Centennial Park's Labyrinth is the result of a true partnership between Centennial Parklands and its community.
Planning Centennial Park's Labyrinth
Centennial Parklands approved the design, location and installation of Sydney's first public sandstone labyrinth in Centennial Park in December 2013. The Labyrinth was made possible by the project's founding benefactor, Emily Simpson, who worked tirelessly and actively, in cooperation with the Centennial Parklands Foundation, to raise over $500,000 to fund this unique structure.
To support the project, Centennial Parklands committed funding and in-kind support to the project management and delivery of the labyrinth.
The Labyrinth's design
The Labyrinth's design and setting is sympathetic to the landscape and character of the Parklands. It creates a tranquil, contemplative location for park visitors while holding a non-denominational and cross-cultural space for visitors to learn and enjoy.
The labyrinth's design references the labyrinth in France's Chartres Cathedral, which was built in the early 13th century.
The Labyrinth is approximately 18 metres in diameter, with a 2.5 metre wide border to provide hard-surface standing space around the labyrinth walk area. The border also provides an aesthetic element to the design. To maximise its safety and durability, the Labyrinth has been built with the highest quality materials including two contrasting coloured Australian stones.
Constructing the Labyrinth
Centennial Parklands oversaw the project team which included highly qualified architects and builders to ensure it is of the highest aesthetic and structural quality.
The initial phase of the project included the construction of a prototype to test the tolerances of the computerised system used for cutting each of the stone paving elements. The prototype was a two metre x three metre section of the paving that was proposed to be used in the Labyrinth.
This process entailed the pouring of a concrete bed onto samples of each of the stone pavers, which were intricately cut by computer to shape. Once they were laid, the adequacy of the proposed three millimetre joints (between the pavers) were tested to ensure the assembly of the overall pattern comes together as intended.
A 'sod turning' ceremony was celebrated in February 2014 to mark the start of works, with the construction site established shortly after. Construction took five months of patient work with over 1,500 individual pieces of stone required for perfect alignment.
Works were completed in mid-August 2014.