Public Amenities at Blaxland Riverside Park

Round and Round

The revitalization of the river’s edge at the former Sydney Olympic site called for public facilities and park-lands to support new recreational activity in the area.

Part of the brief was the development of public amenities. The proposal divided the amenities into three small, spiraling modules, reducing the overall bulk and scale of the buildings.

The spirals are clad in timber slats that are widely spaced at the entrance and then ever more tightly spaced as the spiral curls inward. This allows the inner part of the spiral to be more private with the outer part more open and visible. Natural light filters between the slats and through a skylight i the roof. The slats are also allow cross-ventilation, capturing the breezes flowing along the river.

All materials are left in a raw state expressing their materiality; oiled Australian hardwood slats, clear-sealed concrete slabs and rusted weathering steel roofs. The exception is the gloss painted underside of the steel roof in green, blue, yellow, reflecting light into the buildings.

The spiral plan avoids corners so that the pavilions are perceived as receding elements in the landscape. The roofs are highly visible as they are viewed from the parkland above as three rust-orange circles playfully dotting the river’s edge.

Location: Blaxland Riverside Park, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush NSW, Australia 33°49’30.74″S, 151°3’43.13″E
Date: 2007
Design team: Thierry Lacoste, David Stevenson, Chloe Lanser, Amelia Holiday, Kristina Mikas, Jane Bober
Landscape architect: Hargreaves
Structural engineer: Simpson Design Associates
Photography / images: Lacoste+Stevenson Architects, Eric Sierins