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Chapel Plaza returned to the community
Glenelg’s brand-new precinct - Chapel Plaza - is open and has been returned to the community to enjoy.
The transformed space was once a roadway and is now a spacious pedestrian plaza with a new central arbour and landscaping, creative lighting and lots of seating.
City of Holdfast Bay Mayor Amanda Wilson was thrilled to see the project – which is the first stage of the Jetty Road Masterplan - revealed after the six-month long construction phase.
“The delivery of stage one of the Jetty Road Masterplan will showcase how community spaces can operate differently, prioritise pedestrian movements and encourage people to explore the precinct by foot,” Mayor Wilson said at the opening of Chapel Plaza on Friday, 29 October.
“But also, it shows how spaces can create a sense of connection and place that encourage people to stay longer and live more locally, which is a positive for businesses in the area”.
A stand-out feature of the new space is a 3-metre-tall sculpture which was created by South Australian artist Michael Kutschbach. Titled Sesquipedalian Sea Squirt, it was inspired by varying colours and shapes of local sea squirts found on Glenelg beach.
“South Australia has one of the richest varieties of these sea squirts in the world and they're a wonderful - they can be all sorts of wonderful colour and they represent lots of different ideas,” Michael said.
“They're filter feeders so in terms of the environment, these creatures are the first to show signs of stress in the water environment.”
Michael worked on the sculpture for more than four months at his Hawthorndene art studio and hopes it will arouse curiosity in those who come across it.
“I hope it’ll come across as a very friendly, strange thing – one that arouses curiosity,” Michael said.
“It’s a generous, fun, colourful and responsive sculpture. And given the textures on it, it’ll be irresistible to touch.”
Across the road, Hindmarsh Lane has also been upgraded as part of the precinct’s $3.6 million transformation.
There are new toilet facilities which provide inclusive services for the community, including a parent room, accessible toilets and facilities for people with profound disabilities who require assistance from their carers.
Council is working towards achieving Changing Places status for one of the toilets which will see the facility placed on a national register to formally identify the facilities for people with profound disabilities
A new arbour sculpture, which reflects colour and light on to surfaces during the day and night, will be installed in the coming weeks.
The State Government part funded the project with a $1.8 million grant through the Planning and Development Fund.
Minister for Planning and Local Government, Hon Vickie Chapman helped unveil Chapel Plaza along with Mayor Wilson and Member for Morphett Stephen Patterson.
About the artist
Michael Kutschbach is a South Australian based artist and currently teaches at the South Australia School of Art.
Michael studied art in Victoria, South Australia and in London and has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. He has been part of solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Singapore, UK, Italy and the US.
Visit Michael's website to see more of his work - michaelkutschbach.com
Or follow him on Instagram.