Transformation of Queanbeyan, Australia

The joint collaboration between Stewart Architecture, Stewart Hollenstein, and Aspect Studios was both the overall winner and the winner of the “civic precinct” in the Downtown Q 2025 International design ideas competition for Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia. As one of the fastest growing regional centres in New South Wales, Queanbeyan serves as place of great opportunity to live and do business, with the town’s proximity to Canberra being advantageous in leveraging future investment in business and industry clusters in Queanbeyan itself.

The scheme “Rivertown: Queanbeyan 2025”, proposes to create a more walkable and connected city and sees the re-positioning of the Queanbeyan River as the heart of an expanded town centre. This body of water is Queanbeyan’s greatest asset and is central to providing an opportunity for the area to have a unique character. Riverfront Park Precinct occupies the centre of town and will become a focal point for the recreation, cultural and social activities of the community. Expanded park facilities on the river banks will offer places for events, leisure, play and respite with in an improved River ecology. New City spaces throughout redefined Urban core provide a range of opportunities for the growing community. These public spaces include a significant Civic Square, a local village Square, a revitalised river parkland and a vibrant Heritage Square all connected by network of new pedestrian ways. The Civic Square will be the new cultural hub for Queanbeyan focusing as a forecourt for the Q Theatre as the public centrepiece for new civic and mixed-development uses.

A re-energised Monaro Street, the main street of Queanbeyan will be transformed by greenery and increased places for people to conduct life in the street. New Pedestrian and Cycle connections provide a city loop as well as connections to surrounding neighbourhoods. The existing Queens Bridge will be reinvented as a generous pedestrian and event place that will again reconnect the city with the river while creating a major new symbol for the city and a new destination for visitors to Queanbeyan.

A jury chaired by leading Australian Architect John Wardle described the winning proposal;: ”This design presented a ‘big idea’ with the strategic potential to retain and enhance the best of Queanbeyan while facilitating essential future growth and diversification. … This is a transformative urban framework idea that deserves to be implemented.”

The Jury has awarded its discretionary prize money for the overall Downtown Q competition to the project „Clearwater“ by McGregor Coxall. The project NGAMBRI Q by McGregor Coxall won the Development Quarter Commercial Q. The project by Impuls Arquitectos is the winner of Residential Q.