“The Theatre of the Beach”
Henley Beach, Adelaide South Australia
Work in Association:
Julian Raxworthy [website]
People gathering. Excellent a performance on the Pier! Whilst many lounge around enjoying the beach below the deployed shade.
The Town Square
A Town Square on Seaview Road maintains a civic space for Henley Square for people to congregate at community events such as local festivals and farmer’s markets, and provides a formal termination of Main Street, with views down to the Sandpit.
Part sculpture, part infrastructure the Poles support the Deployable Shade and facilitate lights, play elements, communication and power, recalling the Henley pole sitters of old.
The Deployable Shade
The Deployable Shade manipulates shadow, in winter opening to sun and sky, and in summer protecting people on the Square and the Sandpit from the heat of the sun, an idea borrowed from Mediterranean towns.
The Urban Garden
Intricate planting beneath Port Jackson Figs (Ficus rubiginosa) in the Urban Garden creates a shaded microclimate on the edge of the Town Square.
The beach is central to the identity of the Square, yet Henley Square has been cut off from it. The Sandpit reinforces this identity, making play on the beach literally part of the square and covering it with Deployable Shade to allow constant activity.
The Pier was the original Theatre of the Beach, a place to promenade, now lost to a bygone era. We reinvigorate this tradition by drawing the Pier back into the square, and making it a dramatic stage for the Sandpit.
A Bosque of Tuckeroo’s (Cupaniopsis anacardiodes) shades a peninsular that protrudes past the existing seawall, providing an opportunity to survey the beach and a forecourt to the Surf Club.
The grassed areas of Henley Square were popular with users and the Green continues this, allowing informal play and ball sports, strategically shaded with Monkey Puzzle Trees (Araucaria araucana).