Cabarita Park is a historic 10-hectare park located on the southern shore of the Parramatta River. Cabarita Park Conservatory is a marvel of sustainability and urban design coming together to form a community space for all. It’s a council building that doesn’t look like a council building…
Designed by architects at Sam Crawford for The City of Canada Bay Council, Cabarita Park Conservatory comprises of three pavilions which have been intended to be used as a true community space, accommodating for a range of activities (such as exhibitions, community groups, functions, workshops) for the public. The budget for the adaptive Cabarita Park Conservatory was just over $1 million.
The purpose-driven aesthetic design of the building is deceptively simple to look at, but the behind-the-scenes planning that went into this spacious and open pavilion-like structure is nothing to dismiss. Considering both abstract and practical levels, the Cabarita Park Conservatory’s glass sliding doors can be fully opened to access the iconic Moreton Bay fig tree, and the surrounding Cabarita parkland. The conservatory building also utilises simple and robust materials of timber, steel, and glass, to reflect the surrounding environment.
“Whether it be a dense urban environment or a pristine natural setting, our architecture is inspired by its place. We strive to create buildings and spaces that respond to and enhance the physical and intangible aspects of place [and its context],” stated architects at Sam Crawford.
Steel and recycled spotted gum were used on the project to unify the three pavilions (gazebo, hall and amenities) in a vertical rhythm, as well as provide structural framing and thermal insulation.
“Exposed material connections seek to reveal the logic of the structure, while simple techniques of orientation, shading and insulation allow the building to be passively cooled, freeing the building from cumbersome mechanical solutions,” they said in another statement.
In terms of environmental sustainability, rainwater is captured from the roof and recycled for public amenities usage. The materials that were chosen for the project are weather-resistant, and were recycled (where it was possible). The Cabarita Park Conservatory building takes advantage of natural lighting and passive ventilation. The project was completed last year.
Since it’s opening, the Cabarita Park Conservatory has been greatly received by the public and shortlisted for the Australian Institute of Architect’s ‘2018 NSW Architecture Awards’, (announcements for this event, will be made at a celebratory awards night on Friday, July 6).