Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Placemaking walkway

©2013 Barry Smith - Lomandra Longifolia cut-out in the Maleny IGA walkway roof
About two years ago when Sam and Rob Outridge decided to build a wet weather covered walkway as part of the upgrade of Maleny IGA they wanted it to be more than just a functional covered way. Whilst the covered walkway had to shelter shoppers and visitors from the rain and sun as they made their way down the laneway between the Maleny IGA and Credit Union; but it could also provide an opportunity for local artists to add a touch of community art; and the pathway could tell part of the story that is Maleny.

Sam and Rob invited art4place to become partners in the design of the covered walkway. Art4place consulted its 30 plus members; and 5 design concepts were put forward. Sam and Rob decided to go with a design that combined elements from designs by Barry Smith, Edith-Ann Murray and Fiona Dempster. This design tells a story of some of the history and environmental aspects of Maleny. Designs and plans went through many modifications to meet different planning, engineering, structural, budget and construction requirements.

©2013 Barry Smith - Walkway after rain - cascading water and Lomandra Longifolia light on the path
The 50-metre long and 3-metre wide covered walkway incorporates a newly laid even concrete pathway; a series of overlapping free standing shelters covered with rusted Corten steel that channel the rain in a series of cascades towards a waterfall feature with large chains at the car park end of the pathway; a series of Lomandra Longifolia cutouts in the roof; and Perspex covers bolted over the cutouts to let the light through and keep the rain out.

©2013 Barry Smith - Walkway after rain - cascading water 
The rusted Corten steel and bolts reminds us of the water tanks used by the early dairy farmers; the roof that shelters and channels the water in a series of cascades and ends in a waterfall is a artistic representation of the water of the Obi Obi Creek and Gardners Falls; the Lomandra Longifolia is an important native plant in the area that stabilises banks and acts to mitigate erosion;  and the chains in the waterfall feature hark back to the horses and bullocks and chains used to haul timber and produce.

©Barry Smith - Fractured Lomandra Longifolia light - sunlight through water on perspex
The Maleny IGA covered walkway is not only functional; but it creates a community place and piece of community art in Maleny that tells a part of the Maleny story to visitors and locals alike.

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