Pier 26 Refurbishment


Pier 26 Refurbishment

LocationDarling Harbour, Sydney
ClientSydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
ServicesConcept Design, documentation, custom furnishings
Site Area985m2
Budget$1.5 million AUD

Pier 26 is located between Pyrmont Bridge and the Aquarium at Darling Harbour and operates as the base for a number of cruise boats which offer social and corporate cruise’s as well as whale watching and ferry services. It is also a main pedestrian thoroughfare between Darling Harbour and King Street Wharf and is the forecourt to the Aquarium entry.

From an historical perspective, Pier 26 has its origins in the early 1800s when it was known as Market Wharf. An agricultural produce market was established on the current Queen Victoria Building site and was the place where food and livestock grown along the Parramatta River was sold. Market Street still reflects the origins of this early Sydney link with the harbour. Today Pier 26 is a busy wharf servicing commercial tour boats and public ferries.

Until recently the wharf suffered from failing structural integrity and adhoc maintenance to the surrounding decking. The Foreshore Authority engaged SMC Marine to undertake a design and reconstruction of the wharf and commissioned OCULUS to work with SMC to provide architectural input to the detailing of the various elements of the pier design, as well as the resolution of materials and finishes with the aim of setting a new benchmark for wharfing structures within Cockle Bay. Additional embellishments included extensive informal public seating, historical interpretation with stories and images from its market wharf period and later industrial periods, and contemporary wayfinding signage along the promenade for each of the nine jetties.

One of the key design moves was to treat the interface between the upper promenade and the lower boardwalk as an opportunity to incorporate seating, interpretative and wayfinding signage as well as essential infrastructure such as lighting, fire hose reel boxes, life buoys and power take off points incorporated into the seating edge to reduce the visual clutter.