The transformation of Prince Alfred Park – including the outdoor heated swimming pool – was awarded the NSW medal at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects state awards in December 2013.
The redesign is a “poetic reinterpretation of Sydney’s large 19th century parks” making it “an outstanding contribution to Sydney’s heritage of urban parklands” and it is “not only environmentally responsible but also a lyrical response to a forgotten site,” the jury said.
Landscape architect Sue Barnsley Design, Neeson Murcutt Architects and the City of Sydney redesigned the park and pool making it the most extensive upgrade in over 50 years that includes new tennis and basketball courts, kids play areas and sustainable landscaping.
The pool, open year round is the City’s first heated outdoor pool that is fully accessible with a ramp into the water. Facilities include a splash deck for toddlers, new café, bleachers, umbrellas, sky-lit change rooms, shaded areas and landscaped space.
The surrounding area has been improved with new paths, furniture and lights.
Fitness stations can be found throughout the park, basketball players can shoot hoops on 2 new courts and an extra half-court while the 5 new tennis courts are made of Plexicushion, the same material used at Flinders Park, the home of the Australian Open.
The 7.5 hectare park offers plenty of green space, benches to sit and relax, an off-leash area for dogs and new barbecue and picnic areas have been built with custom-designed tables and seating.
The transformation has also won 2 more awards. In October 2013 it was a highly commended urban landscape at the World Architecture Festival and it won the architecture mixed use constructed category at the 2012 Sydney Design Awards.
The $9 million redevelopment included:
- 2 kids playgrounds with seesaws, swings and custom-made play equipment
- 1km exercise circuit of accessible path for joggers, walkers, bikes, prams and wheelchairs
- hundreds of new rainforest species and succulent trees and plants
- underground storm water reuse to supply 95% of the park’s water
- custom-designed energy-efficient lighting
- latest filtration systems, water-saving fixtures and stormwater harvesting
- native grass green roof to regulate pool complex temperature
- animated chimneys that are functional public art pieces.