Yurong Public Amenities


Yurong Public Amenities


Royal Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney


Government Architect’s Office


Public Buildings

The Brief

To construct an amenities block within the grounds of The Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Challenges

A key challenge in the construction of this particular building was working within a sensitive eco-environment.

The Clifford team had to be very careful during excavation and in the construction of the pathway to ensure that the integrity of the surrounding trees & gardens were not compromised.

Clifford Constructions Project Manager, Justin Burford and Site Manager, Craig Thomas along with their construction team worked tirelessly with the architects to deliver the best finishes for the project.

The architect’s intent was for bespoke finishes including rough sawn timber finish concrete walls- a finish rarely seen nowadays, a custom made precast concrete feature sink and extensive feature timber work.

Working closely with our suppliers, samples were produced and developed to ensure that the finished results were not only aesthetically suitable for the surrounding natural environment, but that they were also heavy duty, easy to keep clean and easy to maintain.

The Outcome

The project was delivered on time and to budget.

This project won the 2013 New South Wales Australian Institute of Architects’ Architecture Awards under the Small Project Architecture category. The Judges Citation follows:

“In the design of a replacement amenities block in the Royal Botanic Gardens, the architects have ‘deconstructed’ the functional brief into its component parts to create a facility that seamlessly blends with the gardens and allows its users to experience the harbour and Sydney Opera House beyond.

This seemingly straightforward pavilion contains complex contrasts – grounded but transparent, heavy and lightweight, open and private. Cubicle areas are contained within dark textured concrete walls to provide privacy but are flooded with natural light streaming through a lightweight floating roof. Communal hand wash facilities and a generous waiting area are in an ‘outdoor room’ that overlooks one of Sydney’s most picturesque foreshores. An elongated concrete hand wash ‘trough’ frames the panorama. The use of materials is restrained, but each choice has a clear logic and the overall palette is balanced and complementary to the garden setting. Materials are strategically selected to be robust, warm, tactile or textured, with great care and consideration given to their assembly. Detailing of this quality is quite unexpected in a building of this type.

The jury admired the materiality, delicate detail and transparency of the structure. The use of natural light and the connection to the garden and foreshore setting through materials and thoughtful planning is the great success of this building.”


It was re-assuring to have a pre-qualified builder from the NSW Dept. of Finance and Services working on this project.

– Gary Hinchcliffe, Manager Domain & Infrastructure

In addition Yurong Public Amenities received a Commendation in the “Walls” category at the 2013 Public Domain Awards.

Judges comments:

The very elegant use of concrete defines the form and weight of this humble yet highly resolved amenities block. The integrity of the wall material, as a frame from which all other elements are composed, is the most resonant feature of this robust yet beautifully detailed building.

The textural quality of the timber formwork to the dark oxide concrete walls is a potent reference to the park setting of this historic site, defined through a completely contemporary intent.

Client comments:

Congratulations and thanks again for your hard work, our collaboration definitely worked out ok!