Yagan Square, a public space in the center of Perth, Australia received a collaborative design that reconnects formerly isolated areas of the city and brings the area back to its roots as a gathering place for the public. After the original Perth Railway Station was destroyed in 2008, extensive restorations were conducted. Lyons Architect designed Yagan Square, a bustling community centre with a mix of open public areas, dining and shopping alternatives, community services, and cultural organizations. Respect is shown for the aboriginal Noongar people’s history and culture (Lyons: Australian Architect, 2022). A massive red sculpture that serves as the public space’s visual center of gravity and symbolizes the Noongar people is the centerpiece of Yagan Square. Construction of the square began in February 2016 (Christian, 2014). The structure was opened on 3 March 2018 (Cookson, 2018).
The structure serves as an example of good design methodology that tries to reflect the surroundings, past, and culture of the Aboriginal Noongar people, who were the area’s first settlers. The project was developed in close cooperation with the Aboriginal community to guarantee that its legends and legacy are respected and cherished throughout the Square. The design includes environmentally friendly paths and open spaces to entice tourists to explore the area and enjoy its beauty. The Square is a bustling gathering place where visitors can find a variety of dining and entertainment options as well as opportunities to learn more about Noongar culture and its ties to the area.
The building is a fantastic illustration of how to design and construct a public area in a unique and collaborative manner. The proposal was created by Lyons Architect, a global architecture practice with a focus on urban design, to revitalize the city center of Perth, Western Australia. By merging Aboriginal artwork, culture, and history, the firm has created a location that serves as both a public recreation space and an enduring symbol of cultural enrichment and understanding (Sagredo, 2018). The square’s central location and the intentional incorporation of Aboriginal art and culture are only two of the characteristics that work together to make it a unique and functional public area.
The Noongar delegates (organized by SWALSC), who are regarded as this location’s traditional caretakers, provided the ideas for the construction of the building, the scenery, and the artwork. Later, references and allusions from many cultural contexts were added to these ideas. It is a part of Perth’s dynamic, developing culture, which is exemplified by the city. It is soft and purposefully ambiguous in order to let viewers interpret, unearth, create, and finish their own narratives.
The remarkable project that integrates many different architectural ideas and styles. A combination of classic and contemporary materials are used to create the outside facade, producing a timeless and eye-catching contrast (Sagredo, 2018). Inside, a cozy and welcoming ambiance is created by the use of natural materials and careful design. People are encouraged to explore the space because of the seamless transition from the exterior to the interior made possible by the open-plan architecture.
The building structure was built using both metal and wood components to produce a distinctive and modern environment. Items made of metal and wood have been chosen to mix in with the surroundings and nurture a cosy, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. The steel was given a special coating to boost its endurance, while the hardwood was chosen for its long lifespan and fascinating texture. These elements work together to create an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and useful.
The use of steel, which makes it possible for the project’s narrative expression to be expressed, is essential to Yagan Square’s final material palette, which is remarkably bold (Amodeo, 2022). The areas are connected by rich tactile elements from Noongar land, such as layers of metal and stone, as well as weathering steel (Corten Steel), which changes over time and creates new surface patterns as a result of rainwater flow. Yagan Square is a center for exciting activities, but it’s also a place that speaks of the past, present, and future. It also exudes a sense of naturalness that gives the impression that the city was formed around it.
The new public space in Perth, Yagan Square, is a perfect example of the new era of construction technology. Through the use of cutting-edge materials and advanced engineering techniques, Yagan Square combines functionality and aesthetics like no other public space has before. The structure’s high-tensile fabric shade structure is made of ETFE, a lightweight and highly durable material allowing for maximum strength with a minimal footprint (Amodeo, 2022). In addition, the use of prefabricated pavers and other prefabricated elements saved time and money during the construction process.
To create a distinctive feature for Perth, the designers used cutting-edge design components. The sandstone pavilion, which serves as the cultural hub of the square, is a part of this contemporary design that draws inspiration from local custom. The pavilion is surrounded by terraced, tree-lined gardens that offer air and shade while the above canopy and sculpture lights make a magnificent nocturnal picture. Yagan Square’s unique and stimulating environment has been produced by the fusion of traditional and modern design elements, and it will be loved for many years to come. The way Yagan and Balbuk, two prominent Noongar personalities who were both unjustly mistreated in their own time, are remembered and the legacy of their political leadership respectfully and forcefully portrayed in Yagan Square’s choreography serves as an example of the structure’s accomplishment. (Sagredo, 2018).
Amodeo, L. (2022) Yagan Square – Steel profile® Architectural Magazine, STEEL PROFILE®. Available at: https://steelprofile.steelselect.com.au/projects/yagan-square (Accessed: February 11, 2023).
Christian, B. (2014) $70m Yagan Square redevelopment for Perth City link, ABC News. ABC News. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-14/perth-yagan-square-design-for-city-link-unveiled/5893092 (Accessed: February 10, 2023).
Cookson, J. (2018) Perth’s Yagan Square finally opens to the public, ABC News. ABC News. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-03/yagan-square-opens-in-perth/9505952 (Accessed: February 9, 2023).
Lyons: Australian Public Architecture; Urban Design Specialists (2022) Lyons. Available at: https://www.lyonsarch.com.au/project/yagan-square/ (Accessed: February 9, 2023).
Sagredo, R. (2018) Yagan Square / lyons architects + iredale pedersen hook architects + aspect studios, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/897487/yagan-square-lyons-architects-plus-iredale-pedersen-hook-architects-plus-aspect-studios (Accessed: February 9, 2023).