The Coal Loader returns to the people

13 Nov 2019

Our NSW team helped to create an incredible new public space on Sydney Harbour – the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.

North Sydney Council had ambitious plans for the Coal Loader, converting the disused industrial site into a sustainability centre and public green roof space. Glascott previously delivered the public open space areas of the site in 2011, prior to being awarded the final jewel in the crown.

Our dedicated team managed various subcontractors to intricately refurbish the one hectare platform and underlying tunnels. The platform is now one of Sydney’s largest sustainable public green roofs with the sandstone heritage tunnels offering a truly unique exhibition space.

The project has retained the historic coal loading operations of the site whilst blending modern day function. It is a magnificent community hub and hosts “urban harvest” plots which are irrigated by recycled stormwater, a performance space, extensive seating and viewing areas.

Tunnel 3 and the chutes above on the platform were refurbished to facilitate the harvesting of up to 250,000 litres of rainwater to irrigate the green roof. Tunnel 1 works included repurposing chambers along the length of the platform with varying door heights and sensor lights that lead you from one room to another which and are now used as exhibition and event space.

The platform features lawn area, a colonnade, plants and signage that explain the site’s history. The colonnade is fitted with large glass solar panels which form a canopy creating shade whilst generating power for the site. The glass lift offers some of the best views in Sydney and provides access to all levels of the Coal Loader.

The harbourside has completed a full circle and we think Henry Lawson would be very pleased given his 1916 poem in protest of the Coal Loader, ‘The Sacrifice of Balls Head‘.

Glascott is delighted to have been involved in returning this beautiful Harbour site back to the public.