Sydney University Boatshed

The University of Sydney Boatshed has been reinstated on its former site, over the water adjoining the public parklands on the eastern shore of Linley Point. In place of the A-frame boat shed that was burned down, the replacement building is carefully matched to the remnant structure, to Linley Point Reserve and the intimate reach of Burns Bay. The new Boatshed is oriented to face south down the long axis of the bay – the direction that the rowers will take as they pass in the channel between moored yachts.

The Boatshed is a contemporary version of the classic Sydney Harbour rowing club. It is compactly organised, on the smallest possible footprint required to store the rowing sculls and gear on its lower level.The upper level comprises two pavilions with pitched roofs, split down the middle to shelter an open terrace, decrease its bulk, and frame vistas from the reserve across the bay.

The shed opens to a deck, which tapers in response to the craft stored in each bay, gives easy access to the generous pontoon, which allows craft to be placed in the water on three sides. Around the deck are areas for mooring other craft associated with the club’s activities, while on the landward side is an accessible public jetty.

The building was designed with robust materials, selected for their durability in a maritime environment. The material palette aimed to create a muted presence, so that the building would nestle into the dark expanse of the mangroves and vegetation that line the foreshore.

Documentation and construction were carried out under a Design & Construct arrangement by ADCO with limited involvement by Hill Thalis.