May 20, 2014

It’s a rare thing to see an inner-city ‘green’ space sprout so majestically from what was – literally and figuratively – a black hole, a dark, dangerous no-man’s land backing up to a major train terminus. Even more special, is to see the chic tongue-in-cheek that turns that ‘green’ space for the most part bright yellow and blue. Designed by Rachel Neeson with her late-husband Nick Murcutt (one of my design teachers at UNSW), the Prince Alfred park and pool glisten under Sydney summer (and winter!) skies. Landscaped by Sue Barnsley with lush lawn and native grasses, it’s now a playful public space, upbeat, positive. Reclaimed land, indeed! Massive yellow umbrellas are a fun solution to sun-control, in lieu of stock-standard fixed roofing, and it’s terrific watching swimmers do laps in that Hockney-esque pool. In fact, the whole Prince Alfred Park is like a Jeffrey Smart painting, sprung to life – and you can’t get much more essentially Sydney than that.

Author: Nick tobias