Shell Cove is a new town centre on the NSW South Coast Australia. The town centre and waterfront parklands establish an active and vibrant urban place with a relaxed coastal village character.
The town centre brings a hive of urban activity and retail uses right to the waterfront, connecting people to the water edge with the public domain and linking from the main street, through the plaza. The 2km of waterfront parklands and surrounding residential areas further connecting to the open spaces.
The emphasis of the public domain is to bring together different aspects of the civic life of the area; providing a forum which operates day and night, for locals and visitors to the area and with night fall brings the space alive with strategic lighting throughout that showcases the space with a new view.
Our key goal for this place as a new town centre was finding strategies in the public do-main which encourage community engagement with the place and the environment.
To make the place successful as an urban and active centre, the pattern and mix of uses needed to be authentic. In order to meet this objective, we saw it important to provide places for the wider community, the residents of the centre, as well as visitors alike.
At a detail level the public domain is designed for integration of informal and casual use with a diversity of terraces and parkland settings.
The waterfront parklands are currently partly implemented, with another 3ha yet to be built. The parklands provide a connected linear open space, linking larger open spaces, boardwalks, play and fitness. Importantly the parklands also connect to the adjacent new parks, streets and beach.
As the first stage of the town centre and waterfront parklands has reached completion, the precinct is coming to life. The diverse built form of the public domain provides differentiation in programming; with areas of open walkway and generous seating complemented by shaded grass terraces leading to the town centre beach. The contiguous promenade around the waterfront pro¬vides an active trail linking to a number of park rest areas and niches to sit and gather. A play trail which extends around the foreshore provides a series of play opportunities which encourages walking around the harbour edge and enhances the ‘child friendliness’ of the precinct.
As the precinct develops over the next few years, the waterfront precinct will become more diverse with the additional amenities of play spaces and additional parkland and linking wetlands.