Storytelling and art on show in sunken gardens

The award-winning Paddington Reservoir Gardens will soon be available for cultural and community events, such as exhibitions, light music, story-telling and workshops.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the heritage-listed, multi-award winning gardens had been in much demand since opening to the public in 2008.

“When the roof of Paddington Reservoir suffered a collapse in 1993, the City was determined to restore the heritage-listed reservoir as public space. Transforming the disused site into a place of respite and inspiration was a true labour of love,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City often receives requests to use the gardens for events such as exhibitions and small performances. The proposal to allow cultural and community activities will open the space to new visitors while taking into account residents’ needs by only allowing events that have minimal impact.

“I look forward to seeing the community continue enjoying and appreciating this garden’s physical beauty and unusual spaces.”

Paddington Reservoir Gardens
Paddington Reservoir Gardens

The City of Sydney sought independent planning assessment of the proposal to allow the community to use the sunken gardens as an exciting new venue for small events.

The City will prepare a plan of management to guide the range of uses within the park. Approved uses include guided tours, meetings, storytelling, workshops, exhibitions, markets and light music.

The site is not approved to host catered functions, weddings, product launches, film screenings, lectures and fashion shows.

The City commissioned architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and landscape architects JMD Design to transform the former water reservoir and petrol station into a park in 2006.

Since then, it has won a suite of national and international awards, including:

  • Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence: Asia Pacific (2011);
  • International Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies (2010);
  • National Australian Institute of Architects Award for Urban Design (2010);
  • National Australian Institute of Architects Heritage Award (2010):
  • Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design, Australian Institute of Architecture (NSW) Awards (2010);
  • Greenway Award for Heritage, Australian Institute of Architecture (NSW) Awards (2010);
  • Australian Medal for Landscape Architecture, Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture (2010);
  • The Australia Award for Urban Design, Planning Institute of Australia (2009);
  • Landscape Architecture Medal, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (2009):
  • Design Excellence Award, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (NSW) (2009); and
  • Officer of the Valuer General Heritage Award, Australian Property Institute (2009).

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