Destination: White Bay Power Station

UNSW 4th Year Landscape Architecture Studio Projects 2015

This urban design studio explored visionary and innovative approaches to the redevelopment of The Bays Precinct. Undertaken over the first half of 2015, landscape architecture students were asked to develop an urban master plan for The Bays Precinct.

The project boundaries encompassed Blackwattle Bay, Wentworth Park, Rozelle Bay, White Bay Power Station, Rozelle Rail Yards, White Bay and Glebe Island. The brief was based on objectives of providing infrastructure, housing, jobs, economic and social benefits. Students working in teams were encouraged to consider new opportunities within their urban design proposals that provide local as well as city-wide benefits.

Project challenges & objectives

Extreme climatic events including flooding, storm surge, heat waves and drought, coupled with sea level rise and increased urban heat pose significant challenges for cities. Students were asked to address the underlying factors that influence emissions in urban development including land use and mix, public transport and provision of walking and cycling infrastructure in their proposals. Measures to improve climate resilience such as improving catchment stormwater water collection and reuse, increasing green cover, improving building efficiency and providing clean energy technologies were explored in many of the urban design proposals.

 The objectives of the urban design project were to:

  • propose an appropriate mix of housing, commercial, industrial uses
  • improve access, connections and public transportation infrastructure
  • provide an appropriate mix of public facilities and public open space
  • develop a scheme that is climate resilient, addresses the impacts of extreme climatic events and reduces CO2 emissions.

University of New South Wales, Student Projects (2015)

Click to view the UNSW student projects displayed at the White Bay Power Station Industry Briefing on 30 October 2015 below.

Aqueous Living

By Georgia McDonald, Mel Elrington, Shen Jia, Elizabeth Andersen and Nitzan Malifa.


“Water is the principle feature of the prime harbour-front land that is “The Bays Precinct”, which historically dominated much more of the foreshore before landfill operations for port facilities took place in the 1900s. Our design poses the question of, what if the harbour re-claimed some of this land? How could that inform our design? How could we weave water back into the site, and how could this water be activated?

Aqueous Living proposes an urban typology where water enters the city and the city extends into the water. The juxtaposition of the natural and the artificial, production and recreation, land and water creates a unique, layered urban landscape.”

Catalytic scaffold

By Johnny Ellice-Flint, Yen Vu, Alex Mok and Monique Selosse.

“An approach for masterplanning the site with a further look at responsive ecology including a new canal and an engineered wet network connected to the bays.”


By Allison Sainty, Dean Hagar, Chris O’Brien and Melody Willis.

“Master planning undertaken with a detailed examination of the connections, grid patterns and the way streets and view corridors are cut across the site. Heritage, public buildings, public transport, walkability, street hierarchy, open space and density all play an important part in ‘Connections/Cuts/Grids’ The Bays Precinct project.”


By Sophie Geelan, Grace Rummery, Brett Nangle and Meredith Gleeson.

“LAND2401 was presented with a challenge to develop a master plan for The Bays Precinct that provides infrastructure, housing, jobs and economic and social benefits and is climate resilient. As a group, we developed a ‘health’ scheme to combat this challenge. We set out to redesign The Bays Precinct in a way that targets social, ecological and human health. This scheme infiltrated our design process and drove us to make specific design choices to create this holistic design. The Bays Precinct consists of 95 hectares of government owned land and 94 hectares of harbour waterways. From our site analysis, a number of opportunities and constraints were identified and informed our health scheme.”

Switching gears

By Claire O’Brien, Brinlee Pickering, Michelle Williams and Grace Hunt.

“Our vision for The Bays Precinct is a place where the engines of society are in motion around us. Where you can see the dynamics of a working city in your own liveable neighbourhood. Previously playing a major role in the heavy industries and port workings of Sydney, the Bays is a rich landscape dramatically altered to accommodate its evolving use. Our approach to The Bays was to create an urban Masterplan characterised by acceptance of existing industrial workings, remnant features, dramatically altered natural conditions, and the unique character its layered past has created. It is a carbon neutral, walkable and connected neighbourhood. We recognise that industry and residential use do not traditionally go side by side but we propose a new way of living where both workers and residents accommodate each other. When people can see how clothes are made and where their energy is produced, they are more likely to make sustainable choices and consume less. The Bays offer a variety of moments that celebrate the interaction between people and industry, creating a new social fabric that facilitates transparency of activity, experienced on every street.”

University of Technology Sydney, Student Projects (2015)

Click to view the University of Technology Sydney architecture student projects displayed at the White Bay Power Station Industry Briefing on 30 October 2015 below.

Ripples by The Bays Masterplan

By Christofer Cattell, Pareena Lertsurawat, Michael Zhi Teoh, Bonnie Zhou.

“Three phase masterplan. Existing –> Connecting –> Stitching.”

Collage city

By Wijie Shen Mike.

“This is the master studio project of the semester doing the master plan of the White Bay (Balmain) and a urban social incubator (a building design) to make a difference on the whole master plan. As for the design process, I had a compre¬hensive research about the whole White bay area, then explore the collaged masterplan of Balmain and design the urban social incubator. My work through¬out the semester is directed by my tutor Cristina Aranzubia Hernaiz and Victor Olivar Alcami from UTS architecture program.

By understanding the existing condition of Balmain in relation to the whole White Bay Precinct, I understand Balmain has a collaged street pattern. At the same time, from the demographic analysis, the social activities and urban actors also play a vital role in transforming the bay precinct. Along with the ‘collage’ concept , the connection between the public open space can be seen as an¬other design opportunity. When applied with the mixed-use program and four high-rise tower in the planning area, it is obvious that the value of the land also can be maximised with retail, commercial, infrastructure and mostly importantly the residential. The “hydroponic” masterplan can be seen as an extension of the character of the existing Balmain.”

Delirious White Bay

By Khalid Osman.

“The objective of this project is to reconfigure the White Bay Precinct through indulging its old identity. A place in the heart of Sydney CBD; sprawling through its vision of preserving the identity. And inherent them for the future masterplanning of the city. The Design intent is to investigate the existing remaining heritage Precinct in the white bay area and reconnect it with the identity which possess through its history and culture.

The three important elements that connects this urban redevelopment area are- 109m long landmark ANZAC Bridge, the last remaining White Bay Power Station which converts coal to electricity and the delirious harbour that unifies the other suburbia into a one single hub. This project intends to connect the elements into one single public space which serves the community , its new building infrastructures and the people.”

Glebe Island art storage

By Bennett Lee.

“This project questions the role of art in society by pitting together art therapy programs for the homeless against the heavily protected and arcane acts of art conservation and storage. Given that ‘curare’, the latin root for the word curate, means ‘to care’, the project proposes an institution that simultaneously cares for people as it cares for artwork. The intention is a new and speculative type or art institution that makes known to the public town contrasting manners in which they can regards art:

1. An inclusive transformative process capable of socially engaging even the most economically marginalised demographic, or

2. A highly structured and regulated discipline involved in the curation and protection of cultural artefacts for their aesthetic, educational, and ultimately, economic value.

Rozelle creative core

By Adrian Taylor.

“The Bays Precinct offers an edge that though currently underutilised and segmented that through design could bind together all of Sydney’s foreshore. Within the design studio that this project was developed we focused on the issue of art storage for the major institutional bodies of Sydney, namely MCA and UNSW. The fissure between art storage and exhibition is one of note and the proposed designs were to solve this as well as integrating with the city through The Bays Precinct. The Rozelle Creative Core is to act as an attractor, a node of activity and connection to revitalise the area for public use and offer a space of agency to artists of any pedigree.”

Sydney's life aquatic

By Christopher Raddatz

“Sydney’s obsession with the quality of its aquatic context is no mystery. The ways in which we engage with our elemental edge are numerous and are seen as a civic, egalitarian right afforded to all.

However we have lost an edge, the inner harbour once boasted a vast network of thriving public baths which became to many a public institution and a conscious way through which many Sydneysiders could celebrate their antipodean existence and identity.

Amid the speculation regarding the future of Blackwattle Bay, this project sets out to rekindle this lost tradition of public bathing, fusing natural bio filtered pools with a new bathers pavilion and boardwalk. These elements provide opportunities for;

  • new ferry links
  • a more integrated urban conversation between Wentworth Park and the Foreshore
  • and celebrate the significance of existing maritime artefacts such as the timber herringbone facade of the disused coal bunker.

The design demonstrates an effort to reinvigorate Blackwattle Bay’s connection with its contemporary aquatic context, and to allow us, as Sydneysiders to take civic delight in our most revered, aquatic edge.”

The confluence

By Anna Nilsson.

“The Confluence is the place where you enter and exit Rozelle Bay, in its nature transient and transitional. It reveals itself as an embodiment of Rozelle Bay and its place within the city. It is currently a place without identity or pride, located next to West Link with 10 lanes of uncrossable traffic, the un-utilized Rozelle Rail Yards and White’s Creek that flows into Rozelle Bay. The area is sandwiched by well-established residential areas and slightly rustles with maritime industries.”

The Mod

By Stephanie Seow.

“Following urban analysis into the Bays Precinct and Annandale. This proposal is modular in nature responding to the urban fabric of the Rozelle Rail Yards. The primary objective of the masterplan is to create better connections through the enclave, connecting Annandale to the greater Sydney network – linking to the cultural ribbon and the Bay Run. Annandale possesses a distinct village character which is absent from the study site and is an opportunity to provide activation to the area. These modules will provide points of activation to the area, chosen from a kit of parts which responds to the programs, creating a distinct character.”

Urban aggression and intervention

By Adam Taliano.

“Something obvious. Urban Aggression needs opportunity to exist and operate. Urban Intervention and control play major roles in reducing the opportunities available for these aggressions and hostilities to take place. With the implementation of these various controls and restrictions by government bodies and council, Actors involved in ‘Urban Aggression’ are pushed to certain unsafe and uncontrolled zones. 

Hypothesis: This evidently produces certain ‘in-between spaces’ which in turn, provide opportunity once more for urban aggressionists. Zones control and interventions can be used to naturally allocate zones of opportunity for urban aggression events.”

White Bay Power Station conservation management

By Michelle Vassiliou.

“Conservation Machines and Public Engagement – White Bay Power Station sits in contrast to other sites around the city that sit exposed, abandoned and decaying, waiting to be addressed, or in the process of demolition, adaptive reuse or restoration.

This project was a study of the conservation museum as an activated and contested space. The time between physical states and preservation activities of White Bay Power Station leave the site inaccessible, denying programmatic activity, making the site underutilised or redundant for a great period of time.

This project recognises that the cycles of the preservation schedule allows the building to constantly be under the act of preserving but never preserved in its totality, leaving the building in multiple states at any one time. This is achieved through a series of conservation and preservation machines that trace the building, allowing the public to engage with these processes in real time.”