Sandstone and rust : designing the qualities of Sydney harbour

Raxworthy, Julian (2008) Sandstone and rust : designing the qualities of Sydney harbour. JoLA - Journal of Landscape Architecture, Autumn(2), pp. 68-83.


Landscape architecture is built from place. What place is depends how one reads a site, which then determines what qualities are engaged with, and how they are engaged with, by design. Sydney Harbour is one of the most celebrated and distinctive harbours in the world. The qualities of the indigenous, pre-European landscape have been referred to regularly in the history of Australian landscape architecture as a source of inspiration for a truly Australian language of landscape design. A range of different models of such an Australian language have been proposed and tested on landscape design sites on Sydney Harbour, models that are in a discourse both with the specific landscape and with local landscape architecture theory and practice, particularly in relation to ideas of ‘appropriateness’ in Australian landscape architecture. This essay examines arguments from the 1970s that proposed a ‘palette’ approach to appropriateness, along with a key project from that period, Long Nose Point Park, that demonstrates this approach. The essay will then discuss three recent projects on the Harbour and demonstrate that these projects transcend the ‘palette’ approach by engaging with specific relationships on their sites (a ‘relationships’ approach) that are tied to the cultural occupation of Sydney Harbour. Along the way, the reader will be introduced to the key figures and history of landscape architecture in Australia, and to the geography of Sydney Harbour with its various ecologies and milieus

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 30702
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australian landscape architecture, landscape criticism
ISSN: 1862-6033
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Landscape Architecture (120107)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2010 12:45
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:46

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page