streets.

But most of all the area needs a mix of uses introduced to keep it alive around the clock. Shame the office tower above was canned, that would have provided daytime activity to complement the night time activity of the theatres.
Exit on the right in the direction of travel.

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