The West Basin waterfront forms Canberra City’s address to Lake Burley Griffin and is the first stage of the Linking Canberra to the Lake project.
The Waterfront runs more than 800m from the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to Lawson Crescent as a boardwalk and will extend to the National Museum of Australia in future stages.
The curve of the boardwalk follows Griffin’s 1918 arc to realise the vision of a grand circular cove – which was disfigured by the cutting through of Parkes Way in the 1960’s and 70’s.
The boardwalk organises a series of landscape spaces, pavilions and water activities. The project is bound on the non water side by a shared ‘slow-street’. These linear elements will provide generous and equitable foreshore access to open space, passive and active recreation, blue and green landscape rooms, urban water cleansing areas, water play and public art.
The Stage 1 Point Park is scheduled to open officially in April 2018 (Boardwalk, pontoons and furniture to Hill Thalis design, with detailed landscape design by D+C contractor). It draws visitors to the water’s edge that has a sense of intimacy rare in cities, with the boardwalk sitting just 450mm above the mean lake level. This creates opportunities for water contact on kayak launching decks and at the Griffin Marker promontory – which extends out over the water to intersect with Griffin’s 1918 Water Axis – providing views between all 3 basins, as Griffin intended.
Detailed design of activities and pavilions has considered the realization of this ambitious project in stages with varied activities above to be plugged in as each piece comes online. Pavilions are both public and retail/food oriented and are located to enclose and support each public square, which are themselves located as welcome points where streets from the city terminate at the lake.
A suite of pavilions has been designed to frame plazas and landscape spaces along the route. The pavilions are purposefully located to frame the squares at the water’s end of future streets.