Turruwul Park upgrade

public spaces

Corner Rothschild Avenue and Hayes Road, Rosebery, NSW, 2018

By: HASSELL in association with City Projects

Turruwul Park Kiosk & Change Rooms. Photography by Brett Boardman


Turruwul Park is located in the south Sydney suburb of Rosebery and is a valuable park for the surrounding inner city residents.

As part of the City of Sydney Council’s commitment to deliver innovative improvements to their public parks, HASSELL was commissioned to upgrade Turruwul Park. Prior to the upgrade, the park’s defining character of large trees and open grassed spaces was lost behind tired recreational facilities, a dilapidated cluster of buildings and a lack of overall structure and limited pedestrian paths.

HASSELL produced a design that improves the range and quality of park settings, provides new facilities for passive and active recreational users, as well as introducing settings for families through a larger district playground and new amenities hub. The scope of improvements included the building structures, paving and paths, sporting facilities, lighting, furniture, planting and playground.

The overarching principles were:

 - Highlight and capitalise on the stunning existing trees on the site while respecting and protecting them

  •  - Renewal of existing park facilities, including the buildings, playground and sporting amenities

  •  - Improve pedestrian access through and along the edges of the park, improve connections with the neighbourhood, and improve useability of the park.

  • HASSELL was responsible for the the master plan, community consultation (including community presentation, feedback review and analysis), documentation and construction advice for both the park and new buildings.

    The new kiosk and change rooms provide the Rosebery community with new facilities for their sporting and leisure activities. These public buildings, placed delicately each side of a beautiful fig tree, serve as the focal point for the upgraded park.

    A key feature of the buildings is the timber façade. A woven rhythm of blackbutt battens forms the screen. The zigzag cut, which creates an intricate pattern, was designed carefully to enable each two adjacent battens to be cut from one piece of timber, minimising waste. A simple change to a cutting schedule enhanced the mottled and textured character of the timber, conveying a sense of craft.

    The interiors of the buildings are lightened by the use of crisp white tiles - a counterpoint to the visual warmth of the timber screens. The change room doors can be locked open and the kiosk servery screens rotate up, signalling to park users that it is in operation.

    Key sustainability initiatives include the use of photovoltaic cells, solar hot water heating, natural ventilation and lighting, rainwater reuse and the use of sustainable materials. In the parkland bore water is used to irrigate planting. Run-off water from the paths and tennis courts is treated via grass swales before being released into the stormwater system. A palette of plants such as Lomandra ‘Tanika’ and Dianella ‘Breeze’ that have low water requirements were selected for use within the planting beds.

    The park upgrade has been hugely successful and has proved to be very popular with the community. Its success is predominantly measured by the level of use throughout all times of the day by both sporting groups and the local community.

    Christopher Thomas, Manager Design, City Projects, City of Sydney, is thrilled with the new park “The project has successfully reinvigorated life back into an aging park. The space is now much more user friendly with a network of tree lined paths, an enlarged and improved playground, new community buildings, barbecue area and improved sporting facilities.”