Nature and knowledge inspire new Sippy Downs entry statement
  • Wednesday 12 June 2019

A stunning new installation is set to create a striking entry statement at the corner of Sippy Downs Drive and University Way that will define the gateway to Sippy Downs and Town Centre Precinct.

Delivered as part of the Sippy Downs Drive upgrade, Sunshine Coast Council partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and community stakeholders to create an eye-catching design which pays tribute to the area’s natural beauty and knowledge capabilities.

Two large wing inspired sculptures will be complemented by native plant species, along with digital information about the flora and fauna of Sippy Downs.

Footpath art will be created with the help of school children and there will also be seating, a water bubbler and bins inspired by a local caterpillar species.

Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said the innovative design was the result of a special Place Co-Lab initiative, which saw USC students, council’s placemaking team and community representatives attend workshops for two months to develop the detailed proposal. 

“A Place Co-Lab combines placemaking, a process that collaborates with the community to create public spaces that connect to the place and a collaboration laboratory, a dedicated environment to explore, investigate and design,” Cr Dickson said.

“It is an exciting new process of community led-design and the finished product is a genuine reflection of many thoughtful contributions.

“The focus was on invigorating this major Sippy Downs intersection not just for motorists but for cyclists and pedestrians too.

“While we wanted an entry statement that was aesthetically appealing, participants had a shared goal of building a human connection to local nature and wildlife through the design. 

“Providing the opportunity for USC students to gain practical project knowledge and be fully immersed in the design process has allowed them to not only let their emerging design abilities shine, but gain valuable professional skills while contributing to the community.

“This custom design will help strengthen Sippy Down’s identity as a hub of educational excellence and a superb environment to live, work and play in.”  

Dr Nicholas Stevens, USC Program Coordinator for Urban Design and Town Planning, said the initiative offered an exciting approach to cooperative and community integrated learning for USC. 

“To be able to partner with council and the community on local real-world projects allows everyone an opportunity to reconsider the way we design and deliver both our teaching programs and community-oriented projects,” Dr Stevens said. 

“It is such a great outcome, that for years to come, the students will to be able to pass through this important intersection and know they have contributed to it being a distinct place on the Sunshine Coast.”    

The entry statement is part of the fourth and final stage of the Sippy Downs Drive upgrade currently underway between the Sunshine Motorway and Siena College.

Set to be delivered by December, the project includes duplicating traffic lanes in both directions along Sippy Downs Drive to enable four lanes of traffic (two each way) and changing the existing roundabout at University Way/Sippy Downs Drive to become a four-way signalised intersection.

Other changes will also be implemented to improve traffic flow, along with safety and beautification measures like street lighting and new trees and plants.