John Whitton Bridge Open Space


John Whitton Bridge Open Space

LocationRhodes, NSW
ClientCity of Canada Bay
ServicesLandscape Architecture
Site Area3,000 sqm
Budget$2 million AUD
Date2011 - 2013
The design of the public open space for the John Whitton Bridge creates a simple spatial structure which seeks to create maximum public benefit and provide for a wide range of recreational and programmatic opportunity. Key to this has been the creation of two distinct spaces: the western and eastern areas, each with their own character and program, which are strongly visually and physically linked.

The western part of the site under the bridges which fronts onto the River and forms the main recreational and gathering space, as well as providing for the east-west pedestrian and cycle route through the site.

The eastern part of the site along Blaxland Road which acts as a more functional space accommodating pedestrian circulation and access up to bridge level, as well as vehicle access and parking associated with the public boat ramp.

The western space under the John Whitton Bridge will form the main gathering space focused on the Parramatta River edge with the backdrop formed by the two bridge abutments. The bridges and abutments will effectively form the backwall and roof to this space fronting onto the River, creating a different type of space to the more open spaces found elsewhere on the Peninsula along the water’s edge. This restriction in horizontal and vertical space will help to define this space as an “outdoor room” and reinforce it as a special place and a destination.

The key design gestures within this space are: • An occupiable zone along the water’s edge consisting of a series of platforms which help create gathering spaces and seating edges; • A clear pedestrian and cycle route through the centre of the space connecting to Point Park & the foreshore promenade to the west, and to Blaxland Road to the east; • A series of low planters along the back of the space forming a base treatment to the two bridge abutments.

Image Credits: Simon Patching