Two compact parks in inner Sydney

The relaxed atmosphere of John Street Reserve will be retained and enhanced through subtle regrading and native shrubs and understorey planting. A level, gravel platform from St James Avenue will create a park entry experience, with relocated benches under the existing tree canopy. A turf batter and new stairs will provide access from street level into the park. Existing planting beds will be extended, and the new planting palette will build on the existing Murraya and Plumbago plantings to provide suitable habitat for Blue Wrens.


Photos by Florian Groehn

St James Park and John Street Reserve comprise two compact parcels of land in the dense urban suburb of Glebe, Sydney.

As part of the design process, ASPECT Studios has engaged with the key users such as surrounding residents, community groups and St James Primary School to develop the design for both St James Park and John Street Reserve, enabling the community to help shape the parks’ development.

The playground in St James Park takes advantage of the existing use and layout of the site, as well as the strong forms of existing Celtis plantings to provide a structure and shade for the playground The playground incorporates a number of existing park benches, which were installed in St James Park as part of the landscape plan completed by Stuart Pittendrigh. The existing tennis courts is regraded and resurfaced with new linemarkings to provide even levels and grades for all players. Brick paved paths and new stairs connect park visitors to the tennis courts from St James Avenue and the eastern parts of St James Park.

City of Sydney Council


Concept design, development application, tender documentation, construction


Glebe, Sydney, NSW, Australia


ASPECT Studios, Sam Crawford Architects, Deuce Design, GTA Consultants, Lighting Art + Science, Northrop