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Pirrima Park Building Ensemble


Hill Thalis Architecture+Urban Projects

NSW & ACT Entries 2010

The enlarged Pirrama Park at Pyrmont Point, brings the formerly alienated public land of the Water Police site into the public realm. The collaborative design for the City of Sydney began with the Master Plan in 2005 and continued through detailed design and documentation between 2006-2008, with the construction stage now just completed.

The plan for Pirrama Park creates a flexible park structure that allows for a variety of uses. The broad master plan structure created a series of clearly defined spaces or park rooms. Habitat restoration informed the planting proposals for the new park. The park includes over 150 new trees for the park, of which 80% are endemic to the Pyrmont peninsula.

The Canopy and Belvedere provide a welcoming entrance and civic-scaled shelter for the new two-hectare Pirrama Park in Pyrmont, announcing its presence to city and harbour. The north end provides a grand protected entry into the park, while its south end extends over the Belvedere to provide a more intimate yet elevated viewing terrace. The Canopy and Belvedere uses passive design to maximize natural lighting and ventilation, and prominently features a rhythmic, undulating timber-battened soffit. Recycled Blue Gum battens are aligned towards the bay, replicating the water’s refractions, then fastened by custom made steel J-bolts.

All built elements of Pirrama Park - its shade pavilions, stair, and Canopy and Belvedere - have been designed as ecologically sound, long life/low energy use buildings. The robust maritime associations, historic Goodlet + Smith timber mill until 1927, use of a renewable resource, and the warm character of timber were factors contributing toward the selection and use of timber. Timber use is also part of a material strategy in which materials are integral to their finish, and promote their durability and robustness appropriate to a public situation. Reused Australian Blackbutt from the site is featured on park handrails and custom built benches, renewable plantation Spotted Gum on decks, recycled Sydney Blue Gum is used on building screens and sliding doors with iron bark is showcased on the belvedere deck, handrail and roof canopy soffit. All recycled hardwoods surfaces have a protective oil finish.

Today, the park is basking in human enjoyment, the sheltered bay spontaneously used for fishing, wading, swimming, small boat launching all non programmed uses! Enlivened by human occupation, the timber battens used in the Canopy and Belvedere most memorably mark the point of transition between the consolidated urbanity of Pyrmont and the softer environmental qualities of the expansive waterfront park."
Entered into:
  • Public or Commercial Buildings, 2010
  • Best Use Of Recycled Timber, 2010
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