AWARD-WINNING LANDSCAPINGby Landscape Solutions Australia Pty Ltd
Innovative design and superior landscape construction has turned what was once an industrial site into an open, green public space
The award-winning Ballast Point Park in Balmain, Sydney, is testament to what can be achieved when innovative design and best construction practices are put into place.
The restoration of Ballast Point to public open space has been a long time in the making. Originally a natural, wooded headland, Ballast Point is today an open public green space which, together with Balls Head, forms the gateway to the Parramatta River.
The project was completed in June 2009. Principal contractor/builder was Landscape Solutions Australia Pty Ltd. The design brief was to reclaim the waste land/industrial site back to a usable public park while utilising recyclable materials.
The 2.6-hectare park is located on a till recently contaminated former industrial lubricant production site on the Birchgrove Peninsula in the inner reaches of Sydney Harbour. Landscape architects McGregor & Coxall used cutting-edge environmentally-based design strategies in the reconstruction of the degraded site. The design reconciles the layers of history with forward-looking new technologies to create a regionally significant urban park.
The environmental approach was achieved by site-wide stormwater bio-filtration prior to the water entering Sydney Harbour; extensive and innovative use of recycled materials; wind turbines for energy production; and the use of locally collected seeds in order to replant the site.
“The Ballast Point site encompassed many challenges,” says Tim Buckle from Landscape Solutions. A remediated former industrial site, the project has 75 per cent water frontage on Sydney Harbour, the highest-profile waterway in Australia. The steeply sloped site included sheer cliff faces, while exposed and latent Heritage items and poor road access through narrow streets provided a complex web of construction, safety and environmental challenges.
An innovative product was required to terrace the site. The concept from the architect was for a reinforced earth wall with custom gabion face, and this was engineered by Landscape Solutions. The final design was a unique wall, the first of its kind to be built.
“The curved wall faces and the baskets not being standard sparked some innovative thinking with designers,” says Tim. “On the curved sections, each panel was individually manufactured to suit the curve of the wall and the angle of the wall at 23 degrees.”
The site has a significant Heritage feature in the middle — the former building — situated in the middle of the main (and only possible) construction access road. This created significant access constraints. However, with the assistance of an archaeologist, the heritage feature has been preserved and is now displayed magnificently.
"In the years ahead the park will become another Sydney landmark and stand as a testament to the realisation of excellent design through superior construction," says Tim.
Landscape Solutions won the 2009 LCA Construction of Year (Commercial) Award, as well as the LCA Landscape Features Award for Ballast Point.
Landscape Solutions Australia Pty Ltd
Ph: 1300 653 013
Principal Contractor/Builder: Landscape Solutions Australia Pty Ltd
Landscape Architect: McGregor & Coxall
Client: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Send Enquiry To Landscape Solutions Australia Pty Ltd