Bowden project to reflect local heritage

20 Jul 2011

The South Australian Government has confirmed its commitment to ensuring an important part of Adelaide’s early industrial heritage will be retained in the $1 billion Bowden Urban Village project.

Bowden was the site of one of the first villages and train stations outside the City of Adelaide dating back to 1839, when it was the location of such key trades as brick making and leather production.

The 16-hectare site comprising the former Clipsal and gasworks businesses is now being transformed by the State Government’s Land Management Corporation into a flagship residential, retail and office development that will eventually be home to about 3,500 people.

LMC Chief Executive Wayne Gibbings said a just-completed cultural mapping study has identified and recorded key historical elements of the 16-hectare site and recommended ways to incorporate them into the new development.

“The Bowden Urban Village project will be one of South Australia’s most exciting urban developments and it is important the development reflects the area’s rich character and personality,” Mr Gibbings said.

“Bowden has long been a place for community, transport and industry in South Australia and we want to recognise these themes in the new precinct.”

The cultural mapping study, undertaken by Adelaide firm DASH Architects, extensively reviewed the built environment and included consultation with a number of local community groups as well as interviews with former Clipsal and gasworks employees.

Mr Gibbings said in line with the study’s recommendations, the project will reflect the area’s distinctive industrial heritage through a variety of techniques:

  • Retaining and recycling materials such as steel trusses, old signage, pipe work, wooden beams, clay bricks and bluestone from soon-to-be demolished structures for re-use in reserves, public spaces and streetscapes.
  • Renovating the local heritage-listed former Park View Hotel on Park Terrace into a café and information centre.
  • Retaining selected buildings with industrial character (such as ‘saw-tooth roof’ warehouses dating from the 1950s and 1960s) for renovation and re-use as market spaces and community activities.
  • Investigating how the area’s industrial heritage can be captured through public art and interpretative signage.

Mr Gibbings says the LMC is still to consider and decide on other recommendations contained in the comprehensive study report.

“We are also determined to continue our consultation with the local community on how best to reflect the area’s past into the future of what will be an innovative ‘walkable community’ for Adelaide,” he said.

“This attention to the past is an essential part of making a place for the future and goes far beyond our statutory obligations regarding State and locally listed heritage items.”

Lyn O’Grady, Chair of Adelaide and Inner Suburbs Branch of the National Trust SA, one of the community groups involved in the study, said the former Clipsal and gasworks sites formed one of South Australia’s most significant industrial hubs for well over one hundred years.

“Many people who worked here also lived and raised families in the Bowden and Brompton areas. This community made an enormous contribution to the fabric of the State and this study is an important step to ensuring this is recognised and preserved for future generations,” Ms O’Grady said.

LMC has commissioned Taylor Cullity Lethlean to head up a design team for the public realm, comprising the roads, parks and other open space. TCL will identify opportunities to incorporate the cultural mapping study’s recommendations into the development of the site’s public spaces.

LMC is also looking at partnering with a range of stakeholders including local community groups to look at further opportunities to reflect the site’s history and culture.

Through LMC, the State Government is investing more than $264 million to transform the former industrial site into Adelaide’s flagship higher density development incorporating design excellence, community enhancement and environmental sustainability. A further $750 million in private sector investment will eventually see the development provide over 2,200 dwellings for more than 3,500 people.

The first land sales to private developers are expected to commence later this year with the first sales to the public in 2012-13.

For further information contact:

Eric Wisgard, Director, Communications
Tel: 08 8207 1300
Mob: 0400 747 149
Fax: 08 8207 1301
[email protected]

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