After moving to Pyrmont in March 2021 while being severely travel restricted due to COVID-19, here is an account of our new neighbourhood. We live in Jacksons Landing which constitutes the northern tip of the Pyrmont Peninsula. Jacksons Landing is a community of 2,500 residents in more than 1,000 apartments, terraces and townhouses on the site of the old Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR) industrial complex. The redevelopment of the CSR site of over 11 hectares commenced by lendlease in the early 1990s, and the first residents moved in during 2000.
The modern landscape, society and economy of Pyrmont were shaped mainly by two industry groups: sandstone quarrying and the Colonial Sugar Refinery complex. It was a long tradition for sugar plantations to distil rum and other by-products of sugar. Eventually (from the 1930s) Caneite and other building materials were processed, using bagasse, the cane from which sucrose had been extracted. For a hundred years the CSR Company processed sugar here, distilled rum and industrial alcohol, and transformed sugar cane refuse into building material. CSR was founded in 1855 by a Danish gentleman named Sir Edward Knox and commenced operations in 1877. CSR was not only a sugar refinery, it was also a distillery which at one stage supplied half of Australia’s industrial alcohol needs. It also supplied a third of Australia’s rum. As Australia’s second-largest industrial complex (behind BHP) CSR even had the resources, the engineers and the skills to produce fuel, and weapons, during the Second World War. More about Jacksons Landing here and about its First People.
Part of the Evolve Building, part of Jacksons Landing, with ANZAC bridge:
Distillery Hill building, part of Jacksons Landing:
Antias' architecture by Architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer "reflects its industrial heritage through the use of industrial forms and materials such as rust weathered steel cladding. Such cladding is a direct response to the site: it echoes the site’s industrial aesthetic, associates the building to the Eastern Knoll sandstone cutting by use of tone and colour, and expresses the steel sheets at a scale compatible with the Anzac Bridge." (source).
Aerial Shots of Antias and ANZAC Bridge
Here illuminated for ANZAC Day in 2021.
We often enjoy the Pyrmont Waterfront Park with its two iconic spheres--old digesters used to produce hardboard. In 1936, CSR expanded its operations to produce caneite and particle board which are both building materials. The wood chips were expanded using high-pressure steam, releasing the natural lignins in the wood that turned them into fibre that was pressed into boards for use as a building material.
Quarrying was carried out on a modest scale by the 1830s, when sailing ships could take on ballast at the tip of the peninsula, anchored in deep water and loading local stone. "Master masons such as the McCredie brothers branched into building: Charles Saunders levelled Glebe Island and Darling Island, then supplied stone for Sydney’s new University, its Railway Station and its new government offices. Eventually, Pyrmont sandstone was celebrated in Italianate wool stores and the Queen Victoria Building." (source)
Often, the sandstone is exposed and integrated into the modern architecture or Jacksons Landing.
Expensive day-charter boats are moored in Jones Bay Wharf at its Marina. The Jones Bay Wharf is a unique example of early 20th-century waterfront technology and represents an integral part of Australia's maritime history. Its survival serves as a key reminder of Australia's development as a trading nation and its association with important events such as World War II and the immigration boom. the combination of reinforced concrete, steel and hardwood made it a highly innovative structure for its time. The quick and efficient loading of cargo at the wharf was made possible by its rail connection, overhead lighting and modern handling facilities including several internal lifts and a mobile gantry. In the 1940s, Jones Bay Wharf was adapted to serve as a modern passenger terminal to accommodate a post-World War II immigration boom. Modifications enabled the boarding and disembarking of passengers on the upper level, while their luggage was handled on the ground level. The wharf operated as a passenger terminal until the 1960s when a new passenger terminal was constructed at Circular Quay.
Everyone enjoys the spectacular view:
During a walk along the foreshore through Pirrama Park and the Pyrmont Waterfront Park, one can see the remnants of the old timber and bollards as well as modern art installations, such as Tide to Tide which is a kinetic sculpture that translates the eternal return of the tides as well as the more unpredictable wave wash and wind chop of Sydney Harbour into movement.
Fish cleaning station for amateur fishers:
Low tide exposes countless oysters:
Timelapse video of Johnston Bay with ANZAC Bridge during a storm in October 2021:
More pictures here.