The City of Sydney engaged Turf Design Studio + Environmental Partnerships to improve Fitzroy Gardens; the iconic Potts Point park designed by the city’s well-respected landscape architect, Ilmars Berzins.
This unique place was initially designed in the 1970s and desperately in need of some tender loving care. The park had succumbed to a range of uses not originally intended for the park including, the impact on paving from heavy vehicular traffic associated with the weekend markets. The community was intent on retaining the essence of what they intrinsically loved about the park, thus it was it was our job to understand their core values and respectfully honour them; at the same time accommodating the changing park uses and original design intent of Berzins.
Our instructions were clear; tread lightly. TDEP approached the task like a jeweller restoring a precious family heirloom to its former glory. The park’s retro character shines through in the preservation of paving treatments and restoring the sub-tropical planting palette that is akin to the original planting design. Beyond the newly restored El-Alamein Memorial Fountain, new tree plantings and contemporary seating offers patrons a place to sit and observe the transient landscape of pedestrians and cars. A new playground has been reinstated as per Berzins’ original design intent and has provided parents of young children residing in the surrounding high density urban environment a much needed quality, outdoor play resource.
TDEP and the City of Sydney collaborated on the project from the very beginning; to ensure the best quality outcome for the Gardens. By paying homage to the various eras of the park and respecting the old design; the park’s connection to the landscape and meaning to the people is maintained. It was important to protect its heritage from the very beginning, as a platform to tell a story of its fascinating past.