Badu Mangroves, Parrramatta River - Sydney Olympic Park
Situated on the edge of a peninsula in the Badu Mangroves, Sydney Olympic Park - the site overlooks a bay on the Parramatta River. Home to the largest stand of grey mangroves in Sydney, the entire shoreline is flanked by mangroves (protected under the Fisheries Management Act 1994). The bay became a ship-wrecking yard for the port of Sydney in 1996 – still evident from a number of ship-remains that lie strewn around the peninsula.
The station is easily accessible by foot along a public path enshrouded by mangroves. The waystation begins from the path, with two steps leading to a platform. The platform gradually widens along a slight curvature, encouraging visitors to look out towards an otherwise unattainable view of the bay. The platform stands to the right of a mangrove forest – shading the platform in the afternoon sun.
A flat platform: poised over the water & stretching horizontally from the land - the structure optimizes views of the Rhodes foreshore and an important shipwreck at the edge of the peninsula. A minimal steel structural framework holds up 5 shading structures resembling ship sails, illuminating the history of the site as a shipwrecking yard.
Made of curved & welded steel circular hollow sections, the shades are connected to the main structural poles with brackets at only 2 points. A length of structural steel connects the furthest cantilevering edge diagonally across to the peak of the structural steel column, detailed with a boom/spreader, and back down to the platform: tensioning & securing the overhang. The shades are thus given a levitational quality, tilted upwards to create a sense of ascension while traversing a horizontal plane. The shades increase in size as the platform expands.
Beginning at a narrow 1.2m with a balustrade on the outer edge – the entry is comfortably wide enough for one person, slowing the movement of viewers onto the platform. An escape from the mangroves: the platform stretches out to a wide and open space providing an unobscured view of the bay.
The minimalist construction of the waystation demonstrates lightness of structure, balance and elegance.