PROJECT Wharf Area Amphitheatre
LOCATION Bradley's Head, Sydney NSW
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT CAB Consulting Pty Ltd
A sandstone, exposed aggregate and grassed amphitheatre with integrated stairway links the nineteenth-century built fabric of wharf and reconstructed sea wall with the upslope sandstone fortifications, walking tracks and commemorative installations—belonging to the former Bradley’s Head defensive fortifications, the former Ashton Park facilities and now a significant part of Sydney Harbour National Park.
Its location, within one of the former sandstone quarries on the headland, has a strong visual and spatial link with Sydney Harbour and the urban context of Sydney.
Its design, with a spine of stone steps, providing access to the foreshore, and integrated arcing stone ribs dissolving into the grassed slopes and floor of the former quarry, also allows a harbourside slope planted with species native to Bradley’s Head. This helps minimise the impact of built form and to avoid competing with the character of the adjacent stone fortifications.
As a natural fragment of Sydney Harbour, Bradley’s Head has been respected in the project by creating urban facilities on previously disturbed sites in a way that minimises intrusion to natural areas and emphasises the sense of naturalness, while, at the same time, contributing to the cultural history of the place.