The John Whitton Bridge in Sydney's west carries a railway line across the Parramatta River between the suburbs of Rhodes and Meadowbank.
The design of the public open space beneath the bridge creates a simple spatial structure that seeks to create maximum public benefit, providing a wide range of recreational and programmatic opportunities.
Key to this was 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 eastern area along Blaxland Road acts as a functional space, accommodating pedestrian circulation and access up to bridge level, as well as vehicle access and for the nearby public boat ramp.
The western area fronts the river and forms the main recreational and gathering space and east-west pedestrian and cycle routes through the site. The two bridge abutments effectively enclose the space, creating a very different public realm experience to the more open spaces found elsewhere along the river’s edge. The sense of enclosure helps to define this space as an outdoor room, offering shelter from the elements.