Friday, April 19, 2024

First Nations design revealed for Barangaroo park

A First Nations-led design for Sydney’s Harbour Park at Barangaroo has been revealed, showing how an empty concrete slab will be transformed into a regenerated natural retreat in the heart of the city.

The NSW Government says Harbour Park will be 1.85 hectares of open space and will become a place where people can explore, play, rest, discover and reconnect to nature, alongside Sydney’s iconic harbour.

First Nations-led and Sydney based design team AKIN’s vision for the park features nature play for all ages and abilities, an event lawn for hosting community and cultural events with up to 6000 people, public art installations, winding pathways to explore, extensive native planting and interactive water features.

“Announcing the winner of the design competition for Harbour Park is a massive milestone for the project, and we are excited to share the first designs of the park, from this local and First Nations-led design team,” said Acting NSW Premier, Prue Car.

“Harbour Park is on the traditional lands of the Gadigal, who have been the custodians of the land and waterways for millennia. The park continues the precinct’s commitment to honouring the role of First Nations people, the history of the site and its wider context.

“The new park will be an inclusive, family friendly place, with experiences for all ages and abilities. I am looking forward to seeing this incredible design come to life.”

The Minister said the design honours the long and deep First Nations history of the Gadigal, while leaving a legacy for the future. It showcases First Nations design methodologies to create a place that is rich in culture and deeply connected to Country, she said.

An open design competition was held to attract the best designers from Australia and around the world. A jury chaired by former Prime Minister, Paul Keating and comprising leading figures from the local and international design community selected the winner out of five finalists.

The AKIN team is comprised of Yerrabingin, Architectus, Jacob Nash Studio, Studio Chris Fox and Flying Fish Blue, with Arup as engineering consultants.

The team will consult with the community to refine and finalise the design and begin planning and procurement processes.

Key features of AKIN’s design for Harbour Park include:

  • a landscape with extensive planting, canopy cover, waterways and ponds;
  • nature play for all ages and abilities with shallow water pools, interactive water features, meandering pathways, toilets and a kiosk;
  • a series of significant public artworks that will be places of exploration, play, education, shade and celebration;
  • a large event lawn at the northern end of the site for community and cultural events and ceremonies, capable of hosting up to 6,000 people.

Yerrabingin co-founder Christian Hampson, on behalf of AKIN’s family of designers and artists, said they were incredibly honoured and humbled to be part of such a defining public project, weaving together the threads of landscape, art, and architecture.

“For us, this is much more than a park – it’s a place for us to celebrate an enduring culture and to move with Country, acknowledging and experiencing our collective past and present while dreaming of our future,” he said.

“This design is a new chapter connected to the most ancient of stories, carved in the Sydney sandstone: the story of Country and of us, its people.”

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