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Street Furniture Australia has supplied Mall seats and benches to Sydney’s ferry terminals at Circular Quay, as part of the NSW government’s $3 million upgrade to Circular Quay Wharf, led by Group GSA. Circular Quay is one of Sydney’s key transport interchanges, with around 170,000 customers passing through every week. Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said that the upgrade is vital in ensuring Circular Quay remain a world-class facility:


“While everyday transport customers are our priority, the significance of Circular Quay for Sydney’s tourism can’t be underestimated.”


Sydney architecture firm Group GSA has led the new design upgrades to Circular Quay wharves 2, 3, 4 and 5. Wayne Krygsman, Associate Director of Group GSA, says,


“The main objective of the refresh project by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) was to improve amenities that contribute to the overall customer experience, that is, being identifiable, easy to use, well presented and offer a good level of security, accessibility and comfort.”


Group GSA oversaw visual and functional upgrades, including signage and logos, as well as the integration of new security measures and improvements to wayfinding across the wharves.


Wayne Krygsman, the lead architect on the project, was joined by Director Michael Mandl and Associate Sasha Jovanovic in finding cost-effective design solutions to the challenges at hand. “The maritime environment is very harsh on all materials.


Salt and moisture combined for a very corrosive cocktail that very few materials are fully resistant against. Stainless steel, glass, aluminium, timber and epoxy finishes are highly resistant to some degree, but still require maintenance and regular cleaning to prolong their functional design life.”


SFA Mall seats and benches in aluminium and timber were chosen for the quality of the materials used, compliance with the DDA, access and standard codes, and functionality and design: “It was seen that the new furniture would uplift and modernise the wharves’ overall presentation,” Wayne says.


“Installing new seating was seen as an essential element in satisfying the objective of improving customer comfort and amenity … by selecting SFA products (seats and benches) Group GSA saw that the design of these elements would meet all these objectives and requirements.” The new seating will replace the Classic Plaza seats that were installed by SFA in 2000, the year Sydney hosted the Olympic Games.


It was a high priority for the TfNSW that the refresh of the wharves be well integrated with the infrastructure of Circular Quay and its surrounds. Krygsman says: “All the finishes, elements and design solutions,


including the furniture, are in keeping with the existing architectural language and surrounding environments, and demonstrate a connection with the broader interchange precinct of Circular Quay and the outlying suburban wharves.


This iconic public transport project was highly significant in that Group GSA’s design would “set the trend and standard of TfNSW’s vision across all transport modes”, Wayne says.


The Circular Quay Wharf Refresh is the most significant upgrade to the quay since Harbour City Ferries began operating Sydney Ferries services in July 2012. The upgrade was completed in December 2014.