Allara Street Kiosks & Public Realm
The Allara Street Kiosks are a set of three small pavilion buildings providing retail tenancies for local, independent businesses. Located in Canberra’s eastern CBD, the kiosks reimagine the classic retail kiosk as a series of small garden buildings that acknowledge architecture, the pedestrian, established trees and new native landscape as being of equal importance.
The kiosks were created with the belief that small is beautiful; both aesthetically and ideologically. Their size makes them more accessible to independent and experimental operators that are rarely accorded an entire building; a shop or studio that might otherwise be closed off is made visible. Their scale creates an intimacy that allows for more informal and accessible interactions with visitors, passersby and neighbours, and a greater exchange between plants and architecture. Together, these elements create more layers, diversity and granularity to an otherwise quiet street.
The kiosks tread lightly on the existing surrounds, intersecting established exotic trees and breaking down existing perimeters with new, mostly native, plantings; creating a permeable yet intimate public outdoor space with many little nooks. The landscaping references the many Brutalist public spaces in Canberra by incorporating washed exposed aggregate cast concrete.
The final stage of our Allara Street masterplanning work for Molonglo, the kiosks neighbour one another in a tranquil landscape of washed concrete aggregate, seating, pot plants and Australian native species. The space between the kiosks is as important as the buildings themselves – interspersed with nooks and benches beneath a canopy of existing trees, it is a place for people to stop, rest, eat, drink and socialise.
Brought forward from the street’s colonnade, each kiosk offers its tenants a 360-degree shop-frontage and a number of entrances; while the many windows, opening configurations and folding door panels allow the buildings to move with the seasons and the needs of the occupant. Working with Allara Street’s businesses in mind, our landscape design was informed by our conversations with the site’s existing tenants – instead of detracting from the existing facade, we looked to create a small, open space that would bring people to the district.
Placemaking Plan, Urban Realm Strategy, Architecture & Landscape, Public Engagement
Royffe Flynn, Pro Plant Supplies, Mark Paine Landscaping, Eifer Construction