Located on the north side of Sydney Harbour, Woolwich Dock is a fascinating maritime precinct, steeped in history. From a sightseeing perspective, its main attraction is the unique dock itself – a 300m-long cut in the sandstone cliffs. But the cliff-top views also take in the city, the Harbour Bridge and Cockatoo Island, making it an ideal lookout location, and the adjacent ‘Goat Paddock’ is picnic-perfect.

Not surprisingly, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority decided to make the most of the views, and install a lookout. Renowned architectural firm, ASPECT Studios, was engaged to provide the design. And thanks to our proven ability to execute complex high risk installations of this type, Fleetwood was contracted to turn that design vision into reality.

The lookout is comprised of a cantilevered platform that juts out dramatically over the sandstone cutting, offering stunning views into the dock and caisson, 25m below, as well as to the harbour beyond. We collaborated closely with ASPECT on the design, to ensure the most efficient and cost-effective delivery.

True to the design, we used materials and finishes to suit the industrial maritime context. This included universal steel beam sections, heavy gauge hardwood decking, mass concrete elements, micaceous iron oxide protective coatings (as used on the Harbour Bridge) and stainless steel fittings.

For the gates that lead into the ‘Goat Paddock’ (so named because it used to hold goats), we used plate steel and picket gates, successfully achieving the aesthetic desired by the architect: “A significant presence, yet in keeping with the scale and character of the site.”

As always, with projects of this sort, on-site safety and efficiency were key. We addressed all the complex structural concerns during the detailing process, so that when we arrived on-site to install it, the process ran exactly as programmed by our team.