Ballast Point Park

I recently got back from a trip to my home land - Sydney. Not only was it absolutely amazing to see my family and friends but also very inspiring in terms of design. I think contemporary Australian design is quite different to British design... perhaps it's due to Australian heritage being relatively new compared to the UK.

I've been following the work of the Aussie design studio Deuce Design for a while now. Their interpretation in public parks is fantastic, particularly the way they work typographically into surfaces. My favourites being their way-finding and signage for Pirrama Park and Ballast Point Park.

So when my auntie and uncle to us to Ballast Point Park I was so excited to see Deuce Design's work in person. And I was completely blown away. Deuce Design has worked with landscape architects and urban designers McGregor Coxall in a way that completely utilises the scale, light and history of the park.

Ballast Point Park used to be a sandstone quarry in the 1850's supplying ballast to the nearby shipyard. And from 1864 to 1928 it wa
s the location of the two story marine villa, Menevia. Then from 1928 it was the first seaboard terminal for the Texas Company Limited acting as a fuel storage and major oil distribution point for Sydney. Eventually in 2002 it became public land and the infrastructure of the tanks were cleared from the site.

Now in 2013, as you walk in you are faced with the skeleton of what once was a 1930's tank used to store crude oil. Text from 'The Death of Isaac Nathan', a poem by Australian poet Les Murray is punctured into curved panels of the original Tank 101 sheet steel. The typeface, which is applied throughout the space, represents the thousands of rivets and circular shapes that used to adorn the former park. In the afternoon sunlight the punctured words cast incredible shadows over the surrounding surfaces.

Walking further down the park you come across artifacts from the Menevia site in an outdoor glass. I like how the domestic objects that were being used there by the locals were back in the space where they were recovered.

There are also walled areas made from recycled materials from the site. Again, the way that McGregor Coxall decided not to be precious about the historical artifacts by putting them back in the outdoor space is so interesting. A great example of successful interpretation in my opinion. 

As we were leaving I noticed the way the sunlight created signage on the ground and the gates themselves were mirrored in the yellow awning throughout the park. So good!