Paddington Reservoir Gardens, New South Wales Landscape, Redesign Architecture, Building Photos

Paddington Reservoir Gardens in New South Wales

20 May 2021

Design: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and JMD design

Location: Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

When TZG and JMD were commissioned to convert the Paddington Reservoir into an urban park, the general expectation was that the site would be capped off and a brand new arrangement built on top. However, we were captivated by the possibilities of revealing the 19th century structures as a ruin through which members of the public could wander, taking in the dramatic spaces and play of light across the remnants of historic walls and vaults.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

Listed as a site of state heritage significance, the Paddington Reservoir was originally constructed in two stages, completed in 1866 and 1878. The water chambers were built below street level with a grassed park above, opened to the public in the 1930’s. The operational life of the reservoir ceased in 1899 and the site was used as a workshop and garage until 1990 when roof collapses forced its closure.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

We believed the concept for the project was embodied in the existing artefact. An accessible sunken garden and pond, surrounded by a raised pre-cast concrete boardwalk, has been inserted within the conserved ruin of the western chamber of the former reservoir. The edges of the ruin are contained by concrete up-stands in such a way as to amplify the distinctive curved characteristics of the original brick vaults. The Victorian tree-fern garden hints at the era in which the Reservoir was originally built.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

The eastern chamber has been conserved with new timber columns and a waterproof concrete structure over, stabilising the brickwork and forming the base for the new landscaped park above.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

Two lightweight roofs float above the reservoir, signalling the main entry points to the park. The lightness of the roofs act as a counterpoint to the solid earthiness of the masonry vaults, while there is a whimsical reference to the older masonry mortar joints in the staggered pattern of the metal grid.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

A restricted pallet of three materials – steel, aluminium and concrete were chosen as contemporary partners for the historic brick, cast iron and timber, united as they are in their raw industrial expression. This quality, crucial to sustaining the memory of the original purpose of the structure, is softened by the status given to the planting and also by the overt invitation, implicit in the walkways, to explore the whole park.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, NSW – Building Information

Architects: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

Landscape Architects: JMD design

Project size: 4200 sqm
Completion date: 2009
CLIENT: City of Sydney

DESIGN+PROJECT MANAGER: CITY PROJECTS – Lise Morgan, John O’shea, Stephen Merchant

ARCHITECTS: TONKIN ZULAIKHA GREER – Tim Greer, Julie Mackenzie, Trina Day, Roger O’Sullivan, Wolfgang Ripberger, Tamara Frangelli.

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: JMD DESIGN – Anton James, Glyn Richards, Andrew Scoufis, Don Kirkegard

BUILDER: Brisland

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Simpson Design Associates

HYDRAULICS ENGINEER: Warren Smith & Partners

ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Haron Robson

BCA CONSULTANT: Blackett Maguire

PLANNER: Cityplan Services

ACCESS: Accessibility Solutions

REMEDIATION CONSULTANT: MPL Health Safety Environment

CERTIFIER: Advanced Building Approvals

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

AWARDS
2010 The WAN Urban Design Award
2010 International Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies.
2010 National Australian Institute of Architecture Award for Urban Design.
2010 National Australian Institute of Architecture Award for Heritage Architecture.
2010 Shortlisted Entry, World Architecture Festival Old & New Category.
2010 Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design, Australian Institute of Architecture (NSW) Awards.
2010 Greenway Award for Heritage, Australian Institute of Architecture (NSW) Awards.
2010 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Landscape Architecture Medal, 2010.
2010 Energy Australia/National Trust Heritage Award – Adaptive Reuse (Corporate/Government)

2009 Planning Institute of Australia, Australia Award for Urban Design
2009 Australian Property Institute, Officer of the Valuer General Heritage Award
2009 Landscape Architecture Medal, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
2009 Design Excellence Award, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens NSW

Photography: Brett Boardman

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, New South Wales images / information received 200521 from Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and JMD design

Location: Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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