Dandenong Civic Square by Rush Wright Associates

Showing Dandenong’s commitment to cultural diversity and a welcoming spirit

Project Specs


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The public square establishes a new type of space for Melbourne, creating a studied mix of the ‘urban park’ and ‘civic square’ typologies. In part shaded by a tall grove of advanced Cook Pines, and surrounded by inclined grass planes, the space is intended to work in many modes, creating spaces that work day-to-day for individuals, and which are capable of being programmed in many ways for events of many different sizes.

▼项目概览,aerial view  ©Chris Erskine

▼鸟瞰图,aerial view showing paving pattern  ©Chris Erskine

▼高大的松树以及倾斜的草坪,a tall grove of advanced Cook Pines and inclined grass planes  ©Michael Wright


There are about ten spaces of differing scale edging the main square, each with subtle, diverse character and detailing designed to sustain different forms of day to day use and for events. The ecumenical centre is left unencumbered, but able to shade by a grid of 19 large scale red umbrellas for summer.

▼广场中心宽敞无遮蔽,Dandenong Civic Square  ©Michael Wright

▼广场设有红色坐椅,Dandenong Civic Square seating  ©Michael Wright

▼广场周边的遮阳篷,vibrant seating providing areas for large groups to gather  ©Michael Wright

▼红色大型雨伞,umbrellas providing shade for outdoor events  ©Michael Wright


Sustainability is focused on long‐life, low energy material which don’t need a lot of maintenance. The main body of the square is paved in granite, designed to stand the test of time. Other materials are also designed for longevity, including bluestone, inlays of patterned brick, and limited use of insitu concrete. Recycled timber is used where people sit, and to create the large scale seating platform edging the smaller plaza space addressing Lonsdale Street.

▼路面由青石及多种砖块拼接而成,paving with bluestone and inlays of patterned brick  ©Michael Wright

▼材料选择,mixed use of materials  ©Michael Wright

▼广场边设有由再生木材制成的长椅,recycled timber was used for various seating areas  ©Chris Erskine


The main square drains to water the Cook Pines, which are planted in large tree pits designed to collect stormwater and to promote and prolong tree growth in this wholly artificial former building site. Other plantings are chosen for resilience and for drought tolerance.

▼树池的底座可收集雨水, large tree pits are designed to collect stormwater  ©Chris Erskine

▼草坪,open lawn providing areas for relaxing  ©Michael Wright


The social life of the square is the primary driver of sustainable design for this community. The square offers a great many seating and other opportunities for active inhabitation. This seems to have been accepted almost immediately with local people and serves the many cultures al-ready using the square, who value the opportunity to sit in larger groups, and to socialize in truly urban ways which reflect the origins of ancient cultures of many lands who have come to Dandenong. Sustainable design often focusses on raw technical criteria, but here the square functions to evidence Dandenong’s commitment to cultural diversity and a welcoming spirit that is the hallmark of Australian public life. Here everyone can have a fair go, and the square creates a unique civic tableau that has already become a vibrant and colourful heart at the centre of the Dandenong community experience.

▼广场可供举办各种大型社交活动,place for people to gather during festivals  ©Michael Wright


▼平面图,floor plan   ©Rush Wright Associates

Project name: Dandenong Civic Square
Architect’ Firm: Rush Wright Associates Pty Ltd
Website: http://www.rushwright.com/
Contact e-mail: inbox@rushwright.com
Lead Architects: Rush Wright Associates Pty Ltd
Project location: Walker Street (between Thomas and Lonsdale Street), Dandenong
Completion Year: 2013
Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 2270.0 sqm
Photo credits: Michael Wright/ Chris Erskine/Peter Bennetts
Other participants
Client: City of Greater Dandenong
Lead Consultant and Architect: Lyons
Builder: Watpac
Civil and Structural Engineer: Bonacci Group
Services, ESD and Lighting: AECOM
Environmental Graphics: Material Thinking – Paul Carter, Edmund Carter
Building Surveyor: PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants
Quantity Surveyor: Slattery Australia
Key client project directors: Bruce Rendall, Darren Rogers
Landscape contractor: Living Landscapes
Trees: Trees Impact
Videos (youtube or vimeo links):

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