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Sub Base Platypus project earns AILA Landscape Architecture Award

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3 min read
The landscape architects at ASPECT Studios have been recognised by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) for their contribution to one of the Harbour Trust’s protected sites.

ASPECT Studios won the 2019 AILA NSW Landscape Architecture Award in the Cultural Heritage category for their work on the Northern Park and the playground at Sub Base Platypus in North Sydney. These works have helped generate interest in Sub Base Platypus, a waterfront precinct that partially opened to the public in May 2018.

In line with the Harbour trust’s vision for Sub Base Platypus, ASPECT Studios took steps to ensure works preserved and celebrated the industrial and maritime heritage of the site, which previously hosted HMAS Platypus, an Australian Navy submarine base.

This involved the use of sustainable, simple and robust materials to ensure the site retained as much of the existing character as possible and the installation of native plants that would have occupied the landscape prior to European occupation and industrialisation.

Within the Northern Park, ASPECT Studios used robust concrete edges and repetitive, circular forms, to reference the gas tanks that previously occupied the upper cliff top.

The submarine themed playground, located within the largest of the circular forms, was inspired by sonar navigation. Elements of the playground, such as talking tubes and the radio alphabet stepping stones, encourage children to engage with the site’s history as they play. The playground was assembled with the aid of the Harbour Trust’s skilled Volunteer Restoration Team.

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