The Parramatta Escarpment Boardwalk is a crucially important piece of infrastructure for Parramatta. The boardwalk is one of two missing links that, when connected, will allow continuous foreshore access for pedestrians and cyclists from the University of Western Sydney at Rydalmere to Parramatta Park.
The project builds on Parramatta Council’s ambition to refocus the city to the river, and will contribute to waterside celebrations, activation and recreation.
The site acts as Parramatta’s “water gate” – forming a memorable entry to Parramatta for all water borne visitors. The boardwalk will build on the site’s inherent spatial drama. The sinuous alignment of the elevated walkway perched above the shale escarpment will provide a memorable dramatic high level connection.
The slowing of the Rivercat Ferry’s speed signals entry into a part of the harbour/river foreshore that is strongly characterised by its ecology and infrastructure works. As the ferry enters the final bend in the river, the towers of the City of Parramatta appear, quickly growing in size until the ferry bends into the formed amphitheatre at the wharf, turns, and sets down its passengers.
The boardwalk structure will accompany ferries along the final stages of its movement along the river to the wharf. The new path and boardwalk alignments have been set out to seamlessly resolve the coexisting site geometries. The path is episodic; longer and straighter in some sections, and more curving and sinuous in others.
Path widths, materials, alignments and lighting are configured to subtly adjust the atmosphere along the path. In this way, the path will gently diminish in intensity as it leaves the city and travels eastwards; conversely, when arriving from the west, the path will progressively build a sense of anticipation as people move closer and closer to the urban area.