The NSW Government has announced the winning design for Harbour Park at Sydney’s Barangaroo. AKIN, a First Nations-led design, will cover the 1.85 hectares of open space with a “regenerated natural retreat in the heart of the city.”
July 11th, 2023
AKIN is the winning design for Harbour Park, part of the wider Barangaroo site that has had no shortage of attention or controversy since it was first slated for redevelopment in 2005. The area was once known as The Hungry Mile and has a significant industrial history but it’s the much longer First Nations history of the Gadigal people that will be celebrated in the design.
The AKIN team comprises Yerrabingin, Architectus, Jacob Nash Studio, Studio Chris Fox and Flying Fish Blue, with Arup as engineering consultants. At the core of the project is the aim to create a timeless landscape notable for its extensive planting, canopy cover, waterways and ponds. Harbour Park is set to include nature play aimed at all ages and abilities with features such as shallow water pools, meandering pathways and interactive water works.
Meanwhile, public artworks will feature prominently and a large event lawn for up to 6000 people at the northern end of the site will be set aside for community, ceremonial and cultural events.
“We are incredibly honoured and humbled to be part of such a defining public project, weaving together the threads of landscape, art, and architecture,” says Yerrabingin co-founder, Christian Hampson.
“For us, this is much more than a park – it’s a place for us to celebrate an enduring culture and to move with Country, acknowledging and experiencing our collective past and present while dreaming of our future. This design is a new chapter connected to the most ancient of stories, carved in the Sydney sandstone: the story of Country and of us, its people.”
Related: Jefa Greenaway in profile
The announcement by Acting Premier of NSW Prue Car and Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper comes on the back of an open design competition that was open to entries from around the world. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating was chair of the jury, which also included Jefa Greenaway among others. The winning AKIN concept was selected from a shortlist of five announced earlier in 2023.
“Announcing the winner of the design competition for Harbour Park is a massive milestone, and we are excited to share the first designs of the park, from this local and First Nations-led design team,” says Prue Car. “Harbour Park is on the traditional lands of the Gadigal, who have been the custodians of the land and waterways for millennia. The park continues the precinct’s commitment to honouring the role of First Nations people, the history of the site and its wider context.”
Steve Kamper adds: “We are particularly excited by the focus on the design’s connection to the water, as it not only capitalises on the already stunning harbour views, it also includes interactive water features for play and cooling on a hot summer’s day.”
The winning design has been shaped with a view towards attracting both Sydneysiders and tourists. Harbour Park will also form part of the 14-kilometre continuous harbourside walk stretching between Glebe and Woolloomolloo.
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