GroupGSA has completed its Nita McCrae Park and Argyle Street Upgrade landscape architecture project in Millers Point. Enhancing the pedestrian amenity in this link from The Rocks to Barangaroo, this project has created a new 1,800sqm of open space for the community, including a pocket park connecting to the existing community centre and renewal of the centre’s forecourt.
The park pays homage to local Nita McCrae, who was largely responsible for saving The Rocks and Millers Point from destruction in the 1970s.
The Harbour Village North Study and previous community consultation identified the need for increased pedestrian priority, amenity and legibility in Argyle Street – the primary east-west connection between Circular Quay and the new Headland Park at Barangaroo.
GroupGSA focused on removing the existing bus layover/turning circle and relocating the bus stop to create the new pocket park. Named after Nita McCrae, park features include a seating terrace, grassed area and small bespoke play space which is used by the community centre, residents and visitors to the new green open space.
GroupGSA also enhanced the streetscape by widening the footpath and adding a new shared zone at Watson Road, which has become the principal entry to the Community Centre. There is improved crossing safety at the intersections of Argyle Street with Lower Fort Street and Watson Road, which interfaces with footpath widening works undertaken by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority for the City along Argyle Street west of Kent Street.
“A key challenge was achieving a design outcome that respects the area’s significant heritage,” says Steve Hammond, GroupGSA associate director.
“Our solution was to use a simple, ‘quiet’ and respectful design language – marking the former tram turning circle (and later bus layover area) with retained remnants of a sandstone kerb in the pavement and turf area.”
“We also painstakingly relocated the State Heritage Register-listed tram shelter from the former kerb line to the new footpath, so it could continue functioning as a shelter at the new bus stop,” he added.