A Pavilion Made From Recycled Sydney Oyster Shells Is Being Built on the Barangaroo Foreshore

The pavilion will be constructed on Watermans Cove and is set to be complete in late 2022.
Ben Hansen
Published on March 12, 2021

The ever-changing Barangaroo is set to welcome a distinct new pavilion to its foreshore. Since opening in 2015, the harbourside precinct has been no stranger to major developments, including the controversial recent opening of Crown Sydney and a new amphitheatre-style boardwalk. This boardwalk will soon be joined at Watermans Cove by a new pavilion, selected by the NSW Government as part of the Pier Pavilion Design Competition.

The competition has been running since June 2020, and received over 170 entries from Australian architects. Jessica Spresser of Spresser, in collaboration with Peter Besley created the winning design: a 380-square-metre pavilion consisting of 123 columns made from recycled Sydney rock oyster shells. The oysters are mixed with white concrete, which is refined to reveal the shells within.

The design is representative of humans gathering by the water and incorporates elements of land, sea and sky. Land is represented through the expansive gathering space, a large round opening in the pavilion roof frames the sky and the sea exists through the oysters embedded within its materials.

© SPRESSER and Peter Besley

The pavilion's design is intended to integrate seamlessly into the Barangaroo foreshore, slowly making its impression on visitors over time. "The Pavilion is intended to remain for a long time, and become indivisible from the place," Spresser describes in a statement on the website. "It is intended to figure in people's memories as they grow: from child to teenager, to adult and elderly person."

The structure has been designed to host events — with the design including a stage and bar — as well as provide a general gathering space for the public. It was selected over the other entrants for its usability and timelessness. Other finalists in the competition included a circular pavilion made from hundreds of illuminated stainless steel tubes and a translucent cloud-like structure.

Construction on the pavilion is set to be completed in late 2022.

Jessica Spresser and Peter Besley's Pier Pavilion is due for completion at Watermans Cove, Barangaroo by 2022.

Images: © SPRESSER and Peter Besley

Published on March 12, 2021 by Ben Hansen
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