M4 Widening, Under the Viaduct
The largely unloved and forgotten space under the M4 Motorway viaduct between Harris Park and Granville has been given a new lease of life. Brightly coloured super-graphics, planting, seating and ground paving works have rejuvenated the environment, providing safer recreation, pedestrian and bicycle access for the local community.
The site—a marginal 1.5km long strip of land with limited solar and rain access—is intersected by over one hundred structural concrete pillars supporting the viaduct overhead. Past development of the M4 Motorway had disrupted the urban grid, providing ambiguous access, low safety levels, a fragmented sense of space and lack of amenity.
Creating place with colour
Our design uses placemaking and wayfinding interventions to improve connectivity: ‘nodes’ are created at each intersection aligning with surrounding streets. Three bright coloured paints—a lime green, neon pink and yellow—have been used to paint vibrant super-graphics on the concrete pillars clustered around each node.
Adopting a street-art-like style befitting the local character, the super-graphic images are two-dimensional abstract interpretations of activities related to the space (such as walking the dog, running, cycling and walking). They are accompanied by large format vertical names of connecting streets (such as ‘Good’, ‘Wigram’ and ‘Junction’). A simple and cost-effective solution, these painted super-graphics make each node visible from all directions, improve wayfinding and create a sense of place at each of the cycling and pedestrian intersections.
We helped to create restful places of pause—such as pocket parks—in leftover and transitory spaces.Mary Anne McGirr