Save Fitzroy Gardens > Grave Community Concerns re Gawdy Colours, Unsympathetic Materials in New Playground

Grave Community Concerns re Gawdy Colours, Unsympathetic Materials in New Playground
Kings Cross, Sydney


The Sydney City Council has broken a promise to local residents concerned that the Fitzroy Gardens playground redevelopment would be out-of-character with the colours and materials of the rest of the heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens, which is celebrated for its earthen colours, soft-edged naturalism, and unique brick and tile materials.

On 15 December 2012 Brigid Kelly (on behalf of Lord Mayor Clover Moore) gave a written undertaking to the Friends of Fitzroy Gardens that "the City has obtained independent heritage advice and engaged expert landscape architects to get this [the materials and colours] right and we want the playground to compliment [sic] Fitzroy Gardens".

It is now early 2014. The playground's construction is nearing completion and residents are shocked to see that its colours and materials almost the complete opposite from what the Council promised:

Gawdy orange poles in new Fitzroy Gardens playground (image)


COUNCIL'S PROMISE
"Rather than creating a gaudy massing of bright, uncoordinated colours, the new materials will engage with the park setting."

THE REALITY
There is a cluster of gawdy bright orange poles in the centre of the playground. These poles are tall (around 5-6 metres). They are highly visually distracting from the natural environment of the Gardens. They are obtrusive to the vistas as they can be seen from all angles and all points in the Gardens.

Ugly new planter boxes (image)

Dark grey/black bricks are used in this new planter box. Why not "sandstock earthern hues" as promised and as in the existing planters?


COUNCIL'S PROMISE
"The new materials will engage with the park setting, ... [the] sandstock brick earthen hues create a strong character."

THE REALITY
The playground has dark grey/black planter boxes that do not match the sandstone hues of the pre-existing planter boxes along Baroda Avenue.

COUNCIL'S PROMISE
"Rather than creating a gaudy massing of bright, uncoordinated colours, the new materials will engage with the park setting."

THE REALITY
The playground has numerous fake timber tree trunk poles (again painted bright orange) that are not in keeping with the rest of the Gardens.

Dark bricks instead of Fitzroy's famous Bulli pavers (image)

Dark grey bricks were laid down (left side) rather than using the earthen-coloured Bulli pavers (right side) that are seen in the rest of the Gardens.


COUNCIL'S PROMISE
"The new materials will engage with the park setting... New materials and colours will seek to compliment [sic] and not distract from this setting."

THE REALITY
The area adjacent to the whole southern side of the playground has repaved with dark grey bricks in a herringbone pattern rather than simply putting Bulli pavers (with their warm earthen colours) back in place after the works. Bulli pavers are used in the rest of the Gardens.

Battleship grey walls and bricks instead of Fitzroy's warm naturalistic colours

The new grey besser brick walls and grey bricks (foreground) in stark contrast with the Fitzroy's original design: naturalistic earthen bricks (background)


COUNCIL'S PROMISE
"The materiality of the new playground aims to connect with the park.... The new materials will engage with the park setting. The burnt tones of the existing manganese pavement..."

THE REALITY
The walls of the northern terrace have been painted a battleship grey colour. This colour is totally disharmony with the sandstock colours and terracotta hues of the rest of the Gardens and with the nearby Rex and Kingclere Buildings.


TELL COUNCIL TO KEEP ITS PROMISE!

STOP THE PLAYGROUND FROM BEING AN EYESORE!

SEND AN EMAIL TO THE LORD MAYOR (TAKES ONLY 3 MINUTES)


A number of people have expressed dismay, concern and even anger at the way the playground construction is proceeding. It seems obvious now the playground materials and colours are not in keeping with the rest of Fitzroy Gardens and the playground will be a large eyesore -- a blight on the Gardens.

There is little point just getting angry. A number of people have already written to the Council - informing the Council of their opinion of the works. We suggest that if you feel the same way, email or write to the Lord Mayor and send a copy to the Chief Executive Officer.

If you are sending an email, the email addresses are:
cmoore@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
ceo@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au





Photos: Peter Young, Michael Gormly



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