Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0003)

  • Number
    4575750
  • Other name
    (WS 0003)
  • Primary address

    81, Holden Street Ashbury, 2193. NSW
    LGA: Canterbury
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Alternate Address

    82, Armstrong Street Ashbury, 2193. NSW
    LGA: Canterbury
    LGA code: CANT
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Reservoir.
  • Former use
    Reservoir.
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Water
  • Item category
    Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage is defined by part Lot 1 in DP no.911478, as shown on the curtilage plan.
  • AMG easting
    326577925
  • AMG northing
    6247451452
  • Statement of significance
    Ashfield Reservoir is of state significance for its historic, aesthetic and technical/research values. Ashfield Reservoir site is important for its role in the history of Sydney’s water supply, continually operating in this function since 1888. Ashfield Reservoir, completed in 1914 has technical association with a class of reservoirs that utilised elevated riveted steel walls and reinforced concrete floor and posts (featuring a capacity of over 0.5 Megalitres) and built between 1910 and 1914. Ashfield Reservoir is representative of this class of reservoirs. It is rare, being one of only four reservoirs of this class ever constructed. The class/group as a whole is also important as the first major instance of elevated water service reservoirs built by the Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board to utilise Monier concrete reinforcement system. Ashfield Reservoir's structure has a certain potential research value in the analysis of the long-term performance of this construction method. Design of Ashfield Reservoir, including Federation Free Classical architectural style, provides evidence of the cultural philosophy prevalent at the time of its construction, whereby public authorities exercised a conscious effort to integrate the appearance of public utility structures into the aesthetic context of the community. The boldness of Ashfield Reservoir, prominent skyline and detailing features landmark qualities, shows pride of its designers and demonstrates that the arrival of such structures within a community was regarded as a matter of achievement and material progress. In local terms, Ashfield Reservoir is demonstrative of the extent of urban development in its service area and Sydney at the time of its construction, as evidenced by the selection of its locality and its size.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Designer
    Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
  • Builder
    Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
  • Year started
    1912
  • Year completed
    1912
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3) is one of a group of four similar elevated reservoirs in the Sydney Water system, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (WS 10), Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87). Each reservoir is an elevated cylindrical riveted steel tank, resting on a concrete apron and supported on a steel girder frame. The perimeter of the steel stand has a façade of concrete columns and arches. Standard features include: handrail in tubular steel, davit, access ladder, trigonometric station, inlet and outlet valve chambers. Full Service Level: 80 m. Capacity: 4.6 ML.
  • Modifications made
    The reservoir has been roofed to safeguard water quality (1960s-1970s). The walkway around the rim of the reservoir has been removed. The north side of the block includes several brick, skillion roofed office, amenity, workshop and garage buildings. These buildings were used as a works depot site. A large asphalt paved car park is sited to the west of the Reservoir. The south side of the block features a fenced electrical substation. A small brick valve house is located on the boundary of Holden Street, and adjacent to the Reservoir which was reroofed in 2011. New compliant access stairs were installed in 2014. The original stairs have been retained but gated to prevent access. The site is highly modified and it appears that there is no remnant vegetation. The vegetation on site is a mixture of native and exotic species. Much of the vegetation on site has been planted to improve the aesthetics of the site. The site comprises predominantly of grassed areas and mature plantings.
  • History
    Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3), built in 1912, is one of a group of four similar elevated reservoirs in the Sydney Water system, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 10), 1910, Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), 1910, and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87), 1910. Originally water from Woollahra Reservoir was fed back to Ashfield Reservoir (1888) to supply the higher areas in Inner West. By 1927 an additional main from Potts Hill supplied Ashfield Reservoir. The reservoir is now supplied by the City Tunnel.
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of water supply.
  • a) Historical
    Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3) is one of a small group of four similar elevated reservoirs, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (WS 10), 1910, Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), 1910, and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87), 1910, which , together, represent an important technological development in the use of reinforced concrete for reservoirs in NSW. The group of four elevated steel and reinforced concrete reservoirs is the first group of large (over 0.5Ml) water storage reservoirs built above ground level as part of the metropolitan water supply system, allowing gravity reticulation to the highest land areas. This was a major improvement in supply and an important developmental stage in the provision of water supply in Sydney. Ashfield Reservoir provides evidence of the extent of urban development in its service area at the time of its construction, both by its selected locality and size. Ashfield Reservoir's history of usage and current role within the Water Supply system is illustrative of the growth of Sydney and the corresponding development of the water supply network over this period. The design of Ashfield Reservoir illustrates the Victorian and early twentieth century attitude that the provision of public infrastructure was evidence of a cultural and material progress and that the arrival of such structures within a community was a matter of achievement. The boldness its landmark design qualities and the aesthetic details of its fabric show the pride and confidence of the designers and their supervisors.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The group of reservoirs demonstrate a high level of engineering expertise and architectural detail, accommodating both structural requirements and aesthetic qualities. The reservoir is a prominent skyline feature and a landmark in the surrounding area. It is a simple, functional structure, which has been designed with deliberate architectural stylisation. A strikingly elongated structure, it is relatively narrow in relation to its height, with its classical arches set on tall rectangular columns. The reservoir's arched substructure is a fine example of Federation Free Classical architecture, one of the styles in vogue at the time of its construction. Ashfield Reservoir meets the State level of significance for this criterion.
  • d) Social
    The Ashfield Reservoir site has performed an essential community function for over 100 years.The site has significant local landmark value and is also highly visible in its location to a public park. Ashfield Reservoir meets the local level of significance for this criterion.
  • e) Research
    This reservoir demonstrates the high level of technical expertise available to the MWS&DB for reservoir construction at the time.
  • f) Rarity
    This reservoir is one of four riveted steel elevated reservoirs on a steel girder stand with concrete surround in the Sydney Water system, rarer still because of the high level of architectural detailing. The reservoir is one of only four large water supply reservoirs in the metropolitan system, which are elevated and combine steel tank walls with a reinforced concrete floor. The group is the first elevated water service reservoirs built in house by the Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board to utilise the Monier concrete reinforcement system.
  • g) Representative
    The riveted steel tank was common technology for surface reservoirs, but was extremely rare when combined with an elevated steel frame with concrete apron. The Ashfield Reservoir is a representative example of elevated service reservoirs built between 1910 amd 1914 which utilised a reinforced concrete floor and riveted steel walls. The role that Ashfield Reservoir played in the water supply of its vicinity is representative of the function of all service reservoirs throughout the Sydney metropolitan water supply system. The reservoir in its appearance and detailing, is representative of a class of historic buildings and structures demonstrating the care and consideration with which these elements were placed in existing environments.
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Name
    Sydney Water Heritage Register
  • Date listing listed
    30 June 2002
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Name
    State Heritage Register
  • Reference number
    01622
  • Gazette number
    220
  • Gazette page
    9709
  • Date listing listed
    15 November 2002
  • Title
    Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS0003) Conservation Management Plan
  • Author
    Sydney Water
  • Published
    2005
  • Item reference number in study
  • The physical curtilage plan for Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated)(WS 0003).
    The physical curtilage plan for Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated)(WS 0003).
    Created by: Craig Davis
    Creation date: 06 September 2007
  • Ashfield Reservoir illustrating render detailing.
    Ashfield Reservoir illustrating render detailing.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 11 September 2009
  • Ashfield Reservoir,as published in MBWSS Annual Report 1915.
    Ashfield Reservoir,as published in MBWSS Annual Report 1915.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2015
  • Illustrating new access stairs - old stairs retained
    Illustrating new access stairs - old stairs retained
    Created by: Phil Bennett
    Creation date: 20 April 2017
  • WS 3.
    WS 3.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 July 2000
  • Location Plan
    Location Plan
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 02 January 2000
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    18 December 2000
  • Updated
    28 October 2016