Bowden Park

Design Feature
Type of Project
Placemaking
State
South Australia
Location
Urban

Forming the centrepiece of the redevelopment of Bowden in Adelaide’s inner north, Bowden Park offers relief from its urban surroundings. It is a garden oasis, activity and play space in what is projected to become one of the city’s most densely populated urban districts outside the CBD. 

An urban oasis 

The park is immediately adjacent to, and was developed in conjunction with the refurbishment of the old Clipsal ‘Plant 4’ factory building – now incorporating a small supermarket, cafes, bar, markets (bi-weekly), specialist stores, and event spaces. Bowden Park is in contrast to the redevelopment’s reuse of the remaining industrial buildings and an attractive destination for the surrounding community.

The park is seamlessly connected to Plant 4, an adjacent building which has been repurposed as a food destination with eateries, weekly produce markets, organic traders and stores, as well as regular events.
The park is seamlessly connected to Plant 4, an adjacent building which has been repurposed as a food destination with eateries, weekly produce markets, organic traders and stores, as well as regular events.

Formally a factory site, Bowden has been transformed into a new urban residential and mixed-use precinct, integrating good quality public open space. The total size of the park is 5,800 square metres. Designed to draw people through and encourage them to linger, Bowden Park is a place of relaxation, social connection and recreation. A fringe of gardens surrounding the central event lawns saturate the site with life. This access to public open space allows residents and visitors to reconnect with nature, undertake physical activity, or simply relax outdoors.

The location of Bowden Park and the co-location of destinations encourages families and visitors to walk or ride within, saving emissions for short trips that may have ordinarily been done by car.
The location of Bowden Park and the co-location of destinations encourages families and visitors to walk or ride within, saving emissions for short trips that may have ordinarily been done by car.

A series of connected pathways invites people in from all directions, adding to the walkability of the site and providing scootering, or skating opportunities around the park. Bins, water fountains, bike parking and cycle repair are all provided encouraging active transport and longer stays.  In addition, a long shelter with picnic and barbeque areas, and a small play area with water jets is popular with families; with surveillance over this play space possible from café seating.  As the trees grow in the park even more shade will be provided. The adjacent Plant 4 building provides further shaded seating, accessible toilets, baby change and other amenities. 

The planting of the street trees in residential areas was one of the initial changes made during the development of Bowden. This has resulted in a green and comfortable streetscape which encourages walking in the warmer months. As part of achieving a 6 Start Green Star rating for the Bowden community, there is a signage project underway, with directional, active living and historical interpretive signs explaining the stories of the community, sharing the benefits of active transport and providing tips for better health.

Bowden Park is an example of how thoughtful and considered design can connect people by enhancing the social and recreational fabric of the city. Bowden provides an authentic destination within an establishing community.

"The great thing about Bowden is that when you design for people and you have medium-density housing that has lots of amenities and a walkable neighbourhood, you’re also designing for the health and economy of the businesses surrounding it.” – Tuesday Udell, Heart Foundation

Project Team

  • Project Design Lead: ASPECT Studios
  • Client: Renewal SA
  • Collaborators: FMG Engineering (structural and hydraulic engineers)
  • Tonkin Consulting (civil and stormwater engineers)
  • Lucid Consulting Engineers (heritage consultant)
  • JBA (planning consultant)                                                                      
  • Lighting Art + Science (lighting designers)
  • Landscape Construction Services (head contractor)

Project Cost 

$1.95 Million

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