The canopy

00:00 - 00:00

About the Project

Client : Lane Cove Council
Location : Lane Cove
Indigenous Nation : Gaimariagal - Cammeraygal
Length of project : 2014 - 2020

Built on a former Lane Cove Council-owned carpark, The Canopy Precinct delivers a unique urban experience to the evolving community of Lane Cove, whilst embracing the village atmosphere and natural landscape characteristics of the suburb.

Brief

Lane Cove is known for its village atmosphere and its rich and varied landscape, from the shores of the Lane Cove River to the Lane Cove National Park. Given its location just 10km from the Sydney CBD, like many Sydney suburbs, Lane Cove is experiencing population pressures as density increases.

Lane Cove is known for its village atmosphere and its rich and varied landscape, from the shores of the Lane Cove River to the Lane Cove National Park. Given its location just 10km from the Sydney CBD, like many Sydney suburbs, Lane Cove is experiencing population pressures as density increases.

To expand the capacity of the Town Centre for community amenity, Lane Cove Council identified the Rosenthal Avenue Car Park site as a potential public space. Development of the site was proposed with four levels of retail and public parking below ground with the surface level proposed to function as a public open space extension of the Lane Cove Plaza. Council worked with the community to create a space that would meet their needs.

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Design Principles & Process

With a combination of laneway and dining experiences, programmable event and activation spaces with large-scale nature and water play, the Canopy precinct has been designed for 18-hour activation, offering a combination of programmes to ensure triangulation and use for the majority of the day.

With a combination of laneway and dining experiences, programmable event and activation spaces with large-scale nature and water play, The Canopy precinct has been designed for 18-hour activation, offering a combination of programmes to ensure triangulation and use for the majority of the day.

The Canopy precinct was a true exercise in collaboration at all levels. From the earliest stages, the Council and the design team engaged closely with community members, working to use feedback and findings to prepare a Public Domain Design Brief.

A Design Competition delivered four concepts for the community to evaluate, with the intention of stimulating community engagement and thinking. Arcadia’s scheme was progressed following this process. Further community responses were collaboratively reviewed with Council and the design team and then integrated into DA Documentation.

At the Design Ideas Exhibition stage, the team amended the original plans so that level access off Birdwood Lane is provided, aiding a seamless primary pedestrian path into the site. The architectural and landscape treatment of Birdwood and Rosenthal Lanes effectively stitches the development into the urban fabric of the Lane Cove Town Centre.

The next stage, the Principal’s Project Requirements (PPR) brief, highlighted the need for an open space which recognises and celebrates the diversity of community, the unique village atmosphere and the bushland setting with its the local flora and fauna.

The engagement was continued as ADCO and Scott Carver undertook the design development which integrated particular input from the local bushcare group in the planting and retailers in regard to the connections and form of the upgraded laneways.

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Context & Materiality

The Canopy Precinct replaced 170 on-grade car park with a new retail precinct containing Coles and Aldi supermarkets located above a 500-space car park. Established parking and retail requirements were a serious restraint that had to be creatively embraced by the design team at all stages of the project.

The Canopy Precinct replaced 170 on-grade car park with a new retail precinct containing Coles and Aldi supermarkets located above a 500-space car park. Established parking and retail requirements were a serious restraint that had to be creatively embraced by the design team at all stages of the project.

Realities of site and project mean Rosenthal Avenue is blocked off from the main street, Longueville Road, except via a series of existing Arcades. The scheme harnesses these thoroughfares to create fluid movement, carrying people from the commercial core to the site with ease.

On one edge the architecture creates functional urban form to attain an attractive laneway environment with a strong relationship to the existing urban fabric and ensure an effective retail experience.

The opposite edge of the precinct presents itself to suburban Lane Cove and has utilised naturalistic design cues with Indigenous tree, shrub and groundcover planting to embrace the Lane Cove landscape character and expand local wildlife corridors. Sandstone outcrops are combined with opportunistic plants to create a subtle but vivid interface with the street edge and neighbouring residents.

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Project completion

When visitors step into the The Canopy’s outdoor plaza, they are whisked from the fast-paced chaos of everyday life to a calm but vibrant village atmosphere. The open space embraces the natural landscape the local area prides itself on, creating a unique urban experience for the evolving and growing community of Lane Cove.

When visitors step into the The Canopy’s outdoor plaza, they are whisked from the fast-paced chaos of everyday life to a calm but vibrant village atmosphere. The open space embraces the natural landscape the local area prides itself on, creating a unique urban experience for the evolving and growing community of Lane Cove.

With brilliantly-lit alfresco spaces, restaurants, monthly markets, and a playground and additional water and nature play spaces, it’s easy to forget that people visit The Canopy to simply complete their weekly grocery shop at Aldi or Coles.

The Canopy Precinct is a demonstration how local councils can enhance the community and the economy of their area through an increase in open spaces, using existing assets, such as a publicly owned carparks. Lane Cove Council were keen participants in the journey to deliver all layers that are desirable when creating places for people to ensure success and sustainability. The project has been a catalyst for development of the local economy and physical town centre.

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