Village Centre Redevelopment
Whitsunday – Airlie Beach
The Whitsunday Regional Council recognised that the heart of Airlie Beach has lost its charm as a tropical costal village. With haphazard growth amenity and scenic values have suffered and the whole village centre required a major makeover.
Issues identified included the existing traffic and car parking network, pedestrian and bike pathways, storm water runoff in periods of excess rain, ‘Greening’ the village centre and the rehabilitation of Airlie Creek.
It was imperative to improve the user-friendliness of the town centre for the local community as well as visitors.
The ambience both during the day and at night was to be conducive to the enjoyment of all users of the commercial precinct. The connectivity between the Coral Sea, the village heart and the surrounding hill slopes was of prime importance. The connectivity was on a number of levels visual links, pedestrian movement, landscaping elements and integration of future projects into the new urban fabric.
Shute Harbour Road was developed into a low speed traffic route focused on local vehicular movement and within a priority pedestrian friendly environment. Raised road sections, changes in pattern, colour and texture, introduced landscape elements, urban furniture and a wider pavement emphasised the dominance of pedestrians over vehicles.
The heart of Airlie Beach was transformed into a green oasis conveying a sense of tranquility, calm and closeness with nature within the vibrant streetscape of the village centre.
The rehabilitate Airlie Creek provides a major ‘green link’ between the adjacent hillsides and the shoreline and creates a special sense of space within the village centre.
Hunt Design developed an Architectural Guidelines Manual as an adjunct to the Town Plan setting out the means by which architects can design buildings with styles and features consistent with a tropical seaside village.
Waterson Way was reaffirmed as the primary through traffic bypass of Airlie Beach township and downgrade Shute Harbour Road to be used primarily for local traffic.
Landscape Architectural Guidelines were established to ensure that all streetscape, park and open space and all other new ‘greenscape’ works throughout the Village Centre evoked a special ‘sense of place’ that is tropical Airlie Beach.