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Green space, temporary shelters and a playground have been proposed for King George Square in Brisbane City.
King George Square has previously been criticised by Brisbane City Council opposition councillors who have called it a "monumental stuff-up" and the "ashtray of the CBD".
In May, opposition leader Peter Cumming said the square, which once had grass and fountains, had become $28 million worth of grey, desolate, sweltering dead space.
Several final-year architecture students have redesigned King George Square as part of a Plus Architecture competition.
A Plus Architecture spokeswoman said King George Square was chosen as it was a high-profile public space with a well-documented history of adaptation and varied uses.
"We are interested in exploring how to impact civic space, from small-scale interventions through to big-picture urban thinking," she said.
Entries received had a variety of approaches, with some proposing a singular installation within the existing square, while others rethought the entire precinct.
The winner will be announced late in August.
Give the public realm back to the people
Ally Salonen's design for King George Square featured integrated spaces and arbour-covered pathways.
"The new King George Square aims to give the public realm back to the people," Miss Salonen said.
"Allowing for green space within the site was a give-in – not only does the site have no shading and is often hot and harsh in the summer, it is a concrete square that offers no relief from the city living."
Ms Salonen said she drew inspiration from South Bank's bougainvillea arbours and wanted to bring something similar to the square.
"They really integrate greenery and nature into that area there and that's something we don't have in the CBD," she said.
The 21-year-old's design also encouraged ownership of space in the square by creating designated spaces for different uses, such as seating, green space and food trucks and stalls.
"A city square is always going to be a thoroughfare, so when you look at it at the moment particular events are there and people can't really use the space when it's being used for particular events," Ms Salonen said.
"It's a public square that's being used for private, exclusive events."
Respond to the current happenings on the site
Patricia Magistrado believed the square already had lots of space for pedestrian movements and needed further seating and covered areas.
She said the current lack of shaded areas could result in excessive heat and the stone paving in the square created glare.
Ms Magistrado's solution was to introduce simple, small-scale temporary structures that were relatively lightweight, low-cost and could be assembled and transported easily.
"It features two spatial formations in which the structures can be utilised to adapt to the current climate or respond to the current happenings on the site such as the yearly cultural festival," she said.
"However, this urban intervention can also serve as a social platform for people to freely use for casual gatherings, rest stops or have a module for street performance or a market stall."
Users will feel persuaded to walk around and explore
Greenery, laneways and even a children's playground have been proposed for King George Square by Christopher Ho.
Mr Ho said his proposed development would mean the space was not only used as a thoroughfare, but more as a destination.
"The new proposal 'Urban Curiosity' transforms a neglected space into a space of exploration and discovery in the heart of Brisbane city," he said.
"The objective of this proposal is to introduce the pop-up store culture into our vast Brisbane city lifestyle and culture."
Mr Ho's design included spaces between alleyways that were designed to encourage people to enter, walk around and explore.
Within the space, a children's playground was proposed.
Multi-level level hub designed for all uses
Troy Pearce's design proposed paths for pedestrians and cyclists as well as spaces for international food stores and an art space.
Mr Pearce said the roads were raised and integrated with cultural elements to give pedestrians priority.
"This gives pedestrians access to far more of the CBD without needing to navigate road crossings," he said
"To represent the vast history of our Indigenous Australians there are two large art spaces on the pedestrian level.
"To bridge the cultural gap between our immigrant population food stalls have been placed in the centre of the pedestrian space."
Mr Pearce's design also provided cycle paths designed to ease traffic and frustration.
For images of the designs and source; http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/green-space-shelters-and-playground-proposed-for-king-george-square-20170724-gxhzq2.html