The Tench Reserve Amenities were part of an ambitious $13m park renewal Tench Reserve, which is a popular linear green space on the banks of the Nepean River near Penrith. The park was part of the Government’s ambitious Parks for People program, to ensure that the park continued to have community wellbeing and nature conservation at its heart. The site is a narrow and undulating site that is subjected to occasional inundation and flooding.
The project was led by Context. Hill Thalis contributed a new amenities building to the works in the park. The building was prominently located on the street front promenade, as both a gateway to the park and to maximise security and passive surveillance. It includes toilet facilities and communal hand washing in an open breezeway. Importantly, the facility also included a Changing Places amenity room to facilitate equitable access to a range of people and abilities. The block is made of robust and durable materials but also uses surfaces and textures such as coloured glazed bricks and sliding gates that make the facility open, breezy and inviting.
The Changing Places amenity building type allows for adult changing with dignity. It is important to consider, not only the technicalities and space requirements of these facilities, but also the nuances that enable them to become spaces of public care.