The Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project has won the 2016 Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Design Award. Since 1992, the MAAS Design Award recognizes the important role for design in harnessing the challenges of science and technology - the winner selected from all categories of the annual Good Design Awards.
"We have selected a ground breaking project which highlights important contemporary issues such as sustainability and social innovation, and addresses the increasingly critical issue of our natural resources," commented Dolla Merrillees, Director of MAAS. "This community-focussed project illustrates how Australian designers are successfully responding to 'real world' problems, by planning our future cities and urban environment with a sense of social responsibility and purpose."
The Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project is a seamless intersection of design, art, science and ecology, an outcome achieved by the collaboration landscape architects Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership (TDEP), Alluvium (water and environment), Dragonfly Environmental (ecology) and Turpin + Crawford Studio (public art). "It's a huge endorsement for the project teams' collaborative effort and combined design vision to create a significant piece of environmental and community infrastructure on one of Sydney's oldest post-industrial wastelands," stated Mike Horne, Director for the project.
The beating heart of this project tells a story about water; through its function and processes that enables water to be harvested in its wetlands, made good and returned to viable use within the park and nearby industry. Bio-retention wetlands captures water from the Newtown catchment; the equivalent measure of 850 million Litres/year. Making these water flows and reuse processes visible was an important part of the project, as they highlight the intrinsic relationship between water and urban life, topography, people, plant life and fauna.
The project reinterprets conventional park design, by creating intrigue and dialogue as park users explore and discover 'moments' in the landscape that can be at times playful, dramatic and peaceful, but at all times connected to the water narrative of capture, movement, and cleansing. The transformation not only offers inner city residents and the wider community a new place to relax, play and gather in, but it educates on the importance of water management and how improving water quality and reducing potable water can be intrinsically linked into our natural surroundings.