Former submarine base opens to the public

A former submarine base and torpedo factory in North Sydney’s Neutral Bay has opened to the public for the first time in 150 years.

Landscape architects Aspect Studios, and architects Lahznimmo, have finished the first stage of Sub Base Platypus, a mixture of open space and urban parkland which opened in May.  The site is managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.  

 Sub Base Platypus is now open to the public after being closed off for 150 years. Photo credit: Urban&Public. 

Sub Base Platypus is now open to the public after being closed off for 150 years. Photo credit: Urban&Public. 

It includes a new harbour-side walkway which links the former submarine wharf to nearby Kesterton Park, as well as recreation areas, barbeques, a submariners memorial designed by Urban&Public, and a playground which incorporates a model Oberon submarine with working periscopes.

A new public plaza named “Arrival Square” is also a feature.

 The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust wants the area to become a cultural and commercial hub.  Photo credit: Urban&Public.

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust wants the area to become a cultural and commercial hub.  Photo credit: Urban&Public.

A staircase at the northern entry will become a new point of access for locals, providing passage to both the foreshore and public transport, while a boardwalk makes the HMAS Platypus site accessible from the North Sydney Ferry Wharf.

 Urban&Public designed the subtle yet integrated marker and memorial to the submariners and six submarines which were based at the site.  The site also once housed a torpedo manufacturing and maintenance factory.  Photo credit: Urban&Public.

Urban&Public designed the subtle yet integrated marker and memorial to the submariners and six submarines which were based at the site.  The site also once housed a torpedo manufacturing and maintenance factory.  Photo credit: Urban&Public.

Previously, the site had housed the North Shore Gas Works, RAN’s torpedo maintenance facility, and six Oberon class submarines, but following a site remediation period the land has been reclaimed for public use.

 The site was also the home for Australia's six Oberon class submarines between 1967 and 1999. Photo credit: Urban&Public.

The site was also the home for Australia's six Oberon class submarines between 1967 and 1999. Photo credit: Urban&Public.

Stage two of the development will involve the refurbishment and redevelopment of the existing architecture to allow businesses to use the facility, as well as making more public space available on the submarine base.

 Stage 2 of the development will see refurbishment and redevelopment of industrial architecture on the site. Photo credit: Urban&Public. 

Stage 2 of the development will see refurbishment and redevelopment of industrial architecture on the site. Photo credit: Urban&Public.