Carter Williamson Architects

Amenities For Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

New Amenities Building for Camperdown Memorial Rest Park or Inner West Council
2019, Unbuilt

Public projects should give more to the public than just their brief – there should be a higher purpose. Our proposal for the Camperdown Memorial Rest Park Amenities satisfies the brief by solving the complex nature of heritage and a site of indigenous significance while providing a great park with a soft edge to sit on; and a stage to the open space of the park. This project is a demonstration of how the whole is greater than the sum of individual parts.

The crescent plan with a publicly visible entry provides passive surveillance away from the rain and sun. A trio of washbasins for adults, children and pets are externalised, prepared for active and ready public engagement in a quiet area of the park.
Externalising the washbasin for adults, children, and pets prepared for active and ready public engagement in a part of the park that was quiet. The amenities building gave it a perfect moment.

The steeply sloped roof resolves the leaf litter problem and gives the building a beautiful sweep of ribbon windows that naturally illuminate the toilets. The amenities are a robust and unbreakable public building. The composition of commonly used and solid materials (brick, steel, concrete) in this exciting and beautiful way lead the council officers to see the building akin to functional art.

Sitting in a former cemetery
Camperdown Rest Memorial is a popular park in Sydney’s Inner West, a place where you can often find hundreds of locals walking dogs, picnicking and enjoying the sun; it is a site that has been begging for an amenities block for decades. There is a shared intangible public knowledge of how visitors want to use the park, evident in the well-worn desire paths we didn’t want to congest or obstruct. This observation helped dictate the siting of the amenities; the prefered location is along the footpath, gets the least amount of sunlight, and therefore not used by picnickers.

Heritage + Archeology
Historically a cemetery for the adjacent St Stephen’s Church, which further dictated the location. It has the lowest potential for archaeological deposits and a shorter distance to connect to existing services, meaning we wouldn’t further disrupt any significant heritage fabric.

Influenced by the urban character of the surrounding suburb, the amenities take cues from the brick workers cottages and federation homes with wrought iron fencing and a colour palette of heritage reds, greens and whites.
The curved brick facade is a homage to the local character but is given a contemporary twist by pushing and pulling special bricks to create a textured wave pattern. The steel detailing is expressive and unexpected, creating an internal moment of delight.

A bench seat overlooking views of the park is created by working with the existing falls of the site and extending the concrete slab, creating a moment to take advantage of park views.

Visualisations by Neuman Studio