A photograph of sandstone steps and a path in a bush setting, leading towards a lookout with expansive views.  Blue sky and water is visible in the background.

West Head Lookout Welcomes Visitors

12 Dec 2023

West Head Lookout in Sydney’s Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park has re-opened to visitors, with restored sandstone viewing areas delivering amazing vistas from Darramuragal and Garigal Country.

We’ve been fortunate to work with renowned Sydney landscape architect Bruce Mackenzie on the upgrade of his original 1964 design, developed in association with architect Russell Smith. The lookout was designed in the ‘Sydney Bush School’ style of landscape architecture which responds to the immediate site and demonstrates an appreciation of the broader landscape. 

In 2021 the National Trust of Australia wrote that “practitioners like Bruce Mackenzie rejected the traditional design of urban parks which used introduced plants and formal spaces,” and they strongly encouraged “exploration of a design that retains the original Bruce Mackenzie and Russell Smith sandstone walls.”

OCULUS was engaged by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for the project in 2022, to work collaboratively with Bruce. The existing sandstone character of the West Head lookout has been retained, maintaining visual harmony with the surrounding landscape, while improving visitor safety and ensuring longevity for decades to come.

Bruce’s landscape architecture designs seek to respect the spirit of place, and we are happy to help conserve and enhance West Head Lookout for future generations to enjoy.

A photo of four people standing on a sandstone lookout with blue water and skies behind. They are all smiling, and wearing black and shades of blue.

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