This award-winning venue, situated on Oxford Street in Paddington, is a hidden and unique place of Sydney. If you don’t know that it’s there, you might walk past the Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
Built in the 19th century as a necessary source of water for the rapidly growing population, this reservoir was an integral part of the Botany Swamps Scheme. The reservoir’s utilization ceased 1899 and was used afterwards as a storage utility and a petrol station until 1990. After the first structural collapse the site was abandoned.
In 2006 a conversation plan for this site has started to conserve, restore and reuse this construction. Therefore, architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and landscape architects JMD Design began their work in the same year. 2008 the Paddington Reservoir Gardens were reopened. You can visit the sunken tree-fern garden downstairs or have a rest on the rooftop reserve above the preserved eastern chamber.
The design team did a fantastic job by combining the old 19th century structures with modern elements. You can still see some of the original bricks and iron fixtures which are a contrast to steel and concrete.
Why I liked it?
Obviously, the fusion of new and old architecture combined with a green garden with a hint of historical structure. (It instantly reminded me of a Roman villa.) There are possibilities to sit down near the water or upstairs in the sun. And there are stairs and an elevator as well as a ramped access to the rooftop reserve (wheelchair and buggy-friendly). Plus, entry is free 😉 .