Bringing back the foreshore in Western Australia
The previously carpark-dominated Scarborough Foreshore in Perth, Western Australia, has been redeveloped into a pedestrian-focused recreational space by TCL, UDLA and Arup.
The $50 million project commissioned by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority spans 9.9 hectares, or one kilometre of the Scarborough Beach foreshore.
Two new pedestrian promenades circle the recently added beachfront amenities, with an upper promenade connecting to dining and retail spaces as well as new plazas, while a lower promenade provides for jogging, cycling and other active activities.
The ambition for the redevelopment was to reduce the impact of road infrastructure on the beach. The roundabout previously located at the entrance to the beach has been moved back towards the highway, maximising pedestrian and event space. The road network has been redesigned, allowing locals and visitors easy access to the foreshore facilities, while the esplanade upgrade creates a low speed zone that prioritises pedestrians.
Scarborough Square, formerly a carpark, now links the beach to The Esplanade and serves as a point of arrival to the foreshore. Iconic shade arbours by Chaney Architects were inspired by Voronoi tessellations found in nature, and their vibrant colours were chosen in collaboration with Aboriginal artist Sharyn Egan. A 22-metre central staircase, bordered by new plantings and a terraced deck, connects the square down to an amphitheatre.
The Snake Pit, 3.6-metre competition-grade skate bowl, provides a skate and bouldering space, while a new playground designed around a whale skeleton interprets Whadjuk and Noongar dreaming stories of spirits returning to land through whales.
An 11-metre turfed landform named Sunset Hill provides views of the beach and Indian Ocean, and open recreational spaces such as climbing walls and a public pool complex ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Scarborough Foreshore’s new water sensitive urban drainage strategy includes landscaped rain gardens, reducing underground storage and discharge into the existing network.
Arup has both ensured the existing coastline vegetation and dunes were protected and preserved, and developed improved transport connections, making Scarborough Beach sustainable enough to be enjoyed by future generations.