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Alex Lock surveys Adelaide's changing landscape

Alex Lock surveys Adelaide's changing landscape

Alex Lock, senior landscape architect at Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) and Brand SA ambassador, has seen a shift in Adelaide’s “changing built landscape and approach to its public spaces and public life within the city” over her eight years as a professional landscape architect.

“We have seen investment and collaboration from the public and private sectors to enliven our city streets and laneways through activation with bars and restaurants and the many incentives by the city council to reside in the city,” she says.

“We can see an intensity of focus on the Riverbank Precinct made up of three distinct precincts: Health Precinct to the west, the expanding Education and Cultural precinct east of King William and the centralised evolving Entertainment Precinct. Each of these three precincts has seen investment into the infrastructure and public domain with the Adelaide Oval, Royal Adelaide Hospital relocation, new medical and education buildings and the school.”

Originally from Bundaberg, Lock completed a double master’s degree in architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Adelaide, finding work with TCL not long out of university. Now a senior landscape architect at TCL, her firm has played a large part in this changing landscape and approach to public spaces. Notable TCL projects include the North Terrace redevelopment, the Riverbank masterplan, the Footbridge, the Victoria Square/ Tarntanyangga redevelopment and the Festival Plaza. With these, Lock says the bigger picture is always in mind.

“Even if we are given a boundary we are always looking at how it sits contextually, in this instance to the city of Adelaide. With North Tce, there was a series of strategies and guidelines set up to help enforce a design site that sits in the bigger picture of the university and how it flows through to the city. That approach gets applied to most projects we do.”

Lock was involved with the Victoria Square redevelopment. Stage one of the two-stage project was completed in 2013. Lock believes Victoria Square is the heart of Adelaide. While much of the focus has been to the north of the city with respect to the Riverbank and North Terrace, Lock believes there is potential to redress the city’s activity imbalance “through the Victoria Square/ Tarndanyangga Urban Regeneration Project and to provide a strong promenade/boulevard link between the Torrens River and North Terrace precincts, and Victoria Square/Gouger/Grote Streets and Central Market precincts”.

“This connection will greatly enhance the appeal of both precincts with King William Street also being transformed over time with the addition of more night-time activities at street level. The ongoing development of North Terrace and the River Torrens precinct will continue to provide a series of attractions such as the Adelaide Oval into a stadium and its use for AFL, thus further defining this section of the city as a major destination. The recent footpath renovations and extension of the tram from Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga to North Terrace has greatly enhanced the urban character of King William Street, which now reads strongly as the main north-south connection within the city centre.”


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