Bendigo Chinese Precinct

Location \ 1 Bridge Street, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Client \ City of Greater Bendigo
Consultants \ MGS Architects, Osborne Consulting & Cardno Grogon Richards (Civil and Structural Engineering), Electrolight (Lighting Design), Mothers Art (Sculpture Detail Design and Fabrication), Proactive (Electrical Engineering), Slattery (Quantity Surveyors)
Budget \ AUD $4.5 Million

Bendigo is a regional city founded on the 1850’s Gold Rush when it was once the richest city in the world. Strategic planning for the city aims to sustain its growth as a prominent regional business & education hub and promote tourism. A key part of the strategy is to improve civic spaces to increase pedestrian connections, legibility and contribution to public life.

The Bendigo Chinese Precinct is located on the Bendigo Creek at the edge of the city centre and botanic parklands. The site was once occupied by Chinese miners during the gold rush and is now home to the Golden Dragon Museum, a centre for Chinese cultural heritage, which plas a significant part in Bendigo’s public life. The new precinct provides a much needed large open air plaza to host public events.

RWA’s design for the precinct reflects the relationship to the museum and regional materials. The space is split over two levels with landscaped terraces providing seating and access. The lower plaza acts as an amphitheatre forecourt and is paved in Chinese granite with the river delta pattern referencing the homeland of the Chinese miners and is inscribed with the historic Chinese name for Bendigo, Big Gold Mountain. The upper level bridges the creek and is paved in a local slate with natural colour variation and iron pyrites (fool’s gold) speckling.

Planting is inspired by Chinese history and landscapes, with conifers and bamboo forming the primary planting character, low level indigenous species and swale planting is part of the water sensitive urban design. The three abstract flowers, Lotus, Chrysanthemum and Allium, are important visual signifiers which identify the precinct from key views while defining the character of the new space and contributing to the night time activation of the plaza.

Read more here on the Regional Development Victoria Success Stories