COFFEE @ Queens Park Shed – Queens Park 2022.
Queens Park Shed is conveniently located in Queens Park adjacent to Darley Road and the northern boundary of Randwick. The cafe adaptively reuses an early 1900s brick building originally constructed to store park maintenance equipment.
Given how many places can’t seem to do it, I think it’s fair to say that striking a balance in cafe design is difficult to do. For me it’s a fine line between contrived over styling and a comfortable authentic aesthetic.
Queens Park Shed has got the mix right; the space is bright and airy; the layout means you don’t have people ‘sitting on top of each other’; the finishes are true to the building’s location and former use; the furniture is simple, interesting and comfortable; and the decorative pieces have been used sparingly but to great effect.
With outdoor seating and an enclosed children’s playground nearby, Queens Park Shed is a great addition to the ever growing list of Sydney park cafes.
This cafe could easily become a regular haunt!
NOW & THEN around Randwick, Sydney
The earliest land grants in Randwick occurred in 1824, however the area was initially slow to develop. Isolated from Sydney by swamps and sandhills, the journey, even by horse-bus, was unpleasant as the wind blew sand over the track often causing the bus to become bogged.
Sporting events, including duels and illegal sports, took place in Randwick from the early days of the colony’s history. Horse racing first occurred in the area in 1833 and, with the development of the racecourse, Randwick began to progress. The horse-bus was later replaced by trams, thereby providing a more reliable connection to Sydney.
Promoted as a fashionable area, large houses were constructed in Randwick by the wealthy. In stark contrast, the working class market gardens, orchards and piggeries continued to exist alongside the large estates. Makeshift houses and huts were also constructed in Randwick to house jockeys, stable hands and struggling immigrants.
With the introduction of the NSW Municipalities Act, Randwick became the first suburb to apply for the status of a municipality, enabling them to collect rates and borrow money in order to make improvements to the suburb.
A photographic record of my visit to Randwick
Today, a substantial number of surviving intact original buildings and extensive heritage conservation areas exist in Randwick. The following images show some of the contemporary built works that have been introduced into the significant landscape of Randwick.
Introducing new buildings into heritage conservation areas and/or in the vicinity of heritage listed items, such as the chimney stack in the image below, require careful consideration. The scale, siting and materials used in a contemporary development should respond to and compliment the older buildings but should not copy them.
The following images show new works constructed in a more traditional style within the North Randwick Heritage Conservation Area.
The following image shows how two former Victorian style residential dwellings have been connected by a modern glass and dome structure. The new works are set back behind the main structures so that if they were removed or altered in the future the essential form and integrity of the historic dwellings would remain unimpaired.
Most councils require first floor additions to semi-detached dwellings, whether they are in a heritage conservation area or not, to be set back behind the original roof apex or ridge and to retain any existing gable features and chimneys. This practice ensures that the original architectural character of the pair of semi-detached dwellings is retained as a coherent entity. The following images show modern first floor additions to semi-detached dwellings.
Neither of the dwellings in the following images are heritage listed nor are they in a heritage conservation area, however they provide examples of how alterations and additions can be made without completely obliterating all signs of a building’s former use and/or design.
The architectural examples shown in this post demonstrate the work of a range of architects and illustrate a variety of approaches to the challenge of working in a heritage environment and with old buildings. Randwick City Council’s Development Control Plan Section B2 provides information and guidelines on making changes to heritage listed buildings and buildings within heritage conservation areas.
Dictionary of Sydney, Pictorial History of Randwick, Office of Environment & Heritage – State Heritage Inventory, Randwick City Council website.
Historical images courtesy Flickr Commons and the State Library of NSW.