A recent article in the World Architecture News showcases Sydney’s newest urban park, Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Originally completed in 1878, the reservoir operated until 1899 when it then became a workshop/garage. The site officially closed in 1990 after a roof collapsed. The former reservoir was slated to be capped and decked with parkland, until architects decided to transform the historic, underground ruins into a publicly accessible viewing area. The original 1930’s grassy area above the water chambers was redesigned and the park also now includes a “sunken garden” in the western chamber. As a sustainable twist, all of the materials used to reconstruct the new park were retained from the historic structure.
This unique urban park takes the idea of decking over reservoirs up a step, (or down a step rather), allowing for the possibility to use space underneath reservoirs as parkland. For some U.S. cities who have had success with reservoir parks, see an earlier post. Padding Reservoir Gardens also reminds us of elevating parks, another unique way of creating parkland in cities.
View additional photos of this new reservoir park here.