Bates Smart is pleased to announce that A Treasure Trove of Space - Rethinking Melbourne's Carparks has been named the winner in the 2021 AA Prize for Unbuilt Work.
The project concept considers the imbalance between private car parks and public space in the City of Melbourne. We have identified a number of off-street, multi-level car parks in central Melbourne that could be repurposed in this way. Importantly, the intent is to repurpose the buildings rather than demolish them – a more sustainable approach.
The jury cited the concept as a “compelling way forward. It not only creates useful and meaningful public spaces in an urban context, but it does so through the retention and conversion of existing structures. Perhaps most importantly, it generates two of the most important requirements for successful urban design solutions: diversity and intensity.”
Bates Smart also received a Special Mention for Australia's Urban Room, a project that envisions Sydney's Circular Quay as a grand urban room – a space for the people of Australia to assemble, celebrate and enjoy the harbour – rather than the narrow and congested foreshore it is today. Taking back the Quay and creating a place truly meant for people is a bold step in the right direction.
The jury cited that this project "reminds us to reconsider the way our cities have evolved over time. Restriction of movement due to COVID-19 has reminded us all of the value of true public open space and this proposal is a compelling argument to secure Sydney’s Circular Quay as a place for people to gather.”