Paddington Reservoir Gardens by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer + JMD design

Dramatic space rich in light.

Project Specs


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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.
Listed as a site of state heritage significance, the Paddington Reservoir was originally constructed in two stages, completed in 1866 and 1878. 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. The water chambers were built below street level with a grassed park above, opened to the public in the 1930’s.

▼项目概览,overview © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens


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.

▼从入口俯瞰花园,overlook to garden from entrance © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens


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.

▼花园中保留蓄水室遗留的残骸,garden retaining ruins of western chamber © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens

▼不同的庭院空间,different garden spaces © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens

▼花园低于街面,garden below street level © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens

▼细部,details © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens


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.

▼东侧蓄水室入口,entrance of east chamber © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens

▼交通空间,traffic space © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens

▼新木柱和防水混凝土结构,new timber columns and a waterproof concrete structure © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens


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.

▼夜景,night view © Brett Boardman, Eric Sierens

▼轴测,axonometry © TZG + JMD

▼总平,site plan © TZG + JMD

▼立面,elevations © TZG + JMD

▼剖面,sections © TZG + JMD

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

More:  Tonkin Zulaikha Greer + JMD design     更多关于他们:Tonkin Zulaikha Greer on gooood + JMD design on gooood

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