Warringah Council has announced the winner of the Walter Gors Park Design Ideas Competition, in which Council sought innovative ideas to transform this urban space into a revitalised park to reflect the energy, creativity, and diversity of Warringah and a revitalised Dee Why Town Centre.
Sydney based landscape architecture studio Corkery Consulting won the competition with “Wa(l)ter Gors Park”, which uses water as a unifying element within the public domain that is symbolic of renewal, movement and connectivity.
Walter Gors Park will form a key part of the Dee Why Town Centre through the reinterpretation of ecological, social and cultural heritage values in a new community space.
Water is used throughout the new Walter Gors Park as a unifying element within the public domain that is symbolic of renewal, movement and connectivity. The cultural significance and ecological value of water is celebrated in a system of rain gardens that clean storm water while providing visual delight and physical comfort for visitors. New shade structures, reflecting the physical form of former residential buildings, are set within paved plazas and incorporate interactive information displays. Physical and psychological connectivity to the Town Centre is strengthened by wide paths and a shared plaza that integrates the Park with the future Dee Why Library.
Diverse recreation and social interaction opportunities are provided throughout a vibrant urban precinct that forms a regional destination.
A Story of Reconnecting People, Place + Water
As I walk along the new timber boardwalk over the daylighted section of drainage channel, I am reminded of the water connection between the Town Centre and Dee Why Lagoon. This awareness is heightened as I reach the timber deck at the end of the boardwalk and see light dancing on the water surface between the ‘lily pad’ stepping stones in the rain garden. Walking below the visually engaging ‘Flow’ canopy structure over the promenade in front of the new shops, the vibrant colours of tree canopies signal my arrival at the main entry plaza of Walter Gors Park, which extends across Howard Street to create a strong link between the Park and new Library.
I grab my favourite coffee from the plaza café before briefly checking out the upcoming local events on the digital community board. Stepping over water flowing between the concrete and timber plazas, I walk over to one of the shade structures that remind me of the houses that were here before the new park was created. I look at the interactive screen displaying today’s poem:
the lily pads float like air
across waters that drain away
the children play
Walking over the ‘lily pad’ stepping stones I find myself playfully jumping from stone to stone encouraged by the variation in their shape and the sound of water trickling through native reeds and grasses.
I then move along a quiet edge of the Park, with the dappled shade of native trees gently moving across timber decks interspersed with lawn, taking a moment to enjoy the solitude offered in this area of the Park before continuing towards the open lawn and barbeque areas.
The sound of sizzling barbeques is soon replaced with the splashing of water and laughter of children in the water play space. Children and parents engage with water through a playful, learning experience provided by pop jets, water mills and aqua ladders. Leaving this playful scene behind, I unchain my bike and take the cycleway towards the beach in search of inspiration for my own poem to submit for tomorrow’s posting.
Walter Gors Park Design Ideas Competition
Location | Dee Why, Sydney NSW Australia
Design Year | 2014
Landscape Architects | Corkery Consulting
Area | 6,500sqm
Image Credits | Corkery Consulting