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Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Australia Architecture News - Apr 14, 2023 - 10:31   936 views

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

One of the innovative approaches of Sam Crawford Architects towards design is the Parramatta Park Pavilion. The original cafe was damaged by fire in 2016. 

From the shell, a new restaurant has burst into being within the same footprint - salvaging and reusing the remaining fabric. 

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Parramatta Park Pavilion includes a restaurant and public amenities and connects with the river and its extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscape setting.

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

"The key design driver was to maintain the footprint of the former cafe building so as to avoid disturbance of significant Indigenous and early European artefacts," said Sam Crawford, Principal and Design Director of Sam Crawford Architects.

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

"Reuse was also critical - the slab, walls, bricks, many steel windows and doors and some roof trusses were all recycled." 

"It was a gymnastics exercise - we couldn’t dig anything, the utilities had to remain in the same location, and of course, we needed to meet the 21st-century building code. And be future-proof to adapt for changing uses," Crawford continued. 

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

To respect the layers of history of the site, the park setting has a rich period of occupation by the Burramatta clan of the Darug people. In addition, the park setting has an ongoing connection with the Indigenous community.

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

"It is one of eleven sites that form the ‘Australian Convict Sites’ World Heritage listing, and contains the oldest remaining public building and oldest remaining workers cottage in Australia," Sam Crawford added.

In order to provide natural light and clear views of the park and river and the burgeoning city of Parramatta in the distance, the building has large steel-framed windows and doors and lofty pitched ceilings.

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Sam Crawford designed the long metal roof to produce a striking form with lightweight and transparent materials. It is a great consideration to increase the connection between the inside and outside spaces.

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Image © Parker Blain

At the southwestern end, the translucent roof is cantilevered out to create an additional outside-covered eating area. This is also increasing dining capacity and giving shade from the afternoon sun.

To highlight the landscape, the studio creates a strong entry portal, offering a visual link through the building to the river, while mediating between two gable roof geometries. 

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Customers are welcomed and gathered by the oversized threshold, while also framing the view of a large fig tree and the river beyond. 

The structure now houses a 300-seat restaurant Misc despite its recently opening after covid delays. The interior fit-out of the restaurant was designed by Australian design studio Nic Graham & Associates.

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape

Sam Crawford Architects designed Parramatta Park Pavilion in respect to Heritage-listed landscape  

Floor plan

Project facts

Project name: Parramatta Park Pavilion

Client: Parramatta Park & Western Sydney Parklands Trusts 

Location: Parramatta 

Status: Built 2022 

Project Team: Sam Crawford, Louisa Gee, Ken Warr, Allen Huang, Caitlin Condon 

Builder: Grindley Interiors Structural Engineer Partridge 

Hydraulic Engineer: InLine Hydraulic Services 

Mechanical Engineer: Evolved Engineering 

Electrical Engineer: Lighting, Art + Science 

Landscape: McGregor Coxall 

Section J Consultant: BCA Energy 

Quantity Surveyor: Z & L Consulting 

PCA Anthony: Protas Consulting 

Interior Designer: Nic Graham & Associates 

All images © Brett Boardman unless otherwise stated.

Drawing © Sam Crawford Architects.

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