Water Sensitive SA

AILA award-winning projects embrace WSUD

AILA award-winning projects embrace WSUD

17 September 2017

Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) has been integral to award-winning projects showcased at the recent Australian Institute of Architects (AILA) SA Chapter annual awards. The success of the Holland Street Upgrade, by JPE Design Studio, and Sixth Street Upgrade, Jensen PLUS was evident in seamless integration of the WSUD elements throughout the overall landscape plan.

Holland Street Upgrade– Landscape Architecture Award for Civic Landscape

Client – City of West Torrens

The Holland Street upgrade is a transformative urban initiative for a changing precinct. The public realm and streetscape is now defined as a key meeting place, where Holland Street meets the River Torrens. The underpinning design philosophy was to rejuvenate Thebarton, and inject life whilst protecting the precinct’s unique gritty character.

Integrated WSUD initiatives, artworks and a focus on cycle and pedestrian movement has meant a design approach new to not only the precinct, but also the City of West Torrens. A significant stormwater harvesting system below the plaza provides most of the irrigation requirements to the space and streetscape beyond.

WSUD features include:

  • interconnected system of biofiltration beds
  • overflow from the storage facility directed to a planted swale
  • preservation of existing street trees
  • raingarden that collects stormwater runoff from the plaza and adjacent building, as well as from the brewery site catchment
  • 50,000 litre storage tank located under the plaza pavement collects treated stormwater
  • harvested stormwater is used for irrigation
  • the majority of any excess water passes through the raingarden, cleaning it prior to discharging to the adjacent River Torrens
  • ‘StrataVault’ installations (refer to image below) provide structural plastic cell elements that enables backfill placement around the trees with relatively uncompacted growing medium for new street trees

Source: Sam Noonan (above and top)

Source: City of West Torrens; Sam Noonan

As this section of Holland Street upgrade is only the first of several planned to be accommodated in the direct vicinity, the supply/demand balance of the stormwater harvesting and irrigation installations have also been designed to facilitate further extension into these future stages.

To see more images of the project, visit the Holland Street upgrade project page.

Sixth Street Revitalisation Project – Landscape Architecture Award for Urban Design

Client – Rural City of Murray Bridge

Source:  Jere Wilks, Jensen PLUS

The Sixth Street Revitalisation Project is a leading example of an integrated Shared Street design, based on the principles of Link and Place. A Shared Street design was an ideal scenario as it allows for the area to be temporarily closed for events with ease, slow traffic and redesignate space to cyclists and pedestrians and to the business activity.

The space looks and feels like a town square while remaining a functioning, yet safer, street. These positive outcomes required a collaborative design process between civil and stormwater engineers and landscape architects. The result is a landscape and civil design that has thoughtfully integrated water sensitive urban design (WSUD) elements.

Previously Sixth Street had limited underground stormwater in, both north and south of Bridge Road, the towns mainstreet. A solution was required that reduced the volume and rate of overland flow. A new underground system in Sixth Street in combination with a series of WSUD features will effectively manage local nuisance flooding.

WSUD features include:

  • local surface flows collected in valley drains provide passive irrigation of trees via tree pits that are contoured to allow for 100mm extended detention, providingponded water capacity of 0.5 cubic metres around each tree
  • three landscaped areas at the intersection of Fifth Street function as raingardens
  • the tree pits and raingardens will support a green avenue in the future
  • north of Bridge Street, the one-way cross fall of the road designed to work with the natural topography has provided a greater catchment for stormwater runoff to sustain the raingardens.

To see more images of the Project visit the Water Sensitive SA WSUD project interactive map for Sixth Street revitalisation project.


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Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.