Sekisui House’s controversial West Village project may receive two new additional laneways, over 1,500 square metres of public open space and a “water play area” if the developer’s recent application to the Brisbane City Council is approved.
With the first stage of development currently underway, the 2.6-hectare former Absoe site has reduced its height and ground cover (which was originally 95 per cent) after the state government called in the development in September 2016 amid public outrage.
Located in the inner-Brisbane suburb of West End – an area known for being particularly divided on high-density development – West Village project director Andrew Thompson says that the additional public amenity and laneways will offer new experiences to both residents and locals.
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The application provides for three main pieces of amenity, “The Common”, two laneways and a 1,532-square metre community space. The proposed laneways, “Factory Lane” and “Wilson Lane” will act as an interconnection between the two 14-storey residential towers that commenced construction in June last year.
According to Thompson, The Common will offer a water-play area, with in-ground water jets at the Boundary Street entry to the site.
“Grassed areas will provide a setting for viewing performances, picnics and small gatherings, and tall trees with a diverse canopy will provide a cool sanctuary full of colour and texture.” he said.
Factory Lane and Wilson Lane, will be the first of four laneways and will include deep plantings, landscaped market gardens and lighting, as well as a number of bicycle stands as they act as green “portals” connecting West Village’s buildings and its future public spaces.
The Common is an example of Sekisui House’s strategy to repurpose a historic landmark site, with the proposed space bringing a forecourt back to the old ice cream building.
“We are about to breathe new life into West End’s Ice Cream Factory as a residential and retail precinct, and The Common will be a cool, green entry statement that embraces the heritage listed building,” Thompson said.
The developer also plans to incorporate a community space into the West End development for public uses such as an art gallery, formal or informal educational seminars/lectures, conference or reception space, fitness classes, dance classes, theatre or cinema.
The end result will include another six residential sites, galleries, restaurants, retail and entertainment facilities.
Subject to approval by Brisbane City Council, West Village’s public spaces are expected to be implemented by the end of 2018.