- Article by Charlotte Huston
A team led by ASPECT Studios has been selected as the winner of a design competition for a major addition to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The winning design features a serpentine cycleway that is fluid, light and transparent, and will enable cyclists aged from eight to 80 to transition seamlessly from the bridge’s northern end to Bradfield Park.
After years of careful planning by Transport for NSW, the cycleway will aim to solve a number of pressing questions about the flows of active transport in Sydney.
The ASPECT-led design team includes design partners Collins and Turner, Yerrabingin, Design 5 Architects, Eckersley O’Callaghan, JMT Consulting and Electrolight.
ASPECT director Sacha Coles says the strengths of the winning design lie in its “appreciation of the existing context.”
“It would be hard to overstate the value of the Harbour Bridge to Sydney, and all of Australia. Our design will create a major piece of active transport infrastructure for Sydney while at the same time retaining, respecting and revealing what is already in place.
“The Country-centred design will give physical form to the stories and movements of the Gadigal and Cammeraygal people,” she says.
The winning design features a minimal curving bridge that is “organic in its geometry,” says ASPECT.
The design team looked to a wide range of sources in the natural and modern environment to arrive at the winning design that ties the project to its place.
“The cycleway will retain the existing relationship between the Harbour Bridge and Bradfield Park by ensuring that any intrusion on views to the bridge for park visitors and residents is minimised,” says the design studio.
“To retain the legibility of state heritage-listed structures like the Milsons Point Station entrance and the Burton Street arch, the alignment of the cycleway has been designed to match that of the viaduct – leaving the park open and uncluttered.
“The cycleway touches the ground onto an existing path, minimising the requirement for additional hard surfaces and preserving all existing trees.”
The Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway is the most heavily used in the city with approximately 2000 bike trips taken each weekday.
Currently, riders must climb 55 steps at the northern end of the bridge and push their bikes through safety barriers at the top for access. At peak times, this obstacle becomes even more congested and creates a serious safety hazard.
The cycleway hopes to remedy this by making active transport an accessible choice for a larger number of people.
ASPECT says the purpose of their winning concept is to “reveal the essential qualities of place, the landscape, its history, social rituals and cultural significance through design.”
“In this project, the ASPECT-led team is championing a creative solution that enhances the way people interact with several treasured heritage places while simultaneously creating an accessible piece of infrastructure that meets the urgent needs of a major city in the twenty-first century.”
The design team will now move on to the concept and detailed design stage of the project with construction expected to start in 2023.
Renders courtesy of ASPECT Studios.
Aspect Studios is a leading landscape design practice built by an international team of designers, landscape architects, urban designers, strategists, and city-makers.
ASPECT Studios are defined by an energized and playful approach, tempered by over 25 years experience in delivering and curating significant projects. Over that time, they have established studios in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City.
Earlier last month, ADR covered ASPECT Studios’ new studio in Dubai and how it plans to further develop projects in the Middle Eastern and North African regions.