Sydney Architecture Images- Harold Park

Harold Park Redevelopment


Masterplan- Hassell
Public Domain Landscape- Aspect Studio
Precinct One architecture- Mirvac Design
Precinct Two architecture- SJB Architects


Glebe, Inner West, Sydney


DA July 2011, demolition early 2012, construction 2013.


Millennium Moderne 


Common excavated carpark per precinct, concrete slab, various cladding


Multi-residential Apartment Buildings
  Harold Park and the adjoining Tram Depot are being redeveloped by Mirvac to house 1200 apartments. Harold Park was a horse raceway for the past 100 years and is a rather spectacular site for housing, being next to the harbour and adjacent existing well developed housing and infrastructure, the university, a stone's throw to the city, etc.
Mirvac are redeveloping Harold Park in a five precinct masterplan, with 7500m2 of retail in the Tram Depot. Almost four  hectares (10 acres) of land will be ceded to the city as parkland.

In October 2011 Mirvac lodged the DA plans at Sydney Council for their multi-residential redevelopment of the former Harold Park Paceway site at Forest Lodge.

The above rendering shows the Harold Park site with the thus far designed Precinct One (Mirvac Design) and Precinct Two (SJB Architects). Site masterplanning by Hassell and site landscape design by Aspect Studio.


The Site

First, let’s look at the site.

The site is divided into six precincts (to be built in phases). Each of these is effectively a single building, with a shared excavated carpark and two to four towers, and with a deep soil zone in the middle (DA requirement). Precinct Six is to be sold to another developer for student/essential service housing (DA condition). Precinct 4A to the north of the site has not been fully resolved- its traffic will be directed on to Maxwell Street and local residents are concerned.

There is also a park site (5.8 hectares (14 acres)) against the cliff. This, along with the roads, is to be ceded back to the City. It also forms the overland flow path for floods (very important on this site).

There is also the old Rozelle Tram Depot. This is to be developed as 7000sm of retail. Unfortunately, the parking for this has been placed in front of the depot (it would have been too expensive to put it under the Depot as council has asked for in the master plan).

Above- plan (Aspect) for one of the “pocket parks”. This links the existing Crescent roadway with one of the new site roadways. It allows for a significant (about 4m) level change.

Above- Hassell masterplan massing model. Note the six story buildings on the Crescent, stepping back to 8 story within the site. Sydney Council was strict about imposing building setbacks (delaying the DAs).

Above- an example of an existing recent Mirvac development at Rhodes.

Above- the site, 1948.

Above- the site, today. Quite a few more trees.

Precincts One and Two

Now, the good stuff.

Precinct One

Above- Site plan for Precinct One (Mirvac Design). There are “terrace houses” at street level, with traditional flats above (typical accross site). Four towers around a deep soil courtyard zone in the middle.

Above- P1 facade elevations.

Above- Computer rendering of Precinct One showing the pop-out windows.

Above- note that the top two levels step further in. This is part of the DCP and was insisted on by council.

Above- P1 shown in context on the site model.

Precinct Two

Above- Detail of the pocket park between the two P2 buildings as designed by Aspect. This is intended to blend seemlessly into the surrounding landscape and optimistically shows tall trees planted in very shallow beds.

Above- The P2 plans and elevations by SJB Architects.

Above- A section through one of the P2 buildings showing its relationship to the adjacent “heritage” cliff and existing house. The concept was that the top datum of the new buildings was not to rise above the roofline of the existing Victorian homes.

The Tram Depot

Above- the Tram Depot on the site will be converted to 7000m2 retail (possibly sold on to a separate developer).  It has sat empty and derlict since the 1980s. Trams ceased operating out of there in the 1950s.

Above- the entry area today.

Above- as it was in the 1950s.

Above- the interior today. There are a number of badly vandalised trams in there, some of which will be retained and restored.

Above- the proposed exterior (image- Loop Creative).

Above- the proposed interior (image- Loop Creative). Possibly to be used as a large green grocers store and/or gym.


This development will have a huge impact on the area. However, as Sydney marches towards 5 million people it is better to concentrate populations near the city.

If it can be done as sensitively as the old Children’s Hospital site up the road (on Pyrmont Bridge Road) then it will be a winner. We will wait and see.

Further info will be added once available.
Masterplan with indicative building heights.
The Future

Sydney Council has released a draft plan to guide development at the Harold Park paceway site in Glebe, retaining the tram sheds and allowing for 900 new residential dwellings.

The draft urban design study will be presented to the community at a public meeting tonight at St Scholastica’s College, Avenue Rd, Glebe.

The plan is to transform what is currently a site with no publicly accessible open space to a mix of retail, moderate density housing, parkland and cycleways, while protecting heritage elements and the local habitat.

More than 25 per cent of the site or five and a half soccer fields will be publicly accessible open space and a cliff edge park is a key element, linking the site and surrounding areas to Jubilee Park, Johnston’s Creek and the light rail by a green corridor.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said consultation with the community helped determine opportunities and constraints for the site.

“The community told us they wanted improved local village facilities, new open space and opportunities for the development to be sustainable,” Cr Moore said.

Under the plan the heritage tram sheds would be restored and could become a creative, commercial and community space, easily visited via light rail. Building heights will range from three to eight storeys with 900 to 1000 new residential dwellings. 


See also
Harold Park history
Harold Park Redevelopment
Harold Park history from the air
Glebe early maps
Harold Park historical images
Rozelle Tram Depot
Rozelle Tram Depot historical images
Rozelle Tram Depot historical from the air
Sydney Tramsheds Gallery
Former Tram Depots of Sydney