Overview

Community and CultureParks and Gardens

Client
Mount Isa City Council

Collaborators
Bligh Tanner
Multitech Solutions
SJM Hydraulics

Disciplines
Landscape Architecture
Urban Design

Location
Mount Isa, QLD

Date
2023

Imagery
Mathieson Imagery
Cristina Patuwai

Awards
2024 AILA Landscape Architecture Award – Civic Landscape (QLD)
2024 AILA Regional Achievement Award (QLD)

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Centennial Place is a vibrant civic space in the heart of Mount Isa, commemorating a century of the region’s mining history while addressing the community's demand for accessible public spaces.

When reflecting on 100 years of Mount Isa’s mining industry, Tract aimed to celebrate all aspects of this history. We were guided by our engagement with the 100 Years Advisory Committee, which included representatives from state and local government, tourism, education, mining, Kalkadoon PBC, and community groups.

Opening in late 2023, Centennial Place is a vibrant civic space in the heart of Mount Isa, commemorating a century of the region’s mining industry while addressing the community’s demand for accessible public spaces. The project aimed to rejuvenate a neglected area into a modern civic centre, addressing a significant gap in Mount Isa’s urban landscape.

Centennial place mt isa
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Connectedness is at the heart of Centennial Place. As the first project to develop from the CBD master plan, it creates a landmark from which future connections can grow. It provides travellers along the Barkly Highway with a welcoming rest area and pedestrians from Miles Street with a destination. By revitalising the CBD’s neglected edge, Centennial Place promotes community activation and engagement.

Crime and vandalism is an ongoing issue in Mount Isa, with caged and boarded up windows on shopfronts and most street furniture removed, making it an unfriendly streetscape to navigate. We implemented several strategies to ensure Centennial Place would succeed as an accessible, robust community space.

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The site includes on-site storage for furniture and play elements, anti-graffiti coatings, and well-lit public toilets with clear sightlines from the car park. The addition of public seating, drinking fountains and bins addresses a shortage of these features in the CBD.

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Centennial Place proudly showcases local artwork, infusing the space with vibrant colours and a strong sense of community identity. The shipping container kitchens and neighbouring walls serve as canvases for a diverse array of pieces by both local and visiting artists, including murals by renowned artists such as The Zookeeper and DRAPL, and local Kalkutungu artist Sheree Blackley.

These artworks pay homage to Kalkadoon culture, the region’s natural beauty, and the early days of mining life, serving as powerful expressions of heritage and creativity. They enrich the atmosphere of Centennial Place with stories and imagery that resonate deeply with locals and visitors alike. The ten pillars of the cantilevered shelter narrate the story of each decade from 1923 to 2023.

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Centennial Place supports the Mount Isa economy by championing local businesses through three shipping containers fitted with permanent kitchens.

These containers aim to foster partnerships with local food and beverage businesses, especially during community events. In partnership with Mount Isa City Council, Centennial Place advances opportunities for business growth and area activation, reinforcing and restoring the Mount Isa CBD as a vibrant and liveable city.

Activation and flexibility are key to the success of Centennial Place. The design offers informal recreational spaces for individuals and small groups, along with ample seating and a large, sloped lawn for bigger community events. The design prioritises shade and lighting, ensuring the space can be used day and night.

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Unlike many places in the outback, water is an abundant resource in Mount Isa and is celebrated throughout Centennial Place. Undercover splash play provides a cool respite from the harsh north-Queensland climate, while misting poles pay homage to the iconic mining stacks that dominate the Mount Isa skyline.

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Centennial Place has revitalised the area by creating a comfortable, pedestrian-friendly environment that is cool and active. The space contributes to the local quality of life and supports the town’s cultural heritage and economic development.