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    Woods Bagot designs new edible rooftop garden for refugees in Sydney

    Geraldine Chua

    Woods Bagot, in collaboration with St Canice’s and PEPO Botanic Design, has completed the design of a new community rooftop garden in Sydney.

    Run by Rob Caslick and the Catholic Parish of St Canice, the edible rooftop garden was created to give people on bridging visas the opportunity to participate in something meaningful.

    It is located at St Canice’s Kings Cross, and features a new rooftop awning and barbeque area integrated with garden beds. The position of the awning was designed to maintain views to the church over which the rooftop looks, while a modular scheme creates a versatile, flexible space for communal gatherings and social events.

    Recycled paper and cardboard was used for the ‘no dig’ garden beds, and the pergola is made of pipes donated by Built as scraps from their construction sites.

    “We are delighted to lend our expertise for a great cause. Our global studio vision inspires us to look beyond traditional practices and provoke a culture that embodies a sense of responsibility and respect to our society, environment and people,” says Georgia Singleton, Woods Bagot director and global section leader in education, science and health.

    “We see corporate social responsibility [CSR] as part of our roles as designers, not separate from what we do.”

    All Woods Bagot studios participate in CSR, which spans pro bono design work to incorporating design concepts for humanity in their projects.

    A crowd-funding initiative raised more than $20,000 for the community rooftop garden in just 10 days, enabling St Canice’s to hire four people seeking asylum in the process.

    Collaborators:

    • PEPO Botanic Design - landscape designer
    • Built - construction management
    • Arup - structural engineer
    • Medland Metropolis – engineers
    • City of Sydney - matching grant
    • Superlight - LED lighting
    • Elmich - landscape supplies
    • Tankworks - rainwater tank
    • BarkBlower - garden soil
    • Alpine - garden plants
    • Greenstaff - employment Agency
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