Central Park

Project Name: CENTRAL PARK

Company: Sturt Noble Associates Pty Ltd
Client: Billbergia/Canada Bay Council
Project Team: 

  • Sturt Noble: Liam Noble, Helen Pearce, Hao Wang & Belinda Xu
  • Public Artist: Jason Wing

Project Address: Shoreline Drive & Gauthorpe Street, Rhodes NSW 2138

Central Park is the largest open space planned for the Rhodes Peninsula, providing opportunities for both active and passive recreation, through three connected spaces. The park delivers a large, centrally located public open space with strong connections to the new ‘town square’, the foreshore and the Community Precinct. 

With an impressive vista across the Rhodes shore to the Parramatta River, the park evokes the sightlines that may have been part of the daily life of the Wangal people as they surveyed their hunting and fishing grounds. This fishing culture is expressed as the key design theme in the park design. 

Sturt Noble Associates was engaged by Billbergia to develop and document this significant foreshore open space along Shoreline Avenue. A full consultation process was carried out by the Canada Bay Council and culminated in a well attended opening function pre Xmas 2015. The demographic of the Rhodes area is broad, but rapidly changing, and the park is seen as an opportunity to create recreation opportunities in an area with a huge increase in residents forecast due to the apartment building in the area.

The play area is located on a large podium adjacent to residential towers and is designed with an organic character to mitigate the large areas of built form. Designed to be stimulating & visually appealing while activating a range of senses, Sturt Noble Associates and Public Artist Jason Wing have created play spaces providing a variety of experiences and adventures for different age groups and abilities.

The Central Park and playground provides opportunities for people to gather for birthdays, family celebrations, and mothers groups; community events and venues through which people can form connections within the area and opportunities for a healthy active lifestyle.

Play spaces are designed to include accessible elements with play designs providing for the development of agility, balance, coordination & strength. All five senses; sight, sound, touch, smell & taste can be stimulated with a variety of play elements, materials, planting & artworks incorporated into play spaces. In conjunction with artist Jason Wing, Sturt Noble wove an interpretive, indigenous overlay into the design of Central Park. The fishing theme is repeated in the “fish bone” concrete forms which provide seating and play opportunities within the play and lawn areas, and in the large rope structure which is representative of a fish trap.

Equipment and activities are positioned within a range of surfaces and spaces forming interesting and adventurous play areas. Integrated planting and level changes form and divide play spaces, creating discrete and separate areas within the playground, allowing for individual & group play activities. Paths are designed to lead children to further play opportunities, often hidden throughout the space.

The design incorporates best-practice sustainability approaches including recycled mulches, gravels, stone and sand being used extensively throughout the project. Planting is primarily native species with low water requirements. Detailing for hardworks including seating and retaining walls are in robust materials designed with long life cycles and limited maintenance.