The Allambie Picnic Area is a much-loved destination within Sydney’s Royal National Park. Six million people visit each year to enjoy the area’s sheltered waterways, river flats and surrounding bushland. The new Audley Amenities pavilion is sited here, at the confluence of the Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek. The pavilion takes the form of a screen so as not to disturb the park’s ambiance. Made from Australian hardwood, the timber screening will grey with time and blend further into the adjacent bush hillside.

Coupled with acting as a backdrop, the building also wants to be inviting. A translucent roof material illuminates the interior with natural light. A soft glow emanates from within, enlivening the building’s otherwise quiet presence. Breezes flow and river views are filtered through the various screen orientations. The park’s concrete pathway is continued with the pavilion’s interior axis. A place for handwashing, remote from the toilet facilities, is contained along this colonnade-like edge of the building. Concluding this public axis is a framed view of the river. The Audley Amenities pavilion attempts to amplify the natural beauty of the site. It tries to elevate the architecture from the merely practical in the hope that the pavilion can add to people’s enjoyment of the park.

By Toby Breakspear, Alberto Quizon, Andy Huang, Lucie Hlavsova, 2020 – 2022