Cabarita Park Conservatory

Wan Country / City of Canada Bay, NSW

A true community space sits lightly in an historic 10-hectare park.

Cabarita Park Conservatory

2017 Wan Country / City of Canada Bay, NSW

A pavilion in the riverside park sits lightly amongst the trees providing generous gathering spaces within and without, maximising natural lighting and passive ventilation. This interaction of indoor and outdoor rooms creates a public space which is flexible and responsive to the community’s use of the parkland.

The conservatory hall and amenities pavilion feature generous glass sliding doors that open up to a large veranda, flowing seamlessly into the natural habitat of the park. An expansive overhang doubles the space. The elevated public hall enjoys glimpses of the Parramatta River to the east and a spectacular Moreton Bay Fig tree frames a small outdoor gathering space to the west.

The conservatory is a true community space bringing together diverse groups of residents, interest groups and visitors with a range of compatible activities, from social gatherings to music, writing and the arts. It replaces a 1970s toilet block and picnic shelter.

The material language references park and community buildings local to Sydney’s waterfront. Simple and robust materials, steel and recycled spotted gum, unify the pavilions in a vertical rhythm, while a horizontal datum provides structural framing and thermal insulation. Rainwater is captured from the roof and recycled for public amenities usage. Mint-coloured decorative timber in the amenities block links it to the nearby historic Federation Pavilion.

The buildings are orientated to the geometry of the park’s heritage-listed landscape and formal planted avenues. Site-specific artworks were commissioned to complement the building design and parkland setting.



2019 AIA NSW Public Architecture Award – Winner
2018 Australian Timber Design Awards – Winner


Architecture & Design 27 Sept, 2017
Belle, Architectural News, June/July 2018

Project Team

Sam Crawford, Imogene Tudor, Lachlan Delaney, Ken Warr, Aaron Leeman-Smith, Benjamin Chan, Madeleine Rowe, Chelsea Harper


Rapid Construction

Consultant Team

Accessibility: BCA Logic
Electrical Engineer: Lighting, Art + Science
Geotech: GeoEnviro Consultancy
Heritage: Mayne-Wilson
Hydraulic Engineer: ITM Design
Quantity Surveyor: Estimate 2000
Structural Engineer: Northrop Consulting


Brett Boardman


City of Canada Bay