In 2013, with the intention of creating a better public space for local citizens, the Inner West Council consulted with the community to generate a masterplan to revitalise the park. In 2016, Sydneyham Green was chosen by Council as the site for the release of a new pilot program – the New Public Toilet Strategy.
Sydenham Green Amenities, designed by Sam Crawford Architects, is intended “as an exemplary precedent for future public toilet projects, aimed at maximising public safety and civic pride, and minimising vandalism of an oft-benighted building type,” says Council.
Described by the architect as “resembling a fallen section of fuselage”, the building provides much needed amenity to users of the park. “Distinct lines and angular, slightly crumpled form reference the planes passing overhead at three-minute intervals,” he continues.
The structure itself features three separate cubicles and is connected to its surrounding environment via a washbasin area, set in an open air yet covered space that provides a point of connection with the surrounding landscape. Made from rough textured bricks, compressed fibre cement sheet and steel, in a single shade of white, Sydenham Green Amenities reflects the urban nature of its location while offering a steadfast durability in materiality that reflects cleanliness and safety.
Sustainably conscious, the park utilises a large underground rainwater tank that directs collected water for reuse through the cisterns and to water external vegetation. Light tunnels over each cubicle provide natural sunlight and fresh air, highlighting the passive design of the building, and motion activated sensors are utilised in the lighting.
The addition of the Sydenham Green Amenities structure to the park aims to “contribute to the social and cultural sustainability of the community by providing a safe, clean and accessible family,” claim the architects.