Aerial photo of the whole Yagan Square footprint at night
17 September 2018

Yagan Square excellence in urban renewal

  • Yagan Square

Perth’s newest city landmark – Yagan Square – has won the 2018 Western Australian Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) WA Award for Excellence in Urban Renewal.

The MRA led project won for transforming an unused one-hectare site, within the arms of the heritage-listed Horseshoe Bridge, into an exciting space that celebrates the State’s cultural heritage and provides new layers of connectivity.

Yagan Square outstripped other projects due to its unique and iconic architecture and design; innovative construction over active rail tunnels; and intensive community and Aboriginal consultation, which has infused Western Australian culture and character into its design and facilities.

MRA A/Chief Executive Officer Sean Henriques said the project came from a long-term need to better connect the city and provide a space for people to meet and recreate.

“Yagan Square is the flagship public space in Perth City Link, and the realisation of cross government efforts to reconnect the city after a 100-year divide," he said.

"In the place where Perth’s bus and rail networks literally converge, we have delivered an ambitious, innovative and exciting urban space that restores connectivity between Northbridge and the CBD.

“This is a best practice example of how an urban renewal can change a desolate and geographically divisive space and bring people together to meet, connect, discover and celebrate.

“In a highly constrained site surrounded by the heritage infrastructure and directly above a live underground rail system, MRA pushed conventional design and construction boundaries to deliver an outstanding place that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

A range of new public amenities including an amphitheatre, playground and public art are supported by a series of food and beverage offerings, intentionally curated to contribute to the local flavour of the civic space and reflect the heritage of the site.

The distinct built form employed uniquely West Australian materials and achieved a 5-Star Green Star design rating, including an innovative sustainable Market Hall waste management system.

The project was delivered in collaboration with consultants including the Whadjuk Working Party, Design Consortium Lyons Architecture and Iredale Pederson Hook, Paul Carter for the Creative Template and Head Contractor Doric Group, as well as Ramus Illumination and additional artists.

Mr Henriques said the level of consultation with traditional landowners set an important new benchmark in Australia.

“I am immensely proud of the Whadjuk consultation undertaken, made possible by strong working relationships with the Whadjuk Working Party. The space, which is the first significant place in an Australian city to recognise an Aboriginal person, truly reflects the stories of the Whadjuk people and elevates visitors’ knowledge, interest and experience of Aboriginal culture.”

As winners of the UDIA WA awards, Yagan Square and the Scarborough Beach redevelopment are now finalists in the National UDIA Awards which will be awarded in March 2019.

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