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Growing Urban Greenery in Barangaroo with Citygreen Stratavault™

Key Facts

Project Location:
Wulungu Walk, Barangaroo South, Sydney NSW

April 2015

ASPECT | OCULUS, Landscape Architecture + Urban Design

Trees planted:
European Nettle Tree Celtis australis

Barangaroo South, one of Barangaroo’s three distinct redevelopment areas in Sydney, Australia, is a highly urbanised development with its world-class boutique restaurants, stores, commercial office space and residential apartments.

In Barangaroo, more than half of the area is comprised of public spaces, designed to provide a safe, comfortable and sustainable environment for workers, residents and visitors.
One of these is the Wulugul Walk, a new waterfront promenade for pedestrians, cyclists and outdoor dining that spans from King Stree Wharf in the south, to the northern part of Barangaroo Reserve, providing iconic scenic views of Sydney Harbour and the city along the way.
Citygreen’s Stratavault™ was utilised to enhance Barangaroo South with lush tree canopies, revitalising its waterfront and streets, providing more recreational opportunities by allowing the green landscape to thrive.

Project Goals

The project was a joint venture between OCULUS and ASPECT Studios and Roger Jasprizza, Associate Director from OCULUS, said that it was paramount for Barangaroo South’s landscape and public realm to be highly activated so that people were encouraged to enjoy both passive and active outdoor activities with comfort and ease. To achieve this, the vision was to provide a strong green presence across all the public open spaces.
“Because the waterfront promenade is west facing, there were challenges when it came to solar access and heat, particularly in the summer. Growing healthy trees was necessary to reduce this heat – getting as much shade in summer as possible while providing solar access in winter and having substantial canopy cover to ameliorate the winds.”

Other objectives for improving Barangaroo South’s green landscape involved:

  • making Barangaroo South an iconic place of regional and international significance by building on its transformational qualities
  • integrating the water-sensitive requirements and urban design of Barangaroo South with existing and proposed spaces and development
  • positioning Barangaroo South as an ideal place for hosting public outdoor events, festivals and activities, and
  • promoting waterfront destinations by leveraging the picturesque nature of Sydney’s cityscape.

Project Challenges

One of the most significant difficulties of Barangaroo South’s project planning was taking into consideration the density of paved areas, streets, natural formations and infrastructural elements – all of which would affect soil volumes. It was also crucial to mediate between the various architectural projects, scales and styles to allow the landscape and public realm to become the unifying element.
On top of this, there were additional challenges with the lighting conduits and thermal regulation pipes, as well as deliberations over the right tree species selection, both from an aesthetic and practical sense. The design team provided the solution to address these issues and transform Barangaroo into a place where cityscape meets the water.

Project Methodology

Deciduous trees were selected to be grown and nurtured for the Barangaroo South project. As part of this, Citygreen’s Stratavault™ provided the conducive environment for these city trees to thrive and meet the project’s goals.

With its open matrix design, the Citygreen Stratavault™ system ensured that there was uncompacted soil space for building a “sustainable architecture of the soil”. These robust soil cells enabled applied loads to be shared and lateral strength to be maximised, facilitating strong root growth without damaging the surrounding paved surfaces, all while being able to withstand downward force.
Citygreen Stratavault™ was also chosen for its sizable apertures which allowed for the easy integration of larger conduits, service pipes and aeration systems.
In addition, Citygreen Stratavault™ allowed Barangaroo South to follow stormwater management best-practises, optimising surface water for the healthy growth of trees while minimising the pollution carried to local bodies of water.

Roger said, “We used the tree pits to drain the waterfront. The promenade was designed to direct surface water to the tree pits where Citygreen’s Stratavault™ captures and distributes its flow to the tree roots, irrigating them. The surface water goes through the soil medium as a filter, which utilises the entire length of the promenade to catch stormwater runoff, undertaking a natural water quality purification process to treat it before it eventually goes into the harbour.”

Project Outcomes

With Citygreen’s Stratavault™, the healthy growth of all the deciduous and evergreen trees was achieved. The presence of thriving urban trees had completely transformed Barangaroo’s open spaces into natural sanctuaries of tranquillity where people can relax and enjoy picture-perfect views of the city.

Roger shared the results they gained from using Citygreen’s Stratavault™ in their project.

“Barangaroo South has been a particularly successful project. Since their installation, the trees have grown extremely well despite the difficult urban conditions, especially if you consider the hot westerly exposure in summer and cold south westerly winds in winter.”

Citygreen’s Stratavault™ helped transform Wulugul Walk, a previously inaccessible place, into a refreshing and vibrant streetscape where public life has flourished.
With its sustainable, vibrant and comfortable open spaces, Barangaroo South now welcomes hundreds of visitors and residents every single day.

“I hope within the coming years, we’ll be able to increase our knowledge from the Barangaroo South project and use Citygreen’s Stratavault™ to improve even more urban landscape projects”, stated Roger.

At Citygreen, we have a wide range of cutting-edge urban landscape products like our Stratavault™ system. If you aim to enhance your urban space and transform grey spaces into thriving green ones, just like Barangaroo South, speak to us today.

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“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -