A team led by ASPECT Studios has been selected to develop its concept for the Sydney Harbour Bridge northern access ramp project, following an international design competition.
ASPECT Studios’ team is one of the three practices selected by Transport for New South Wales in a competitive design process to design the important missing link that will allow cyclists to transition from the bridge’s northern end to Bradfield Park.
Sacha Coles, Director of ASPECT Studios says, “Our team is incredibly honoured to move into the next phase of this competition alongside Civille and REALMstudios. Working on a critical public infrastructure project that will make a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community, improve public accessibility around the harbour, and respects the site’s significant heritage and cultural values is something we are very passionate about.”
The Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway is the most heavily used in the city, with approximately 2,000 bike trips taken each weekday. The northern access project will complete this vital piece of crucial bicycle infrastructure in an equitable and graceful way.
Currently, riders must climb 55 steps at the northern end of the bridge and push their bikes through safety barriers at the top for access. This is a safety hazard that prevents a large portion of the community from using their bikes and causes slow movement and congestion at peak travel times. It is essential that the cycleway provides an inclusive design solution that meets the needs of all users.
Many plans to replace the steps have been explored over the years and during this time the project has garnered a vast interest from the community and local residents. For over a decade, the New South Wales Government has undertaken design consultations to try find the best possible solution to the increasingly challenging issue of both enhancing pedestrian safety and improving cycle access to the bridge.
The commitment from Transport for New South Wales to enhance the safety and capacity of the cycleway, increase connections to the wider bike network and make bike riding convenient and attractive for more people all whilst embracing Indigenous culture, respecting the sites heritage and prioritising public open space is evident in their extensive efforts on this project to date.
Each of the teams were tasked to design creative solutions which were sensitive to place, underpinned by Country centred design and heritage considerations that delivered cyclists from the bridge to the park in an easy, safe and high-quality manner.
Appreciating the site’s context was key in the design approach and balancing intervention and preservation has informed all design decisions. ASPECT’s design aims to deliver on the primary challenge, which is to achieve functionality whilst preserving what is unique and powerful about the setting and what is valued by the community; that being – Country, the bridge and Bradfield Park.
The ASPECT-led team designed the concept with an underlying principle of Country to Country. They allowed the site’s typography and significant existing cultural values guide the design of a 21st century piece of public infrastructure which is distinctly of its place.
The concept is designed to preserve the cherished park and its views of the sweeping arches of the harbour bridge, whilst minimising conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. The structural detail has a lightness, fluidity and transparency with equal considerations to robustness, buildability, sustainability and long-term maintenance.
Each of the three design concepts are now live for community engagement, allowing the opportunity to provide feedback and input on the ideas presented. A design jury and Transport for New South Wales will guide the selection of a winning team. The successful team will then complete the concept and detailed design to enable delivery of the project, expected to start in 2023.
Have your say:
Transport for NSW is seeking community feedback on a shortlist of three initial concept designs for a bike ramp at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway. Each of the three designs has been prepared by leading urban design and architectural firms through a competitive design process. The design firms are:
- ASPECT Studios, with Collins and Turner Architects, Yerrabingin, Eckersley O’Callaghan Engineers, JMT Consulting and Design 5 Architects
- REALMstudios, with Djinjama, Aileen Sage, Lucas Stapleton Johnson, Dr. Mike Harris, PMI Engineers and Nick Schliepe
- Civille, with Ney & Partners, H+N+S Landscape Architects, Djinjama and Sue Rosen Associates
Whilst Transport for NSW are seeking feedback on the three shortlisted designs, they would also like to hear what you think of their design concepts for a separated cycleway on Alfred Street which would take bike riders from the new ramp to the existing cycle network.
Feedback on the three ramp designs and Alfred Street cycle path will be open from Monday 6 December 2021 to midnight on Sunday 16 January 2022.
View plan for Alfred Street cycle path, watch videos about the project, provide feedback on the ramp designs and meet the teams here: https://caportal.com.au/tfnsw/sydney-harbour-bridge-cycleway
For updates on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway Northern Access Project, contact Transport for NSW on 1800 581 595 or at [email protected]