CLOUSTON Associates: Twenty years ago a rare opportunity arose to create a dramatic new public space on the Sydney’s harbour foreshore.
The Coal Loader at Waverton was once an exemplary maritime engineering facility contributing to Sydney’s international fame. It was built around the turn of the century to provide coal loading to overseas shipping. In the mid-1990s, many post-industrial sites on the harbour were at the centre of heated debate. Following community outcry at residential development proposals, the NSW government announced strategic foreshore sites to be secured for public access. The former Coal Loader at Waverton would become public open space in perpetuity.
The site’s transformation from abandoned industrial waterfront to public parkland has been guided for over 20 years by the Waverton Peninsula Strategic Master Plan, prepared by CLOUSTON Associates for North Sydney Council in 1998. The platform opened to the public in 2018, elevating its status to a public recreation landmark with immense cultural and natural qualities. It is self-sustaining, harvesting all its own rainwater and running off solar power. Modular urban harvest plots and green-roof plantings are underlain by an innovative soil/stormwater/irrigation profile. Plants are fed by a 275,000 litre water harvesting facility, using the old coal chutes as bio-filters and the tunnel beneath as storage.
The Coal Loader is now one of Australia’s largest green roof parks. The parklands are a fitting tribute to the community who fought for their right to access these landscapes from the outset.
Short office name: CLOUSTON Associates
Role of the office in the project: Master Plan, Detailed Design, Documentation
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Fifth Creek Studio
Latz + Partners
Project location: Balls Head Road, Waverton, NSW, Australia
Design year: 1998 (Masterplan), 2016 (Design & Documentation)
Year Built: 2018