Sydney’s HMAS Platypus to get $23.8 million transformation

Sydney’s HMAS Platypus to get $23.8 million transformation

4 August 2017

A former submarine base in Sydney Harbour, HMAS Platypus, will receive a $23.8 million facelift, transforming the site into a waterfront promenade with public spaces, shops, and restaurants, reports the Australian Financial Review.

The redevelopment overseen by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust will open the site to the public for the first time in more than 150 years.

During the late 1800’s, the site housed a gasworks and then, during World War II, a torpedo-manufacturing plant. In 1967, it was reconfigured as the base for the Royal Australian Navy’s Oberon class submarines and was named HMAS Platypus. When the submarine base was relocated to Western Australia in 1998, the site was mothballed.

The land was given to the Sydney Harbour Trust in 2005.

In 2016, the Trust completed a six year, $46 million decontamination project, paving the way for the site to be redeveloped, says Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

The first-stage of the project has been designed by Sydney architects Lahznimmo and landscape architectural firm Aspect Studios.

“A lot of people just don’t know it’s there,” said architect Andrew Nimmo. “It’s kind of hidden away a bit. It’s a great place to visit and jog around. But also in terms of bringing in visitors, the aim would be to try and encourage them to use the ferry, which goes straight from Circular Quay.”

“The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is really about returning these important areas back to public use with a commercial use,” said Mr Nimmo.

Under the proposed plan, the foreshore site will be connected to the North Sydney ferry wharf in the adjacent Kesterton Park.

Additionally, a three-storey building will be demolished to create a new public square with restaurant. The historic Fima and submarine school buildings directly behind the wharf will be redeveloped into commercial spaces.

A separate, subsequent, stage of the project will focus on the former torpedo manufacturing workshop that has blast proof walls and was used as the filming location for Channel Ten’s Series 11 of The Biggest Loser.

These later works will go ahead as further Commonwealth and State funding becomes available.

“The renewal of the HMAS Platypus site will make a vital contribution to making Sydney an even more vibrant and liveable city,” Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said.

Tenders for a building contractor for the first stage are yet to be opened.

The project is scheduled to begin later this year and is expected take two years to complete, states the Harbour Trust.

The Trust will open the bidding process to select potential commercial tenants over the coming 12 months.

You can read more about the redevelopment here.