King Square Cultural Precinct
King Square Cultural Precinct is a vision of an alternative city square, municipal offices, community centre and public library for the city of Fremantle, Western Australia.
The design was completed concurrently with my honours research into sentient architecture and augmented reality. Without a strong urban plan that took into account the historical and cultural identity of the site, as well as the technical requirements of the brief, the experimental technologies alone would not generate an effective urban centre.
The plan was developed through an iterative process of testing and revision that was informed by rigrous site analysis and research into the cultural significance of the site. King Square as it exists today is a fundamentally flawed space that has, in recent years, suffered a large decline in activity. Site analysis of traffic behaviours around the site revealed that access to the site was hindered by poor traffic flow - a result of the closing of the main arterial road that divides the site in two.
The proposal intended to re-establish a traffic flow through this part of the city and create more parking access underneath. High Street would be accessible to road traffic in peak periods and would close during weekends and major events. The arrangement of building forms was influenced by the condition of the square in the early 20th century when High St was lined with distinct row of building facades facing into St John's Park. The bulk of building form is contained in a wall of monumental scale that would serve as an urban marker and interactive surface as well as a threshold between sections of the square that have been condensed into a scale more suitable for their context.
The reconfigured square now makes more efficient use of the space; the various "urban rooms" that have been created have their own function and character while still allowing for a great degree of flexibity created by the technology of ambient awareness.