LILA 2024 — Call for entries now open!

Wadanggari Park

designed by /

Location: Australia / Type: Infrastructure / Parks / Playgrounds / Built: 2023 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on March 8, 2024

With a narrative based on the resilience of the Wadanggari (banksia), Wadangarri Park is the only park in Australia built over a railway line. Completed over live rail, adjacent to a major arterial road and bus-rail interchange and in close proximity to commercial and residential properties, this highly complex project is the result of innovative thinking and a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach.

Delivering green open space in a dense urban environment, the park extends the green corridors of bushland which connect the CBD of the suburb of St Leonards with Sydney Harbour. This much-needed public open space is a resilient and responsive landscape that reflects and enhances the local character and identity of St Leonards, while meeting the demands of urban growth, supporting active, vibrant and growing residential and commercial communities.

Arcadia worked closely with Cammeraygal Elder Uncle Dennis Foley, and Yuin artist and Indigenous Design Strategist, Kaylie Salvatori (Cola Studio) to define the narrative, based on the lifecycle of the Wadanggari (banksia) and its symbolism for growth, renewal and regeneration through fire and smoke.
The precinct identity is communicated in an art and wayfinding strategy providing a strong connection to Country element, acknowledging the Cammeraygal people. The Wadanggari narrative is communicated through the sculptural play space, paving inlays and patterning, interpretive shade structures, murals and sculptures.

Located at the base of new high-density mixed-use towers, Wadanggari Park is a playspace that symbolises the future of Sydney – a modern design that connects ancient Indigenous culture, with natural bushland, in a densely populated area. As growing numbers of children enter a suburb with restricted open space, this playground offers a unique space for families to gather. With an eye-catching sculptural form, the playspace is designed for children of all ages, encouraging physical activity and development, while allowing for imaginative expeditions in the lush gardens.

In it’s position adjacent to the food and beverage retail outlets and an array of diverse seating options, the play space at Wadanggari Park is a major attraction for the space, designed for use by all age groups. Seating includes options for supervising children, a special ‘train-spotting’ vantage point and shaded dining pods to allow for larger groups to gather for family events and birthday parties.

A timber stage and a large expanse of sloping turf delivers flexibility for a range of uses by the community, from weekend picnics, lounging in the lunchtime sun and community events. Designed for 18-hour activation, a functional and aesthetic lighting strategy ensures safety and accessibility throughout the site.

Wadanggari Park demonstrates how innovative thinking about existing assets, such as airspace over the railway line, can result in a valuable piece of infrastructure that delivers not only open space, but also through-site connections, providing access to train, bus and the future Metro train station. A revitalised subterranean link under the six lane Pacific Highway links the new bus interchange with the existing train station. Laneways and pedestrian alleys complement newly directed roads, adding an alternative route for commuters to move between the train station, commercial tenancies and future Crows Nest Metro, assisting in activation of local retail and public spaces.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Arcadia Landscape Architecture

Other designers involved in the design of landscape:

– Cola Studio, Art
– Uncle Dennis Foley, Cammeraygal Elder, First Nations Collaborator
– iGuzzini, Lighting

Year completed: 2023

Photo credits: Paul McMillan, Arenco drone footage

Manufacturer of urban or play equipment: Landscape Solutions, Landscape Construction


Streetview may show the condition before the intervention

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Products by Maglin