VISION Issue 31 - Page 6

VISION 31—RISING STAR Sydney’s Barangaroo parkland spears north and folds into its Harbour promising to become the project’s crowning glory. It’s already the parkland that is a songline of rich rhythms rather than the cluster of concrete and marble, closer to the commercial hustle of Darling Harbour. I n an age of intense commercial imperatives, it will surprise some that the most precious of urban resources—green open space—should deliver redemption. And ironically it’s the North American landscape design stars, PWP Landscape Architecture in association with Sydney’s Johnson Pilton Walker who deliver a contemporary park as garden that is so convincing and true to place. If the southern end of the $6 billion development is contentious in some circles, the 6 hectare, re-created headland park, is quietly stupendous. Responsible for the Sydney Olympic’s Millennium Parklands, among a host of global landscaping treasures, Peter Walker’s Barangaroo Reserve for the Barangaroo Delivery Authority—opened in August last year—is well on the way to ripening into the grandest of civic gardens. Sydney’s WMK Architects is a local architecture practice which contributed directly towards this parkland precinct with a glass sheathed, steel rimmed and sandstone edged lift-shaft, leading to a multi-event space and a 300 vehicle car-park sitting directly underneath Peter Walker’s landscaping masterwork. What could have easily projected as over-wrought structure and eye-sore, dissolves into a quietly totemic gesture, highly respectful of the landscape fluency. 6