Australian landscape design firm ASPECT Studios has completed the Bondi to Bronte Coast Walk Extension in Calga Reserve & Waverley Cemetery, Sydney NSW Australia. The walk has been designed to traverse the cemetery by elevating the boardwalk above the Eastern cliff tops, this is to minimize the damage to the cemetery monuments and heritage walls due to the amount of pedestrian use.
The walk is in equal parts a ribbon of movement though the sublime eastern clifftop landscape and a place to stop and embrace the heightened experience of this unique cultural, environmental and heritage landscape asset.
+ Design statement courtesy of ASPECT Studios
Overview: Master planning, concept design, design development, documentation, and site advice.
The Public Asset
A 515m long publicly accessible walkway perched, folded and stretched over the sublime Sydney landscape adjacent the culturally and heritage significant Waverley Cemetery.
Although the brief was relatively straight forward, the site conditions were complex and had a large influence on the design principles, developed concept and method of construction. The structure covers a variety of topographical and geological conditions, in many instances piling was required to broach deep areas of municipal fill waste to reach the bedrock. Site access constraints for machinery resulted in a limit on machinery size, and the construction access corridor was only 4 metres wide. This constraint was maintained throughout the construction process to protect the existing landscape.
The Consultation Process
The consultation was exhaustive with a three step process of open meetings, leaflet drops and notification and invitations for comments were backed up by site tours with stakeholders throughout the construction process. Direct involvement by the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council included walk throughs and notification of potential areas of aboriginal archaeology.
The Complexity of Issues
There was a broad spectrum of disciplines contributing professional input into the design process. These included geotechnical, ecological, aboriginal archaeology, heritage, structural engineering, and cost planning. The input from these disciplines was drawn heavily into guiding the design process and project outcomes.
The choice of materials for the project was carefully considered and tested during the design development process. Various decking materials (including galvanised steel mesh) were placed on site for a period of time to measure the impact of corrosion. The final combination of electropolished stainless steel, fibreglass mesh and sustainably harvested class 2 hardwood was selected to achieve the high quality finish, robustness and sympathy with the surrounding landscape that the project required.
Sydney’s sublime headlands, sandstone outcrops and stunning regional views are expressed along this environmentally sensitive elevated boardwalk high above Sydney’s Eastern cliff tops.
ASPECT Studios’ design for this elevated boardwalk is in response to Waverley Council’s brief which was to create a unique public experience along the east facing cliff tops, whilst retaining unobstructed access outside the edge of the heritage cemetery for the 700,000+ visitors who use the walk annually.
The previous condition, which traversed the cemetery, caused significant damage to the cemetery monuments and heritage walls due to the amount of pedestrian use.
This 515m long walkway is part of the nationally significant 9km coastal walk from South head to Maroubra. The walk is in equal parts a ribbon of movement though the sublime eastern clifftop landscape and a place to stop and embrace the heightened experience of this unique cultural, environmental and heritage landscape asset.
The project resolves complex geotechnical, structural and heritage conditions and retains the significant cliff top heath community on the hanging swamps along the exposed sandstone platforms. As a direct result, the materials of the boardwalk change from timber to a gridded fiberglass, allowing light and water through to remnant vegetation. The material changes register the various conditions underfoot. The walk has been designed with a high degree of sensitivity to the natural context and ameliorates any visual impact of the walk from the cemetery and surrounding vantage points.
Five Lookout points with bespoke furniture create opportunities to pause, rest and enjoy the spectacular views along the sandstone coast.
+ Project credits / data
Project Title: Bondi to Bronte Coast Walk Extension
Location: Calga Reserve & Waverley Cemetery, Sydney NSW Australia
Client: Waverley Council
Landscape Architects / Lead Consultants: ASPECT Studios Pty Ltd
Structural Engineers: Ducros Design
Geotechnical Engineers: Jeffery Katauskas
Ecological Consultants: Biodesign
Quantity Surveyor: Wilde & Woollard
Access Consultants: Access Australia
Cost: 2.52 million AUS Dollars
Photographers: Florian Groehn