Southbank Promenade – Postmodernism worth preserving ?

Original post 11 May 2020

I think the #SouthbankPromenade is great – but is it worth preserving ? Designed by #DentonCorkerMarshall, and built in 1990, it was the first stage in the creation of Southbank as new public space, along with the #EvanWalkerFootbridge, but it seems that the @cityofmelbourne is planning on sweeping changes. No more of the nice traditionally inspired lamps or patterned balustrade, just standard lamps and zigzag balustrades in low maintenance stainless steel 🙄 The paving definitely needs replacing (it’s just concrete pavers), and it would be nice to add better ramps and turn the stairs sideways to increase the promenade width, but no need to replace everything surely? And if you do, then how about something with a bit more delight ? Maybe commission new architects to have a go, or even a competition!

I’ve always rather admired the 1990 lamps along the #SouthbankPromenade, designed by #DentonCorkerMarshall, especially the way they march along following the curve of the river from certain angles. Nice #postmodern referencing traditional lights without copying.

Update 16 August 2020

Is it just me or are the 1991 #southbankpromenade lights and #balustrades attractive and worth keeping ? The @cityofmelbourne infrastructure dept doesn’t think so, wanting to replace them with extremely plain standardised stainless steel things with no character at all imho. They want to hear your opinion – just google ‘Southbank promenade participate’ – and you can provide feedback to their rather leading questions ie ‘what do you like about the new design’ nothing about the existing! It’s all driven by an apparent need to widen the pedestrian width (by removing the stairs and a row of trees) because it’s too crowded, and also because it’s ‘worn and dated’. Also apparently the balustrade isn’t regulation, but if they weren’t touching it, it’s ok ? anyone know more ? I mean if it’s about kids climbing then falling they can just fall right into the river….

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