oxford falls peace park
When the one room schoolhouse at Oxford Falls closed, the community managed to save it from demolition. A peace park was proposed as a way to reuse the grounds. Working with Shelley Indyk, Alfred Bernhard & Barbara MacArthur our team won a competition to design this park.
Community consultation refined our design and defined a priority of needs. The schoolhouse was first renovated so it could facilitate functions. Its closed verandahs were opened to better intergrate the building with the landscape. These verandahs then provided a stage for dignatories at the Anzac service held each year. A local stonemason was hired to recarve the missing urn on the memorial and we built a commemorative area in which people could gather and sit for the service.
We constructed a beautiful sandstone wall encircling the park and shielding it from a busy road. On the wall we carved artworks and inscriptions of peace from many nationalities. The wall also held and hid the amenities.
We made a contemplative bush walk and planted a grove of plum trees donated by the people of Shinjuku Japan.
We reasoned that world peace needs communities and individuals at peace with themselves. Hopefully this park allows individuals and groups to reflect and contemplate.
It took many years to finish. Council worked hard to fund each stage. Now it is well-used and well-loved by the local and the wider community. I am often surprised at how many people tell me they have visited and how dear it is to their hearts.
landscape, art, conservation and community
oxford falls, sydney, nsw australia