PDS was commissioned by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to redesign this spacious but largely underused public space in the centre of The Rocks, a bustling pedestrian precinct.
Due to the existing retail tenancies any proposed new design could not penetrate the existing paving nor move any walls. PDS overcame this by building over the existing paved unfrequented area – creating a timber deck, podium and step configuration that allowed for extensive informal seating and circulation opportunities.
The new decking created a useful transition from an upper level terrace to the lower plaza level and the hard wood seating planter boxes which were built over the existing granite paving as massive tubs, allowed for the inclusion of semi mature figs and frangipanis to create an intimate garden/courtyard feel, in an urban setting. The planters offer seasonal colour and vegetative focus for this space. Additional catenary lighting installed underneath the existing shade structure, provides an ambient more human scale lighting for evening events and markets. There is flexibility in the lighting system to add theatrical lighting for potential performances.
The end result is a space which is both welcoming and multi-functional in character – a space that continues to attract pedestrians and enables them to enjoy the vibrancy of the Rocks precinct, including the many bars and food outlets in the immediate surrounds.
Location: The Rocks, Sydney
Designer: Paterson Design Studio P/L
Photographer: Simon Wood Photography
Client: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority