Making Adelaide Loveable

“How do we make Adelaide a loveable city, not just a liveable city?” was a key question posed to those who attended the Adelaide Future City seminar hosted by the Capital City Committee.

The keynote speaker, Barry Barton from Right Angle Studio, encouraged attendees to not be overly sentimental about old buildings, rather to view them as opportunities for “regenerative development” or “upcycling”.

Adelaide has a history of clever upcycling of historic buildings and sites, with some of the more well-known examples including the Medina Grand Hotel in the former Treasury building and Skycity Casino in the Adelaide Railway Station building.  Examples of this type of development that URPS has been involved in recent years also include:

  • Planning approvals for:

– the Old Adelaide Gaol as an entertainment venue
– the Adelaide Film Studio at Glenside (former hospital)
– the Jam Factory at Seppeltsfield (former stables/cooperage/warehouse)

  • Planning guidelines for the Tonsley and Bowden precincts.

The Minister for Planning, the Hon John Rau, also reinforced the Government’s focus on the upcycling of former commercial buildings as another way of increasing the residential population in the city.  This has been successfully done in the past at the Air Apartments in Eastwood, Unihouse in Rundle Mall, the Queen Victoria Apartments in Dulwich and The Watson in Walkerville.

Most would agree that the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval took a great thing and made it better, indeed loveable.  A key element of this transformation was the retention of some of the key elements of its established character – the historic score board and views of the fig trees and cathedral at the northern end.  The types of upcycling projects mentioned above also play their part in making Adelaide loveable, regenerating and enhancing what we already have.

At URPS, we also consider the connection to nature/recreation opportunities in Adelaide via the Park Lands, the hills and the coast, as well as its easy urbanity (e.g. navigable grid pattern, low-levels of pollution, level topography, accessible airport, great weather), to be key aspects of Adelaide’s lovability.  But do we capitalise on these assets as much as we should?  Perhaps we should view projects such as upcycling the ORAH site and Cleland Conservation Park as things that will make Adelaide loveable, not just liveable.