Brookwater Drive, Dress Circle

Broadacre Residential

LOCATION

Brookwater, Queensland

CLIENT

Springfield City Group

STATUS

Constructed

Brookwater is a renouned and extremely successful residential golf course estate located in Greater Springfield. In 2015, the Brookwater development team foresaw the need to expand their offering into the south of their final remaining landholding. In doing so, they aimed to offer land lots and streetscape embellishments that would take Brookwater to a new level of sophistication. Sculptural walls, elegant signage, cascading water features, ex-ground trees, pedestrian arbours, upgraded bridge infrastructure and landscape lighting were all elements proposed to provide a distinguished outcome.

The largest challenge facing the design team on this project was delivering a new and bespoke streetscape outcome whist pushing the boundaries of standard road reserve requirements under the local authority. The concept explored fluid forms and meandering alignments. In a practical sense, this equated to engaging with and integrating into above and below ground civil infrastructure. Services trenches, electrical pillars, crash barriers, streetlights and the like all represented coordination challenges to be overcome and were driven by Form Landscape Architects through a clearly defined vision for the project.

Brookwater Drive Dress Circle is a landscape journey. The motorist, cyclist and pedestrian move through a rhythmic corridor of expanding and contracting landscape elements until reaching the crescendo and arrival into the new estate. The team worked hard to establish a clear sequence of approach and arrival to the site which was reinforced by the natural topography, and in doing so successfully composed a design that negated the requirement for a gated outcome. The design incorporates repetitive vertical timber blades, drifts of plant species and avenue trees to introduce the user to the arrival sequence. Elements emerge, diminish and re-emerge en route to the bridge crossing reinforcing the idea of a connecting thread.

An existing concrete bridge traversing the 8th and 9th hole on the Brookwater Golf Course acts as the threshold, signifying transition into The Dress Circle estate. As the motorist crosses the bridge, they pass through the lowest point on the journey and look up toward a grand scale entry statement. The old bridge was resurfaced with a transitional contrasting exposed aggregate and embellished to provide an integrated aesthetic while also addressing pedestrian comfort and safety. A redesigned guardrail was introduced and incorporates a heavy, repetitive right-angle arbour element and subtle pedestrian lighting. Motorists are funnelled on and off the bridge by repetitive timber blades that recede into adjacent bushland.

Key to providing streetscape embellishments with depth, movement and scale; was the provision of common property areas above and beyond the standard offering of a typical streetscape. Negotiation of expansive common property areas within the streetscape provided a canvas for large scale embellishments and a substantial green framework for the street corridor. Most significantly, was the delivery of the project’s signature entry walls. Two very large crescent shaped, sandstone clad entry walls frame the arrival point into Dress Circle. Standing at 4 meters high in the apex, the entry walls are a colossal arrival gesture that curve and diminish as they disappear into the landform. Cast in-situ concrete plinths cantilever 3.5 meters from wall face to support bold estate signage. Sophisticated illumination also gives this feature a distinct night time ambience.

Providing a varied and unique pedestrian experience was also explored within footpath alignments and shade structures. Engaging with and traversing service trenches, the footpath beyond the entry walls feature a curvaceous alignment and a sequence of portal arbour frames. Coordination of subsurface structure through this corridor needed to be highly precise. The resolution of a fanning arbour structure set out on gradient demanded detailed interrogation as a 3d model. Steel structure roll formed in two dimensions was required to provide fluid set-out and connection. Private pedestrian access points to Brookwater Drive provide street address and activation at a human scale to an otherwise vehicle dominated piece of infrastructure.

The Brookwater Drive journey ends with arrival at a roundabout that provides access to precinct entry points. At the intersections, long angular timber blades up to 3.6m in length fan around corner truncations, providing a fluid backdrop to the Brookwater signature sandstone clad entry wall. Large, majestic ex-ground fig trees sit central to the roundabout and provide an organic anchor to the linear journey.

The respectful collaboration of the consultant team and a client driven by a clear landscape driven vision has contributed to the successful delivery of this challenging project. Coordination of the various consultants and transparent consultation with the local authority was critical in achieving a bespoke urban streetscape outcome that is clearly legible, memorable and practical.