For the first time in a hundred years, public access has been granted to the former shipping container site in the form of a new, six hectare green-space called ‘Barangaroo’. Framed by the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and views of Balls Head, Goat Island and Ballast Point, Barangaroo will no doubt become a popular destination for both tourists and Sydneysiders alike. Stunning views aside, the attention to detail that went into the design and the delivery of the reserve is equally impressive and in my view, sets an international benchmark in urban renewal.
How was the ‘naturalistic’ look achieved? The reserve was designed in such a way that it allows us a glimpse into what the harbour looked like prior to European settlement. This journey back into time is achieved through the use of 75,000 native plants, sourced from 80 different species found within Sydney harbour and Hawkesbury river. Natives such as Eucalyptus saligna, Eucalyptus haemastoma and Glochidian ferdinandii are common features in the reserve. Further, Barangaroo’s foreshore and the contours are lined with close to 10,000 pieces of Hawkesbury sandstone, which were sourced from the site itself. Even the shape of the foreshore follows the original harbour shoreline as it was in 1836.
In an era where urban space is highly sought after by developers for commercial and residential projects, Sydney’s Barangaroo reserve sets the bar high for a different type of urban renewal; a multi-use, public green-space. Barangaroo has the potential to rapidly become one of the most popular destinations for both locals and tourists. After just one visit, it has already become one of my favourite location within Sydney CBD. Words and pictures do not do justice to Barangaroo which is why I highly recommend that people take time out to visit the reserve.
On a side note; there is free wifi in the park.
Barangaroo was designed by: Johnson Pilton Walker in association with Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture.
A gracious thank you to the former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating for his determination and passion for making a reality.