Queen’s Road Gatehouse Heritage Adaptive Re-use & New Build


Parramatta Park
Western Sydney Parklands Trust
7 months

This project involved the stabilisation, remediation and adaptive re-use of a mid-19th century Heritage-listed Gatehouse in Parramatta Park at the Queen’s Road entry near Westmead. Substantial contaminated soil remediation was involved in addition to the removal of lead-based paint on all surfaces of the existing structure. The roof was substantially re-built in order to protect and preserve as much of the original fabric as possible including original beams, rafters and shingles under the more recently added corrugated covering. Substantial termite damage across all aspects of the structure, including the lime-based mortar, was undertaken and the structure was subject to extensive desalination followed by significant brick-stitching repairs. One internal wall in the Gatehouse was removed to facilitate adaptive re-use; the bricks used in the structure were found to be even older then the structure itself and probably dating from around 1840 – while not convict-made, they did have the distinctive arrow-style frog indicating they were made by Government employees; it is likely that an earlier park structure was demolished and the brick re-used in the construction of the Gatehouse. The chimney structure was stabilised internally with a steel and mortar filling and the original sandstone fireplace was restored. Ornate fibrous plaster ceilings, original doors and windows were all restored. A new polished Tallow-wood floor was laid throughout the Gatehouse supported on new brick piers. The new build component delivered a light-filled pavilion adjacent to the Gatehouse, connected by a glass atrium and sandstone walkways and clad in Western Cedar in a soft, white-washed tone. The pavilion features a large open-plan space with polished concrete floor, a small kitchenette and disabled access amenities in left- and right-hand configurations. During soil remediation an original well was discovered just underneath the corner of the Gatehouse – after careful examination by an archaeologist the bee-hive shaped well was in-filled with sand to protect it and the sandstone walkway laid above. Finally the garden was reinstated with hardy native species.