• Location:
  • Sydney Australia
  • Client:
  • Urban Task Force
  • Status:
  • Concept 2017


Nineteenth century heritage buildings are reimagined as cultural facilities, colonial architect Francis Greenway’s vision for a pyramid is fulfilled and new residential and recreational buildings are inspired by the natural forms of Sydney Harbour, under a concept developed for Garden Island.

LAVA’s ideas for the harbour location in Sydney turn a previously inaccessible headland into a cultural, leisure, and community destination.

LAVA was commissioned to explore how the area could evolve in future decades as Navy uses are relocated by the Urban Task Force, in response to a report on the future of Garden Island.

The former dry-dock could be used for floating markets, harbour baths, theatre performances and boat shows, whilst a new residential precinct is inspired by the sweeping curves of Sydney Harbour with all its wonderful bays and beaches and sandstone headlands.

Another feature fulfills a proposal by Australia’s first Government Architect, Francis Greenway, for a pyramid to be constructed on Garden Island – a structure to house events and functions.

The new buildings make a departure from the traditional vertical apartment box model, to a green and sustainable, airy tower landscape, with roof terraces, balconies, swimming pools and community facilities.

The creation of a new city precinct on the waterfront returns Garden Island to garden with green technology and naturally cooling buildings.


Sicily.. luscious green olive oil, a leisurely stroll in the afternoon. 
These are the ingredients that have inspired the design of Olio Kensington Street, a new restaurant in inner Sydney by LAVA. 
LAVA created a passeggiata, using Sicilian tiles, that flows through the restaurant and connects the kitchen, bar, dining and rooftop areas. This circulation system subdivides the space, separating serving spaces and served spaces. This is also expressed in the ceiling where a layered green ribbon reflects the floor layout.
Two pieces of ‘furniture’, free flowing joinery elements for kitchen and bar, and soft, dripping, LED-lit lines on the joinery interpret the idea of flowing oil.
The restaurant is an exciting new addition to the transformation of the Chippendale area.
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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope