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Sub Base Platypus

A military asset is an unlikely candidate to host a public park, but ASPECT Studios has, in collaboration with architects lahznimmo, conducted just such a transformation with Sub Base Platypus.
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  • Client The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
  • Location North Sydney, Australia
  • Year 2016 - 2019
As a consequence of a history defined by security concerns and a separation from public life, the site was spatially and physically divorced from the area it would have to serve. Now, the neighbourhood and the park are knitted together, but in a way that entertains and honours the histories of each. “Clip-on” circulation elements, like the Northern Stair, are functional but aesthetically distinct from the existing structures - allowing the historical elements to be seen on their own terms. The new parkland is playful and practical, but the nods to the site’s naval history act to draw the history of the site into sharper focus. The result is a flavoursome combination developed with the heritage of the site as a main ingredient, rather than as a thematic garnish.
Ultimately the project demonstrates a commitment to rehabilitation and healing. Where the historically important site was once hostile and irrelevant to the lives of its neighbours, it has been massaged to produce a more relaxed space. Now more generous with its stories, it is able to play an active role in the life of its city.
  • TEAM ASPECT Studios, lahznimmo architects
  • AWARDS 2021 National AIA Awards - Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design
    2021 NSW AIA - Urban Design; The Lloyd Rees Award
    2021 National Trust of Australia (NSW) Heritage Awards - Adaptive Re-use Award
    2019 AILA NSW Awards - Landscape Architecture Award (Cultural Heritage)
  • PHOTOGRAPHER Florian Groehn