Transforming Goulburn Street Parking Station

The City is working on turning Sydney's ugliest building, the Goulburn Street Parking Station, into Sydney's greenest and most attractive.

What has for the past 50 years been nothing but a multi level car park could soon become a new city attraction.

Goulburn Street Car Park occupies an entire city block. One of the ideas we are looking at could see the majority of that wall space covered in vines and vegetation, creating a 'hanging garden' feel on what has previously been a drab concrete facade.

The building's environmental performance will be improved with the installation of solar panels, energy efficient lighting and water capture and re-use for plant irrigation, toilets and car washing. Roof-top uses such as a cinema will be investigated.

In keeping with its transport function, the building will contain car washing, car share pick-up, charging facilities for electric vehicles, bicycle parking and maintenance and end-of-trip facilities with showers and lockers. Inside the building, lighting, signs and layout will help people move around.

City staff are talking to a number of leading Sydney architects and designers, to develop visions of what this prominent eyesore could become.

Our hope is that eventually, the car park could be completely off the grid and entirely carbon neutral.

In other parts of the world, car parks are becoming more interesting and vibrant mixed-use spaces. We have researched examples in Florida, Chicago and the Netherlands where multi level car parks have been transformed into layered amalgamations of car parking, art spaces, restaurants, public gardens and residential apartments.

The City will trial 'vertical gardens' and test various types of vegetation in the coming months, to see what could grow best on the walls.

Works have recently been completed on the southern façade of the building to install new cladding that will form the 'canvas' for a major public art work. The entire building has recently been converted to LED lighting to halve its power consumption.

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