2019 Gadigal land / Marrickville, NSW
2020 AIA NSW Award for Small Project Architecture – Commendation
Wicks Park is a small neighbourhood park surrounded by light industrial and commercial buildings, including warehouses, cafes, breweries, and a service station. It is well used during the day for tai chi, tennis, dog walking, picnicking and play. By night it is rather dark and a little scary.
The Wicks Park Amenities were conceived as a lantern in the park; welcoming, open and light throughout the day, and somewhat of a beacon in the evening.
Safety, privacy and accessibility were key to Inner West Council’s brief. In addition to providing accessible toilets, the building needed to be sufficiently robust for ease of maintenance and be capable of coping with vandalism and anti-social behaviour, and yet make people feel safe and welcome.
In considering the siting of the building, it was agreed that it was important that it be located to have high visibility from the street; be accessible to passers-by, as well as close enough to users of the tennis courts, the children’s playground, and park visitors in general.
An impact resistant polycarbonate panel forms the upper walls and roof, giving the little building a lantern like quality. The base is solid and private where required, and open and transparent elsewhere to maximise visibility, and airflow. A composite frame of steel and recycled hardwood supports the lantern, and recycled timber battens provide degrees of privacy and passive surveillance.
Jury Citation, 2020 NSW Architecture Awards:
…Sam Crawford Architects have balanced the need for robust details suitable for a public area and safety concerns while also providing a building that welcomes visitors. Although modest in size, this project uses architectural thinking to improve public space.
Sam Crawford, Imogene Tudor, Anna Paton, Benjamin Chan, Ken Warr
Access Consultant – Blackett Maguire and Goldsmith
Geotechnical Engineer – Butler Partners
Hydraulic Engineer – ITM Design
Lighting & Electrical – Lighting, Art + Science
Quantity Surveyor – Bylett and Associates
Structural Engineer – Cantilever Engineers
Inner West Council