A homecoming design: Franklin Square
Nestled within the heart of Hobart between the city and historic Sullivan’s Cove, sits one of Hobart’s classic parks, Franklin Square.
A quiet refuge for office dwellers on their lunch breaks and a sanctuary for tourists and families alike, this iconic park has maintained its existence since the 1860’s and has just undergone an award-winning revamp featuring Tasmanian Celery Top Pine.
Old favorites and new features
Thirty years since its last refurbishment, the city called upon the parks previous designer and Tasmanian native, David Shaw from Street & Garden to take on its most recent update. Tapping in to the state’s abundant resources, materials and talent for the project, Tasmanian Celery Top Pine was selectively chosen as a featured material in the project.
Seeing a range of updates including new pavements and pathways, garden beds, lighting features and of course, commissioned furniture from Street & Garden, Franklin Square has seen a complete revamp. With subtle details making a nod to the park’s former glory, the water fountain and beloved life-size chess were also kept in the redevelopment.
David and his team worked to design twelve-meter long curved benches and separate benches with a special storage element to hold the chess pieces, seen throughout the new and improved park. The Celery Top Pine found on the bench tops was timber that once rested at the bottom of Lake Pieman before being reclaimed and put to use for all Tasmanian’s and visitors to enjoy.
“The design found across the backs of the benches in Franklin Square casts a beautiful splash-like pattern across the celery-top pine when the sun shines through. The timber is really brought to life when the pattern dances across it and brings a playful element to the project.”
The Franklin Square project along with the Hobart Waterfront redevelopment that Street & Garden were also a part of, have been well received by the public and the design industry, landing the design firm a Good Design Award Gold Winner 2018 prize.
“As a young Tasmanian designer, some of my first exhibitions were here and I received so much support from the community. Thirty years later, I was thrilled to be a part of the design process again and felt very connected to the project. It was a great way to give back to the city after all of the support I was shown when I was starting my career.”