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Thebarton render

Global design firm Arup has been selected as the principal urban design consultant to master plan Renewal SA’s newest urban infill project at Thebarton.

Arup is the creative force behind many of the world’s most sustainable and innovative precincts including Battersea Power Station in London, Mixity in Amsterdam, and the La Trobe University City of the Future in Melbourne. It has also recently delivered the City of Adelaide Plan – an urban development and strategic planning document that outlines the vision, goals and strategies for sustainable growth and development across Adelaide for the next 10 years.

The award-winning consultancy will lead the transformation of the Port Road parcel, with an expert team of Australian and South Australian-based companies including Breathe Architects - responsible for the highly successful Nightingale Bowden project adjacent the Thebarton site - and Australia’s most awarded landscape architects TCL.

Collectively, they bring guaranteed global thinking that can be adapted to meet local needs, and a breadth of experience in complex urban environments that is expected to make the Thebarton development one of the most considered and well-planned developments ever delivered in South Australia.

Work will begin immediately on the development of a master plan for the landmark site, enabling construction to commence in 2025. First residents are anticipated to move in in 2027.

Fast-tracking early design and master planning will capitalise on the site’s ability to positively influence and combat strained market conditions thanks to its size and strategic location close to the city and public transport links.

It will also enable early consultation with the community and stakeholders, including Traditional landowners, setting the tone for the entire project.

Arup has a strong track record of meaningful two-way engagement, linking its master planners and consultants directly with the community to ensure granular issues and aspirations are considered and incorporated into design frameworks.

The master plan will build on the preliminary vision outlined by Renewal SA following its purchase of the former West End Brewery site from Lion Beer Wine & Spirits Pty Ltd in September.

The 8.4-hectare site will cater for a modern, mixed-use community, incorporating 1,000 new homes (20 per cent affordable) and significant opportunities for commercial, hospitality, retail and government tenancies, along with public green space.

The billion-dollar redevelopment aims to set a new international benchmark for mixed-use development and deliver positive community outcomes, which include:

  • pushing sustainability boundaries through integrated design that considers water, energy, movement, and biodiversity
  • redefining liveability through welcoming public spaces, active streets, and a diverse mix of programs and events
  • delivering a diverse mix of high-quality homes, including 20% affordable
  • engaging with the Kaurna community to interweave Culture and Country into the project
  • celebrate the site’s heritage buildings, structures and stories
  • delivering ecological and community benefits, connecting to the Karrawirra Parri/River Torrens
  • and catalysing local investment

Creation of a climate-ready community will be a key component of this development and Arup will lean on its technical expertise to deliver a robust, evidence-based approach to sustainability. This includes a focus on biophilic design - an architectural and interior design approach that incorporates elements of nature into the built environment to enhance human well-being and connection to nature.

This design philosophy aims to create spaces that evoke feelings of calm, rejuvenation, and harmony by integrating natural materials, views of nature, natural light, vegetation, and other elements inspired by the natural world. The goal is to improve human health, productivity, and overall quality of life by fostering a deeper connection with nature within indoor spaces.

Arup also has a dedicated Adelaide-based transport team to ensure the site transitions to a highly connected place with multimodal streets that support local living.

Arup and its consortium was selected from a strong shortlist of local, national and international contenders during an open market tender process.

“We are delighted to be appointed as urban design team to lead this exciting masterplan together with Renewal SA for the rejuvenation of the former West End Brewery site. Collectively, we bring a culture of innovation forged internationally and locally and rising to the challenges of complex urban environments through a collaborative design-led process,“ Arup Design Director Malcolm Smith said.

“Our team will look at the formation of this mixed-use residential communities through a triple bottom-line lens, exploring how each element can work in harmony to achieve environmental, financial and social sustainability.

“Our Design Team is committed to regenerative practices, instilling vitality in urban spaces through sustainable, restorative, and community-centric approaches. We look forward to engaging with the community to inform this masterplan, harnessing local insights for co-creating urban spaces that resonate culturally and respond to community need. We endeavour to create an award-winning precinct that withstands the tests of time, delivering ecological and community benefits, whilst catalysing local investment.”

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