Little Bay Cove

designed by /

Location: Australia / Sydney / Type: Bridges and Piers / Flood Resilience / Parks / Built: 2014 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on May 20, 2015

McGregor Coxall worked with Hill Thalis Architects and Candalepas Associates Architects on this proposed 459 dwelling 17Ha sustainable residential neighbourhood on Anzac Parade, Little Bay. The project has a wide diversity of housing types carefully situated on a regular street grid that respects the coastal topography and geological environment. The layout integrates a water sensitive urban design framework into the street typologies, public park and central ecological corridor. Existing Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, deposits of Miocene geology and Ochre earths of significance to local Aboriginals are protected under the Master Plan. Pedestrian connections to the Prince Henry site to the south and Little Bay Beach and the NSW Coastal Walkway integrate the development into the existing network.

“To create vibrant, versatile, environmentally innovative public spaces where people will gather, linger and celebrate”


The western section of the site contains the former UNSW sports fi elds and associated sporting facilities. The mid section of the site is dominated by two dams [created during sand mining activities], Miocene formations and ochre deposits. The eastern sector of the site is a large filled area which includes the former UNSW Biological Resources Centre [a three story building]. A remnant patch of the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub defi nes the eastern site boundary and a row of Casuarina defi nes the northern boundary. This masterplan proposes to demolish all existing buildings, remediate the land and reshape the landform. The proposal details a residential community serviced by two public park lands, the Urban Lounge and Brand Park in the central corridor. The proposed street typology is guided by Water Sensitive Urban Design initiatives and has a close relation to the surrounding landscape. The remnant Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, the exposed Miocene and Ochre deposits will be retained, respected and protected. It is proposed to retain the Casuarina planting along the northern boundary and to under plant the Casuarinas with local endemic plant species. Pedestrian connections to surrounding properties such as the Prince Henry site to the south and connections to Little Bay Beach and the Coastal Walkway will be enhanced to integrate the master planned community into the existing surroundings.


The design rationale for the public domain and public open space was informed by the following inputs:
— Rigorous site analysis;
— Feedback from the Design Review Panel;
— Water Sensitive Urban Design best practice;
— Environmentally Sustainable Development best practice;
— Australian standards and codes.


The design philosophy for the landscape architecture of the project employs water sensitive design strategies combined with local endemic plant material to develop an ecologically responsible design for the site. The experience of the landscape has been carefully considered to support a diversity of spaces that provide a range of amenity. Our design approach is influenced and informed by the discipline of ‘urban ecology’, where the site design components are integral to the projects social, environmental and ecological systems. The key elements in the public domain design are formed by a specific street typology and the provision of two public parklands: Brand Park in the Central Corridor and the Urban Lounge.


The design brief was used as the basis for design development and the following principles emerged that underpinned the organisation of the public domain and public open space:

1. Provision of a unique street typology that links into the surrounding landscape and utilizes water sensitive urban design initiatives. A hierarchy of streets with specific functionality and character are planned. These are:
— Avenues;
— Green Streets;
— Raingarden Streets;
— Reserve Streets;
— Urban Lounge Access Ways;
— Lanes; and
— Pedestrian Links.
2. Provision of public parklands for recreation and stormwater initiatives:
— The Urban Lounge; and
— Palaeo Valley with Brand Park.
3. Integrate the new master planned community into the existing area with the provision of pedestrian and cycle connections.

The public domain will be a catalyst to a healthy and vibrant community where daily life is played out in its’ public spaces and infrastructure


Client: Charter Hall Group, TA Global
Year: 2014
Address: 1408, Anzac Parade, Malabar, Little Bay, NSW, Australia
Budget: $7,000,000
Site Area (ha): 13.6
Key Collaborators: Hill Thalis Architects and Candelapas Associates Architects
Photo Credit: Simon Wood Photography
Text: McGregor Coxall

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