A very unique underwater garden at Barangaroo


SIMS is excited to see the realisation of a long term collaboration with Lend Lease,  focussed on ensuring the marine structures at Watermans Cove, Barangaroo incorporate design features which enhance marine biodiversity.


To increase their environmental sustainability, the urban structures were co-designed by blending ecology with innovative industrial design and engineering.  This is part of the Living Seawalls project at SIMS led by researchers from Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales and involved a close collaboration with SMC who applied some novel engineering concepts to faciliate the installation.

In November 2020, the first stage of the underwater garden was created beneath the timber boardwalk at Watermans Cove, using 384 specially designed marine habitat panels which will span around the cove in the intertidal and subtidal zone.


The panels by Reef Design Lab, have been designed to mimic the rocky reefs and seaweed forests around Sydney Harbour.  Cast out of concrete, the panels also incorporate oyster shells and crushed sandstone and will provide habitat opportunities for marine life, including fish, seaweed, oysters and other molluscs, lace corals, sea squirts and sponges. 


The garden, which represents the largest Living Seawalls installation in Sydney Harbour, will be enhanced by seaweeds transplanted on to the tiles from other parts of the harbour, and will be complemented by the planting of an extensive seaweed forest.


SIMS is excitd by the vision shown by Lend Lease.  It’s a great example of building with nature in mind, and one which provides a wonderful template for future works. 


Read an indepth story by ABC News, Kathleen Ferguson .