- Urban Design
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Situated between the Western Ring Road, Fitzgerald Road and the Western Freeway Interchange are a Hayball-designed sound wall, 800m of housing and a shopping centre.
Developed as an overall urban gesture, this project solved the client’s requirement to provide a freeway sound wall to the edge of its land subdivision. Hayball was engaged to design the sound wall itself, as well as low-cost housing and a neighbourhood shopping centre.
A two-sided ribbon, stretching 635 metres, features a sequence of patterned and coloured precast concrete panels facing west to the freeway, while a contemporary architectural approach, which recasts traditional residential materials and elements, creates a finer grain of interlocking pieces to the east.
The sound wall is highly legible as a super-graphic from the freeway, employing bands of colour that accelerate in rhythm until the colour is unbroken and saturates the wall surface. Wholly dependent on speed and an oblique view for its experience, the wall becomes a recognisable moment within the freeway experience. To the residential side, the sound wall and the freeway it shields are notably absent thanks to a frontage that is occupied and active along its length.
At the termination of the housing is the Glen Gala Shopping Centre. Adapting the principles of Jane Jacobs – who advocates a vibrant, mixed-use urban aesthetic to enhance the human experience – the development contrasts with more conventional retail planning as it engages directly with its own street frontage, rather than being sited behind extensive car parking. Its most distinguishing feature is the long, sweeping eaves, which were manipulated to create a dynamic form.