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2016 National Architecture Awards: Urban Design Award

Lennox Bridge Portals by Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects Urban Design: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Lennox Bridge Portals is an intelligent, design-led solution that addresses a long-term connectivity problem along Parramatta River. Built in 1835, Lennox Bridge has undergone a series of modifications to respond to the changing needs of the growing community, but its solid walls meant that pedestrians and cyclists needed to navigate stairs and a busy road to continue their journey along the riverbank. This high-quality project boldly punches a path through the thick walls of the heritage bridge, providing direct and continuous access along Parramatta River. The Lennox Bridge Portals is part of an ongoing investment in Parramatta City’s public domain to improve and connect pedestrian and cycle links, while considering future public transport such as light rail. The result is a coherent, contextual response to the much-loved heritage value of the bridge, at the same time offering a contemporary expression in the design of the bridge openings. In excavating the tunnels, significant archaeological finds were unlocked and preserved in cross-section. So that as you walk through, you can experience the layers of history, including evidence of the original convict-built pier from 1804. Natural light is brought into the tunnel in the form of skylights, placed in a grid, which also offer a playful expression on the footpath above. The architect’s sustained commitment to the project and to effectively communicating design goals with the broader community is to be commended.


Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects Pty Ltd
Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Philip Thalis, Alan Croker (principal architects); Laura Harding, Robert Gasparini (project architects); Brett Sperling, Sarah Hill (design architects)
Archaeology Anne Bickford
Builder Abergeldie
Building surveyor BCA Logic
Engineer Mott MacDonald
Heritage consultant Design 5 - Architects, NBRS + Partners
Lighting consultant Lighting Art and Science
Project manager Complete Urban
Town planning Sara Roach
Site details
Location Sydney,  NSW,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Landscape / urban design
Type Bridges
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2015



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Alex Rink


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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