Charlwood Design's Director, Paul Charlwood was recently featured in an article in The Age Melbourne Magazine showcasing innovative design research for the future of Melbourne.
What is it? Commonwealth Avenue - a conceptual design for Kings Way that would create a shared transport route for trams, cars, bikes and pedestrians and incorporate water and solar energy collection.
Who's doing it? Charlwood Design - who created the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Queen's baton - came up with the concept as an internal exercise to try and add beauty and function to a major traffic feeder into the city. The team wanted to bring different modes of transport - bicycles, cars, trams and pedestrians - together in a sustainable way. "It's a reflection of Dandenong Road and the avenue down there," says Paul Charlwood. "I always loved the old overhead tram poles that are Victorian structures in their own right." The joint carriageway would be better than Copenhagen-style lanes "that are an afterthought", he says. "Kings Way is crying out for something to be done and this could be a great example - making a feature out of the overhead tram poles so they are more elegant and then the water and solar collection are the sustainability side. They could feed down to street plantings or parks nearby."
Could it work? With government backing, Charlwood believes construction could start within a couple of years. "It's already starting to look more logical and contemporary. As we start to swing out of the GFC," he says, "sustainability issues will come back onto the agenda."