Bungarribee Parklands is a 250 ha precinct with Western Sydney parklands and provides important recreational amenity for the inhabitants of Western Sydney. Located on Eastern Creek the site comprises of remnant Cumberland Woodland endangered ecological community and open grasslands associated with the floodplain. The site retains a sense of the beautiful Western Sydney landscape with its long views, wide open sky, extensive grasslands, ephemeral shallow water bodies, and it’s running creek and stands of eucalyptus.
JMD design led a multidisciplinary team of engineers, architects, artists, heritage and community consultants to prepare a master plan for the future of the 250ha Bungarribee Precinct in Western Sydney, adjacent to the M7 and Great Western Highway in Doonside.
The design inserts program and circulation to preserve and heighten the unique site qualities of scale, sky and ecology. The masterplan provides for access around the park and organises activity to preserve the uniquely peaceful character at the centre of the park with its broad sweep of sky and flowing grassland.
Three features define the vision for the masterplan:
The ‘Heart’; Preserves the delicate ecology of the existing grasslands and wetlands at the centre of the site.
The ‘Loop’; sets up the structure for circulation and access to the site. It is kept to the edge and services carparks, amenities, the ranger station and picnic shelters. It is in part vehicular and more generally pedestrian. The Loop includes two bridges to cross Eastern Creek, the northern one, an elevated two level bridge and the southern one, a series of crossings and islands in the floodplain.
The ‘Redgum Runway, a thousand trees’; is a block of trees the length of the WW2 emergency runway that occupied the site. It creates a buffer to the Heart and becomes a shaded grove for activity and parking.The Redgum Runway also marks the park entry at Doonside Road where an arrangement of large steel frames bookend the Redgum Runway plantings.
The Southern Green Belt; is a forest planting that protects the “Heart” along its southern edge with the newly constructed tourism precinct. This southern forest also serves to accommodate car parking, roads and amenity buildings.
The design of the new park extends the commitment made in the Masterplan to celebrate the existing qualities of the site, preserve the sense of tranquillity at its centre, and carve out an identity for the park from the undifferentiated industrial rural landscape that pervades the area. The design creates a framing that places high value on the identity of the existing grassland landscape.
The first stages were completed in January 2017 and comprise of; the new entry from Doonside Road that bookends the forests the Redgum Runway and the Southern Green Belt; playground, the large lawn, large picnic lawns, car parking and access roads, and amenities and picnic shelters designed By Stanic Harding Architects.
The new entry borrows from the industrial scale and language of its surrounding landscape where large metal sheds, over scaled street signs and freeway structures abound. The new park announces itself forcefully in this supersized landscape through the new entry frames, that measures out and makes visible the volume the two new forests will grow to. The braced framing speaks to the structural language of the play structures and the yet to be constructed creek crossings.
Landscape Architecture: JMD Design
Other designers involved in the design of landscape (architects and landscape architects): Stanic Harding Architects (shelters)
Project location: Doonside, Sydney, Australia
Design year: 2013
Year Built: 2014-2018
Manufacturer of urban equipment: Fleetwood Urban
Manufacturer of playground equipment: Fleetwood Urban & Playrope
Photos: Simon Wood Photography