University of Sydney

Turf Design Studio: The University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest. Its iconic landscape of Figs and Jacaranda and fine buildings by Barnet, Vernon and later, Wilkinson, Woolley and Francis-Jones proudly inhabit the ridge; looking out to Victoria Park, the city and beyond.

The fundamental task of our project was to plan a new layer of works; creating a public domain that respects what is there and adds new meaning, whilst providing for the day to day needs of the campus community. Our intent was to create an entirely new spirit in the centre of the University of Sydney, opening the University to the city, Victoria Park and the local community by transforming a vehicular-based campus into a vibrant pedestrian precinct.

The Camperdown Public Domain unifies an eclectic and complex University setting using a simple, functional structure generated from respect for the University’s rich cultural heritage.

The design gives new strength to an existing pedestrian corridor, linking the northern and southern campuses, a processional of banded granite paving under a bold alley of Sydney Red Gums. Robust details from quality materials create a rich patina that has become more beautiful over time: views towards the city are amplified and maintained; and universal access integral to the design.

Water and its management were a key component of this project – all surface water is harvested via granite drains, tree pits and rain gardens then stored below ground for reuse in irrigation. A simple basin made of granite and stainless steel, located at the main city entry also uses the recycled water in ‘a mirror to the sky.’

 “The JAAA + Turf Design Studio scheme combines the timelessness of medieval European university squares and cloisters with the freshness of Sydney vegetation in a new, formal context. This has been achieved with a scheme that is dignified in both scale and detailing. It shows restraint and belies the difficulty of unifying diverse spaces.” – Dr Scott Hawken, UNSW Lecturer, Urban Development and Design

Short office name:  Turf Design Studio

Role of your office in the project: Landscape Architect


Other designers involved in the design of landscape:

CLIENT: University of Sydney

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Jeppe Aagaard Andersen + Tinka Sack + Turf Design

ARCHITECT (Law School Building): FJMT


Faculty of Law, Architects in collaboration: fjmt (Francis –Jones Morehen Thorp)

Architects (City Road Bridge): John Wardle Associates

Civil and Structural: Taylor Thompson Whitting

Services: Lincolne Scott

Lighting: Steensen Varming (CPD) & Vision Design Studio (Law)

Accessibility Consultants: Nell Rickard and Mark Relf

Consulting Arborists: Judy Fakes and Garry Clubley

Water feature: Waterforms International

Traffic: Mason Wilson Twiny

Heritage Consultants: Tanner Architects and Clive Lucas, Stapleton

Irrigation: Hydroplan

Principal Certifier: Blackett and Maguire

Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon Australia

Water Management: Ecological Engineering (DESIGN PHASE) Equatica (CONSTRUCTION PHASE)

Soil Design: Sydney Environmental Soil Laboratory

Statutory Planning: City Plan Services

Project Director / Manager: Capital Insight

Builder: Baulderstone

Project location: 3000 Parramatta Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050

Design year: 2003-2006

Year Built: 2009

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