Jezzine Barracks Awarded Excellence in Sustainable Development

Jezzine Barracks, a 15 hectare public parkland, has taken out the Excellence in Sustainable Development – Retail,  Commercial and Public use, at the 2014 UDIA QLD Awards for Excellence.  Previously home to the 31st Battalion (nee Kennedy Regiment) for over 120 years, and home to local traditional owner clans before them, the newly transformed development introduces a new level of sophistication to open spaces.

Announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane, PLACE Design Group and Townsville City Council were thrilled to have taken out such a prestigious category.

“Jezzine Barracks is an important development for Townsville.  With joint funding from the Commonwealth of Australia, Queensland Government and Townsville City Council, the project plays a pivotal role in our tourism growth and historic remembrance for the area.  It has been a long road, but the close working effort between the military and traditional owner advisory groups, the Community Trust, PLACE Design Group and the project team has resulted in a fantastic outcome, and this award is testament to this,” said Robert Kent, Jezzine Barracks Project Manager for Townsville City.

Located at the northern end of the ever popular Strand beachfront in Townsville, Jezzine Barracks includes all ability pathways between the various lookouts with views over the ocean to Magnetic Island and up to the Palm Group of islands and back over Townsville to The Pinnacles and ranges to the west.  The parkland development has not only opened up areas of the site that have not been available to the public for more than a century but has also incorporated a range of unique design features.  These include an amphitheatre, look-out shelters, coastal boardwalk, and bio retention drainage systems which not only capture stormwater runoff but also provide natural boundaries between key sections of the site.

Working in close collaboration with the architects, COX and TSA, PLACE Design Group undertook the parkland design whilst working directly with the Project Managers, Thinc and the Jezzine Barracks Community Trust to redevelop the extensive parkland site.  Part of the design process included significant consultation with the Military Advisory Committee and the Traditional Owners’ Advisory Group (Bindal & Wulgurukaba) to incorporate heritage elements to the design including plants that reflected indigenous uses, in addition to military and traditional owner interpretive elements.

Wal Smith, Director of PLACE Design Group and Project Landscape Architect for the redevelopment said, “Getting the balance of creating multi-purpose spaces whilst honouring the history of the area is something we had to manage very carefully.  It is wonderful to see our vision of an all-abilities user friendly site balanced with recognition to the military and traditional owners of the land, come to fruition.  Jezzine Barracks is a true urban renewal success and we are very proud to have been a part of its creation”.

This UDIA QLD award marks the second award in 2014 for the Townsville development, having already taken out ‘Great Place’ in the Planning Institute of Australia state awards.  With the parkland already becoming a core community hub, it is a true testament to the vision it was built around.  2015 will see Jezzine Barracks in line for national awards, with finalist position already secured for the PIA Planning Excellence Awards and UDIA Awards for Excellence.