Paddington Reservoir Gardens restoration works

These renewal works won the prestigious 2009 Australian Award for Urban Design, from a field of 42 nominated projects.

Project Status: Completed

What we’re doing

The internationally acclaimed restoration of Paddington Reservoir Gardens is highly praised for achieving a unique blend of historic ruin and contemporary urban design.

Viewers across Australia saw it being given the seal of approval in a stunning feature on ABC's Art Nation.

With its immaculate gardens, boardwalk, lighting and furniture, Paddington Reservoir Gardens offers a relaxing oasis for the community to enjoy in the heart of Paddington.

It has been described as a combination of the Baths of Caracalla and The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The roof-top features a stunning sunken garden; vibrant graffiti art has been preserved in the eastern chamber which provides a new space for community and cultural activities and special lighting highlights the beautiful new timber work and stunning stone of the reservoir.

The gardens sit over the State Heritage listed Paddington Reservoir. Designed by the city engineer, Edward Bell, the Paddington Reservoir was built between 1866 and 1878 and was a key element in Sydney’s early water supply.

The park on top of the reservoir is named Walter Read Reserve, after a former Mayor of Paddington, and the small park adjacent, the John Thompson Reserve, after the poet and journalist who was a founding member of the Paddington Society.