Aspect Studios’ Narrabeen Lagoon trail

Aspect Studios has completed the first stage of a multi-use trail around Narrabeen Lagoon on the outskirts of Sydney.

Narrabeen Lagoon is set within beautiful bushland and is a focal point of the local area. However, the walk around the lagoon had become neglected and, in parts, inaccessible. Warringah Council commissioned Aspect Studios to design and document a new recreation circuit around the lagoon to allow the wider community to enjoy the landscape.

The first stage of the design is a 2.5-kilometre section that runs from Deep Creek to Middle Creek on Sydney’s northern beaches. The trail runs along the tranquil, bushy western side of the lagoon that is in contrast to the eastern side, which comes to life on weekends with kayaking, swimming, full cafes and restaurants and a Sunday market.

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Along the trail, Aspect Studios has used durable materials such as timber and fibreglass to cope with the underlying acid sulphate soil types, changing water levels and climatic conditions. Seating and lookout points along the trail create a visual and physical connection between the surrounding bush and the lagoon edge and become destinations in themselves. These lookout points are sculptural elements carefully designed to minimize the impact on threatened vegetation fringing the lagoon foreshore.

The trail clears the projected 2030 sea level along its length and extensive research was undertaken to choose materials that would have a minimum of a fifty-year life span. Materials were selected to resist weathering, enable all-weather access, be sustainable, recyclable, be low maintenance and have little impact on the existing ground.

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The local community was invited to take part in the consultation process that was part of the development application.The design of the trail was developed through a series of workshops and meetings that Aspect Studios undertook with Warringah Council representatives, ecological consultants (P & J Smith Ecological Consultants), a heritage consultant (John Smith of Heritech) and Pittwater Council to determine the best outcome that would meet all of the desired objectives.

Also contributing to the design and construction of the project were Ducros Design (structural design), John Gibson (heritage consulting), Jeffrey & Katauskas (geotechnical) and Hard & Forester (surveying).

The trail is designed to provide access for everyone, including wheelchair users, recreational cyclists, pedestrians and dog walkers, and it is hoped that this recreation circuit will become regionally significant in the way that the Bondi to Coogee walk is to the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

Stage one is now complete and open to the public.

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