The Architecture and the public spaces between are equally important and must work in partnership.
Outdoor public spaces should provide more than just circulation space between buildings, rather they should be enjoyable and functional outdoor rooms that invite occupancy and many types of interactions and encounters. They should be a meeting place for the culture and character of Mosman.
Successful public space should be accessible and adaptable. If the space is flexible it may be programmed to supplement the occasional needs of other Civic Centre programs. The Library, the Art Gallery, community services and Council Chambers all require outdoor spaces that may be configured in a variety of ways.
The current network of public spaces near Spit Junction are dysfunctional and underutilised due to their location and the surrounding buildings.
The Northern end of Myahgah Road is a pedestrian street named ‘Mosman Square’. The space is filled with impediments to its functionality and legibility. Stairs, statues, water features and garden beds inhibit the street from hosting larger groups of people. In addition, low hanging branches block sight lines through the street.
‘The Village Green’ is a 35 x 25 metre grass space to the South of the Council Chambers building. The space is used for the Mosman Markets but is under-utilised most of the time, as it is not connected to any building function. It is surrounded by equally ambiguous public space. To the West is a 300sqm, non-trafficable garden bed that isolates the Village green from being activated by retail tenancies further north. The car park to the East is an undesirable place to linger. In addition, the Village Green sits adjacent to the more scenic Mosman Park and its green space.
The solution is a series of clearly linked public spaces each with specific, individual character. The surrounding buildings should activate the space with certain activities to imply an outdoor use.
Mosman Square: view looking North from Mosman Square towards Military Road
At the Northern/Military Road end, the gentle slope of Mosman Square could act as an informal amphitheatre for outdoor performances or cinema, establishing a relationship with the Library and Multipurpose space inside. Garden beds and obstacles should be removed to allow events to occur in the space. Planting could be retained, formalised and pruned to the canopy, providing shade as well as sight lines through to Mosman Park. The space could accommodate occasional outdoor performances by groups such as the Mosman Orchestra. The Village Green could be shifted sideways to occupy the Southern end of Mosman Square. The space should be loosely paved and covered in grass. It could remain the home of the Mosman Markets encouraging gradual expansion North towards Military Rd. At all other times the space would serve as a water sensitive, grassed transition connecting Mosman Square to Mosman Park. The Village Green could take on the tree-lined, boulevard character of The Crescent bound on both edges by residential and ground floor retail development.
Public art may be an effective way to link the ensemble of outdoor spaces. Encouraging the connection between exterior public space and interior art galleries.