Pirrama Park

ASPECT Studios: Pirrama Park, on Sydney’s waterfront is a 1.8 hectare transformative urban parkland project – borne from community action. It restores the powerful relationship of the city to the water and delivers unique, waterside community facilities, innovative sustainable components including solar energy and far reaching storm water (WSUD) initiatives. Pirrama Park transforms a fenced-off post industrial concrete slab into a richly varied urban waterfront parkland. The sandstone geology of Sydney creates its world renowned headlands, cliffs and harbour landscape which offer sublime views to and from the harbour. Unlike other recent harbour parks which used topography and the drama of sandstone to great effect, Pirrama Park had a flat, tectonic, and feature-less base – a legacy of its industrial past. We inherited a slab of concrete with barely 1-2 metres of variation across the site. The challenge of the design process was to craft a response through a reading of the site – both past and present.

The highly awarded design provides a variety of places for harbour side enjoyment. It is structured by a series of park rooms and multiple new paths. The waterfront promenade around the foreshore is the backbone to the park, and an important link in the 14km network of open space. Significant marine engineering at the harbour edge created a sheltered bay and reveals the former shoreline of the site. The park creates recreation opportunities along the waterfront, offering the opportunity to step down and engage with the water. It features a new public square at the waters’ edge, defined by the sandstone cliff on the curve of Pirrama Road, the canopy, pavilion and indented bay. This sunny, sheltered place can accommodate a range of public uses including cultural events and performances, meetings, markets, festivals and the like, appropriate to the evolving urbanity of the area. The integrated site specific play space has quickly become an attraction for both locals and district visitors alike. The water play elements, reclaimed sandstone and natural setting have successfully catered for a growing population of families in the inner city.

Pirrama Park is the recipient of the 2010 AILA NSW Awards – ‘The Medal’, 2010 AIA National Awards – Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design, 2010 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards – Public Playspaces – District Parks in collaboration with Fiona Robbé Landscape Architects and the 2010 AILA National Awards – Planning.

Team: ASPECT Studios in collaboration with Hill Thalis Architects, CAB Consulting
Project Title: Pirrama Park
Location: Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont, Sydney
Client: City of Sydney Council
Photographers: Florian Groehn, Adrian Boddy
Budget: AUS$26 million
Scope: Master planning, concept design, design development, documentation
Area: 1.8 ha
Completion date: 2010

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