Newforms saw The Grove Library & Community Learning Centre landscaping project as an opportunity to demonstrate new ideas in what a Perth civic park setting could be.
Designed by Newforms, as part of the team led by Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland, the library precinct was built by PS Structures, with Phase3 Landscape Construction providing building services for the soft landscaping and special features, such as the sensory playground, light cubes and water feature.
The parkland that surrounds the building has a number of different features, including a hardscape civic plaza, sedgelands, native gardens with endemic West Australian flora, reading areas, a play space and pathways.
It fulfils a number of functions, with a hardscape civic plaza, native gardens with endemic WA flora, sedge lands, plus grass and reading areas, produce gardens, play space, transitions and pathways.
Dewey Decimal numbers are found throughout the landscape, allowing school groups to walk around the grounds, observe some of the features, take note of the number adjacent, then discover more information in relation to the feature in the library using the reference number.
Environmentally sustainable design initiatives were achieved in a number of ways, including exploring the rainwater tanks to form part of the structure of the sensory playground, demonstration sedge land water treatment cells, and viewing windows to areas such as first flush tanks for the rainwater system and the thermal maze.
The site is located at a low point of a major stormwater catchment area. Newforms designed an open sedge land basin that, in storm events, fills before the soak well system and then subsides again soon afterwards.
The reticulation system has an Australian-first system of urine separation from blackwater, which is stored then dosed for fertigation into the main reticulation system.
The hardscape was designed with a final vision to complement the building itself, and the use of local products and recycled materials was a core driver in the hardscaping treatments.