Design/Completion 2005/2011

Off form concrete and natural porphyry paving

Painted tubular steel sculpture, Tracing Light – For Harry 3D/4D, 2011 by Robert Owen

  • CCAA National Public Domain Awards, Commendation Precincts, 2013
  • AIA National Commendation for Urban Design, 2012
  • AIA (NSW) Urban Design Architecture Award, 2012

Background
The park is intended to be a publicly used facility in memory of the late Australian Architect Harry Seidler in honour of his contribution to Architecture. Locally the Park site adjoins the Seidler Office building, a Sir John Sulman Award recipient.

Site
The site is bounded by the six storey Seidler Office building to the north and the large fig tree precinct to the south. The eastern edge fronts Glen Street and looking through the site from north west to south west one has panoramic views over Luna Park from Lavender Bay to McMahon’s Point , Miller’s Point and Walsh Bay round to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Design
Given its context Harry’s Park has been designed as an urban park relating clearly to the four very distinct edges of the site. The streetscape is allowed to flow into the site to invite the public into the park and towards the views.

The park forms a paved Forecourt to the Seidler Office building to the northern edge, much like a pocket plaza to an iconic building. A vibrant sculpture by Australian Artist Robert Owen, Tracing Light – For Harry 3D/4D, is placed in the foreground to the façade to further invigorate the Forecourt and complete the vista.

The blade wall facing the street is inscribed with the name Harry’s Park and is a boarded off-form concrete finish to match similar dwarf walls to the ground level of the adjoining office building.

The major planting is located on the sunnier southern part of the site as a transition to scale of the Fig Precinct and to help ameliorate the strong southerly winds. A grove of distinctive native Angophora trees, ‘Sydney red gums’ with their gnarly trunk forms and sparser foliage has been planted for this section of the park with an understorey of Lomandra shrubs. All planting is drought tolerant.

An intimate seating group is nestled among the planting together with a stepping stone pathway to connect to the future neighbouring precinct lookout. The trees afford sun protection in summer while allowing dappled sunshine and warmth in winter.

Along the escarpment edge overlooking Luna Park a winding bench seat takes advantage of the harbour views. Its shape recollects the curved forms nearby of 2A Glen Street Offices and Apartment in contrast to the rectilinear forms of 2 Glen Street. Two interleaved bench curves enclose another seating group backed partially by a perforated screen wall. This smooth and curved, in contrast to the textured boarded straight, off-form concrete wall element helps contain part of the park but is slashed by a slot to frame other harbour views. An interplay with the twisted tree branches is also sought. The escarpment edge is also planted again with Lomandra grasses to soften the edge of the site without obstructing views of seated patrons.