ROWE STREET, EASTWOOD
Public Domain and Art Plan
Undertaken by Libby Gallagher as director of Gallagher Ridenour & Gallagher Studio, in collaboration with McGregor Westlake Architects
Client: City of Ryde
Project dates: 2014
Our team was engaged by Ryde Council to prepare a public domain and art plan for Rowe Street, the primary public space in Eastwood. Rowe Street is the commercial heart of Eastwood. It is orientated east west, linking the ridge at Blaxland Road to the low lying valley in the west. The fifteen metre level change is dramatic, and provides spectacular views. The street is dissected by the rail line which reinforce the perception of the division between the east and western side of the town centre. The design approach is to “stitch” together the street, through a series of public domain improvements to create a visually consistent place. Key moves include expanding the footpath where possible to provide outdoor dining zones for the thriving restaurants that occur along the length of the street. Paired deciduous trees with rain gardens are located along the length of the street, providing summer shade and autumn colour. A distinctive suite of furniture in a variety of configurations extends along the length of the street. The furniture incorporates a distinctive “granny smith” green colour, celebrating Eastwood resident Maria Ann Smith who propagated the first apple cultivar in 1868.
The existing well-loved mall was upgraded incorporating new tree planting, clustered seating and upgraded canopy lighting. A grove of deciduous trees, inspired by the history of orchards in surrounding land provides shade at the western gateway to the mall. A raised water feature bisects the grove and changes at the entrance to become an interactive fountain signalling the entry. The existing tunnel is retrofitted and new entrances configured. An interactive lighting feature is incorporated that broadcasts the movement of pedestrians east and west.