New dawn for Blacktown CBD
The centre of Blacktown in Western Sydney has been given a new lease of life, taking another major step towards becoming a modern, diverse city with the official opening of an $80 million public plaza and underground carpark.
The official opening of the Warrick Lane precinct in the Blacktown CBD was marked by a traditional Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony and Corroboree, as well as live music, entertainment, food stalls, precinct tours and family art workshops.
Wet weather forced much of the official opening to be relocated for the plaza, down to the underground carpark.
Blacktown City Council designed and developed the project, starting with the demolition of a string of dilapidated buildings, malls and laneways situated between Main St and Warrick Lane in the CBD.
The redeveloped Warrick Lane precinct now consists of a 482-space multi-level underground carpark, 2 tree-lined public parks, 2 flanking buildings, children’s play equipment, street furniture, breakout spaces and a plaza.
A world-first feature of the carpark is the use of Darug language and First Nations’ artworks as sign posting. First Nations artworks and installations also feature throughout the precinct.
Speaking at the official opening on Sunday, Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said; “The Warrick Lane precinct will rejuvenate this area of our CBD with shops, restaurants and businesses surrounding a peaceful tree-lined park and playground.
“The park and plaza will become a new meeting place for families, visitors and workers alike.
“The massive free underground carpark will also remove hundreds of cars from the streets in the CBD and also greatly reduce vehicle congestion.”
“Australian Catholic University’s Blacktown Campus is now fully operational and the Warrick Lane precinct redevelopment is the second step in the transformation of the Blacktown City Centre.
“There are also proposals for multi-level buildings to be constructed within the precinct housing a purpose-built home for ACU, Blacktown City Council’s Administration Centre and Blacktown Arts.
“In addition, the $600 million Charlie Teo Brain and Spinal Institute is planned for a site to the south of the Warrick Lane precinct, currently occupied by Council’s Administration Centre,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
Blacktown City Council in collaboration with Blacktown Arts, commissioned 2 major public artworks as part of the redevelopment.
DADU BAMUL – Under the ground (earth), is a series of figures and animals painted by local Aboriginal artist Blak Douglas, that adorn all the levels of the underground carpark.
The artist has used images and language of a different animal, native to this area of Dharug Land, to identify each level of the carpark, with images of other animals native to this area scattered all around the building.
Light Wing is an 8-metre-high reflective sculpture mounted on the precinct’s tallest building. It was designed and built by Skunk Control, a collective of artists, and was inspired by the partitioned wings of a local species of dragonfly.
The artwork uses optical technology to reflect and transmit sunlight from diverse vantage points and at night, white LEDs project light through the optical filters producing an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour.
Visitors to the park can get a lesson in Blacktown’s history with plaques inscribed with words and illustrations detailing famous sites and events of the City’s past.
“The Warrick Lane precinct has become a modern and vibrant centre of our City that connects us to our diverse history, culture and heritage and is available for all of us to enjoy.” Mayor Bleasdale said.
The Warrick Lane precinct was funded and developed by Blacktown City Council.
Builder: AW Edwards
Landscape architects: McGregor Coxall
Carpark and building design: Cox Architecture
Project management: Signature Project Management.