Wednesday 20th, Jul 2016


Listen carefully, and you can almost hear the ghosts of John Campbell Esquire and his wife Annabella in the hallway at Bungarribee Homestead. What was once the site of their grand home on their colonial estate is now the centrepiece in the design of a new public parkland in Western Sydney. The Bungarribee Heritage Park, conserves and interprets the national significance of this place. The design of the hilltop park tells the story of the site’s long and colourful history.

Until recently, all that was visible on the site were the garden’s significant trees and the barn floor slab.   Now the footprint of the original homestead has been reinterpreted and the sweeping views to the Blue Mountains retained. The design has been recognised with an Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) Award for Cultural Heritage.  The jury cited that “…The Bungarribee Homestead Park sets a strong precedent for the creation of a respectful, contextual heart for a new residential community”.

Many owners – a colourful history

In 1825, John Campbell built Bungarribee House in the picturesque style made popular in England by architect John Nash.   During the 1840’s the property was primarily used as a horse stud.  It became renowned for the quality of racehorses bred onsite.  The house had successive owners until its untimely demolition in 1957.

Telling the story

  • To tell the story of the site, the footprint of the homestead was translated into sandstone and set within gravel.  Gaps left in the sandstone make it appear as an old ruin with native grass growing through.  A sense of enclosure was created with low walls and planting.
  • The working farm story was expressed through sculptural gateways and artworks.  Many of the streets are named after famous racehorses bred on the site.
  • The history of the site is explained to visitors using a graphic timeline..   The kitchen garden was re-interpreted using decorative herbs such as rosemary and lavender.
  • The surrounding road was lowered four metres to preserve views to the Blue Mountains. This also gave the homestead platform a more significant presence.   The original building footings were preserved over a layer of sand.   The original footings were protected by avoiding the placement of under-ground services or trees nearby.

Working as a team

To achieve this outcome we worked closely with government agencies, our client UrbanGrowth NSW and our consultant team.   This included Heritage specialist Godden Mackey Logan and the following government agencies:

  • The Heritage Office,
  • Western Sydney Parklands Trust,
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries,
  • Office of Environment and Heritage and Blacktown City Council.


The parkland is now the centrepiece to a new community of 2,000 residents and provides valuable public open space and recreation facilities.

Awards Jury comments

Both masterplanning and detail have been carefully considered in this design. The successful integration of landform has allowed the park to retain its prominent, elevated position, whilst lessening the visual impact of the adjacent housing development. The materials palette is contextual and refined, enabling a subtle focus on the interpreted building footprint, whilst also facilitating a robust, beautiful parkland. The Bungarribee Homestead Park sets a strong precedent for the creation of a respectful, contextual heart for a new residential community.

To tell the story of your heritage project, contact our Heritage Portfolio Manager Crosbie Lorimer.

Latest – likes and links

Wednesday 9th, Mar 2016

Welcome to our updated website

We hope you enjoy taking the time to find out more about our practice and to explore the many projects on which we have worked, some still in progress and others in active use for more than 25 years.

Many of you will be familiar with the profession of Landscape Architecture and indeed may have worked on projects with CLOUSTON over the years.

For those less familiar with our profession – and that includes many in the broader community – the question often arises “What exactly is Landscape Architecture?”

A good question… and one with no one simple answer, given the broad reach of the profession.

So, as part of a wide ranging questionnaire that we put to our whole team to assist with our website upgrade, we set ourselves the task of completing the following sentence, “What people don’t know about this profession is…”

Here’s a small selection of insights (and humour) from our team…

“Landscape architects are not only designers but planners, innovators, coordinators, mediators, managers, marketers, environmental advocates and more” Jessica Crawford, senior landscape architect, Darwin office

“We work at such varied scales, from whole city strategies to parks and streetscapes down to the finest detail” Tim Sickinger, graduate landscape architect, Sydney office

“There’s more to it than trimming hedges and mowing lawns (actually we never do this), but it seems to be a common perception!” Andrew Pringle, landscape architect, Sydney office

“Great design is sometimes hard to see. It’s not just about aesthetics but also how well things work and how good your experience of a place is. Creating seamless, simple outcomes takes great skill, yet is almost invisible because it simply works” Martin O’Dea, associate director

“We’re not landscapers! There is more to landscape architecture than designing a backyard. We create spaces and experiences, trying to engage people in a space and feel a part of something bigger” Larissa Carpenter, graduate landscape architect, Sydney office

“Landscape architecture is very much concerned with the broader effects that open space has on our society and environment. This profession requires us to have passion for our living environments, and to be able to critically evaluate the way we live” Han Bao, graduate landscape architect, Sydney office

“So much of our work is hidden from view – we are the ninjas of the design profession!” Adele Mammone, graduate architect, Darwin office

“Our work is more about what we understand about people than it is about plants. Our training and experience prepares us for resolving issues around how people use, move through and enjoy places. We are committed to problem solving and creative solutions that will pass the test of time and still have meaning now and in the future” Tony Cox, director, Darwin office

If you’d like to see more of our team’s personal insights as to how they see their chosen profession and their working lives and experiences at CLOUSTON, you might want to check out our staff profiles under ‘People’.