MSK Architects' Barangaroo Pavilion Competition Entry.

Wharf Zero

MSK Architects' Barangaroo Pavilion Competition Entry.

Wharf Zero

MSK Architects' Barangaroo Pavilion Competition Entry.

Sándor Dúzs's team /MSK/ Samantha Watt / Florencia Torresi entry into the Barangaroo Pavilion competition named  ‘WHARF ZERO’ pays homage  to the indigenous significance of Barangaroo and her matriarchal rule.

WHARF ZERO provides an architectural experience which passively educates passers-by on the sites importance to the Gadigal People.

Sited adjacent wharf 1 and 2 – WHARF ZERO provides the missing link in the sites true indigenous history.

Currently two ferry wharves are located on the water’s edge of Barangaroo. Every day, hundreds of people arrive and depart by ferry from this site yet there is little acknowledgement of the Indigenous maritime history. Barangaroo was the territory of the Gadigal people, from the Eora Nation, who inhabited the Sydney region for thousands of years. The site was renamed in 2007 after Barangaroo, a respected Indigenous Elder who was the lead Eora Nation fisherwoman. “For much of her lifetime, she controlled the precinct near Millers Point and Ballast Point.” Hutchinson, S. (2014). Miller’s Point today is the site of the Barangaroo reserve, which historically was the entry port for the Eora fisherwoman. The Aboriginal art of the late 1700’s demonstrates fishing as a core activity of the Gadigal people and is an integral part of the Indigenous history of the site.

As pedestrians arrive by ferry, Wharf Zero acts as a gateway, providing an architectural experience of the site’s Indigenous heritage. Passive education occurs through the engraving of the history and exhibition of aboriginal art on the external walls. Wharf Zero fills the missing link between the current day use of the site and the importance of the land to the original owners.

Indigenous fishing is the main symbolic motif of the design. The main roof structure comprises of six ‘canoe’ inspired timber beams. The timber ‘canoes’ carry native landscaping to symbolise the grounding of the Aboriginal people to the site. Rainwater is channelled from the canoes down a curling coil representing Barangaroo’s celebrated ‘strongest’ fishing line. The roof beams are supported by wide, gabion walls filled with Sydney sandstone. The walls curvilinear shape creates an Indigenous cave like experience from the interior and provides protection from prevailing winds. A fire pit has been placed on the mid-tier deck to pay tribute to the spiritual importance of fire for Indigenous community and provide a ceremonial space.

Custom glulam beams cantilever from the rear of the pavilion. A cyclical, steel structure distributes the load from the roof to a beam concealed within the gabion wall and anchored down to the existing piers, this provides a column free canopy event space with an area of 300m2. The shape of the gabion walls provides an area of 10m2 for permanent storage. The glulam and steel structure afford the opportunity for artificial lighting and audio systems to be integrated into the structure.

"We want to go back to the true culture and to pay homage to the lady who ruled the site" Hutchinson, S. (2014). Wharf Zero is honouring Barangaroo and the importance of her matriarchal rule. Wharf Zero pays respect to the original owners of the site, their connection to the land whilst educating the public about the historical context of the site.

Design Team: Sandor Duzs, Samantha Watt, Florencia Torresi


Barangaroo / Sydney, Australia, NSW

Completion Date: