Gallery: Sydney Transforms Waterworks Ruins into Incredible Public Park

The city of Sydney has infused the ruins of a public waterworks with new life by transforming the antiquated infrastructure into a vibrant public park. Designed by TZG Architects and JMD Designs, Paddington Reservoir Gardens is the reincarnation of a defunct reservoir from the 1800’s. Situated a full story below street grade, the park has preserved the original barrel vault roofs and trusses with a subtle weave of new materials and a dynamic design that frames the history of Sydney’s growth into a metropolis.

The original water works was completed in 1878, but it was decommissioned after only 20 years due to low pressure and brackish water. And there it sat, occasionally changing hands until a service station had to abandon the building after a roof collapsed. When TZG Architects collaborated with JMD Designs to turn the space into a public park, they realized the ruins could provide a unique and valuable historic reference for the residents of the city.

The park collects water from the neighboring Paddington Town Hall, and from on-site rainwater storage tanks located beneath the walkways and planters. Australia is a leader in water efficiency, so the waterworks’ approach to water preservation is as symbolic as it is functional. The park has a dense layer of subtropical plantings laced with raw materials like wood beams, concrete, iron, and brick. The supporting materials were placed discretely in order to enhance the preserved structures.

+ Paddington Reservoir Gardens

+ TZG Architects

+ JMD Designs

Via World Architecture News


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Modular Pop-Up Bar in S... October 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    […] behind a pet store in the Darilinghurst area of Sydney, the pop-up bar will be open for only a short time. In fact, this weekend is the last chance […]

  2. Foster + Partners Unvei... August 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    […] + Partners have just unveiled plans for a massive 56-acre urban park on a reclaimed harbour-front site in Hong Kong. Designed as a carbon-neutral development, West […]

  3. Sonnenschiff: Solar Cit... August 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    […] a vision for an entire community — the medium-density project balances size, accessibility, green space, and solar exposure. In all, 52 homes make up a neighborhood anchored to Sonnenschiff, a mixed-use […]

  4. » Transforming Sy... August 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    […] – Inhabitat Share and […]

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home