Coke Works Future Focus – Landscape architecture with Crosbie Lorimer, Managing Director, Clouston Associates

Redevelopment of the former Corrimal Coke Works site will revitalise this derelict industrial property and provide a catalyst for growth of Corrimal into its identified role as the major centre for the northern suburbs of Wollongong.

ICC and Legacy Property are working with a team of expert consultants to plan the redevelopment as an exemplar of urban renewal in the region. In the issue, we focus on landscape architecture with Crosbie Lorimer, Managing Director at Clouston Associates (www.clouston.com.au)

Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor spaces in both the public and private domain.

Can you share some other projects that Clouston has been involved with?

How much time have you got? We’ve been involved in more than 5,000 projects across Australia and overseas during our 30 years of practice! But one of our most recent project completions – the spectacular park at the Coal Loader on Sydney Harbour at Waverton – encompasses so much of what we have strived to deliver through all of our projects over those three decades – landscape with meaning and place with purpose.

A massive and abandoned industrial waterfront structure has been transformed into a major new public parkland on the harbour foreshores with an amazing, elevated view up the Parramatta River. The park is largely selfsustaining too, powered by solar panels and harvesting all of its stormwater for reuse.

The heritage of this site now integrates every aspect of the site’s rich history, from Aboriginal rock carvings to the adaptive reuse of the Coal Loader that retains a very legible record of its prior industrial uses.

All this in a classic Angophora and sandstone foreshore setting.

The result is already much loved by locals and visitors from further afield.

What most excites you about the Corrimal Coke Works opportunity?

Breathing new life, purpose and meaning into a post industrial property is a wonderful opportunity for any landscape architect to be involved with, so we’re excited to make the most of this challenge with the project team.

There were no shortages of ‘wow’ moments when we first visited the site – the industrial structures are spectacular – so the opportunity to adaptively reuse some of these dramatic elements in a new residential community, while also restoring the natural values of the site, will provide a unique identity to this place.

Are you drawing inspiration from other landscapes in the region?

This part of Australia has more than its fair share of inspiration and the key for us will be how we make this place distinctly at one with its local and regional landscape and cultural heritage. The escarpment backdrop, natural creeks, coastal environment and exquisite array of native plants have all influenced our design. The industrial and cultural heritage of the south coast is also celebrated, creating a strong identity for the site.

How do you see the future landscape at Corrimal Coke Works having a positive impact for the Corrimal community?

The Coke Works have been integral to Corrimal’s very existence as a town. So the chance to reconnect the surrounding neighbourhood to what has essentially been out-of-bounds for 100 years, while also telling its story through contemporary and contextual landscape and architecture, is going to be a big win for Corrimal.

This is the next chapter, bringing the vitality of outdoor recreational spaces, a restored creek, shady streets, plaza spaces, walking trails and bike paths for the Corrimal community. We’re looking forward to being part of that journey!

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