Parramatta Park – The Gardens Precinct: Rich in Landscape Heritage

The Gardens Precinct is at the heart of the World Heritage precinct of Parramatta Park. It is of exceptional historical, aesthetic, research and interpretive value.

Like The Crescent to the west of Old Government House, The Gardens Precinct is a significant site for convict settlement.

Parramatta Park is a place of exceptional national significance. Its importance lies in its rich and wide ranging attributes and values, including:

  • the park’s rich history of occupation by the Burramatta clan of the Darug people and ongoing connection for the Aboriginal community;
  • the history of the site as the seat of Colonial Government and a place of agriculture and convict settlement;
  • the important role the park has played in Australian history, and
  • as a significant open space for the City of Parramatta.

The park is also part of the World Heritage serial listing of Australian Convict sites. This carries a responsibility for the Trust to manage the landscape values of the site, and balance these against the visual impact of the urban environment

Our task

Phillips Marler are currently involved in a major design and documentation for the Parramatta Park Gardens Precinct for Parramatta Park Trust.

Our selection for this $7 million project recognised our capability in both landscape architecture and landscape heritage.

The project is within the World Heritage Area of Parramatta Park. It focuses on three main areas:

  • Murray Gardens and Creek
  • George Street Gatehouse promenade and
  • The northern area of the Gardens as it intersects with the Parramatta River and the rapidly changing CBD of Parramatta.

Interpreting and understanding the historic layers of the site made this a complex project for our landscape heritage team with the competing interests of conservation and new design to create more vibrant spaces.

Elements of former colonial structures and roads were revealed by an archaeological dig. The first stage is nearing construction.

 This project meant engaging with a world heritage landscape with high evidence of archaeology and built heritage. It is a privilege to work in such a significant place, but painstaking at the same time. 

 We relish the detail and the process of working through the issues with Parramatta Park Trust to ensure the design is always complimentary to the significance of the place and provides a rich experience for the public.

 Julie Marler, Phillips Marler


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