Winner – UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence, Affordable Development
Thornton is a mixed use and residential community being developed by Urban Growth New South Wales and will provide up to 1000 quality homes offering a vibrant inner city lifestyle and a variety of housing types. Located slightly north of the Penrith train station, adjacent to the cities Central Business District, the Thornton project has been designed to differ from other communities in the greater Penrith area.
With the backing of a progressive developer, Thornton’s landscape design was able to push the boundaries. All landscape works were designed to be mindful of energy conservation, environmentally sustainable design strategies, water sensitive urban design, ongoing maintenance considerations, crime prevention through environmental design principles, security, privacy, night light ng and protection from vandalism The deliberate separation of public activities allow the user to experience a range of different spatial arrangements from the vibrancy of the Urban Plaza and art works, the public amenity including BBQ’s, picnic settings, shade structure and the integration of inclusive play areas and personal fitness stations.
The site demonstrates the fusion of practice and theory via Public Art concepts developed and constructed in line with the art strategy by Milne and Stonehouse. The art interprets the historic uses of the sites pre defence land condition and then overlays this history with abstract forms that pays homage to the manned flight and sporting heritage of the site.
Among many detailed elements, the design incorporates extensive use of low maintenance and water demand planting, suitable for the different microclimatic conditions found throughout the site. Aspect and solar access played a significant role in the planting design to ensure the long term survival rate of the soft landscapes. There is also a strong use of ameliorated site won top soils for all garden beds.
It was within the design development where most of Place Design Group’s influence occurred. The client saw the strength of the landscape vision as tantamount. With the backing of the client we were able to drive the locations of the various special elements so that the landscape vision was realised with little compromise. Place Design Group also monitored the project throughout and helped manage the relationship between the client, plant supplier, landscape sub-contractor and principal contractor.