Chinatown Public Domain

“Award-winning form meets creatively-inspired function”

Executive Summary

Located on the southern fringe of the Sydney CBD since the 1920s, Chinatown is a much-loved cultural destination for locals and visitors alike. But it was tired. As part of a wider Chinatown Revitalisation project overseen by the City of Sydney, Fleetwood was contracted to develop new public seating and pathway nodes for Little Hay Street, Factory Street and Kimber Lane, working alongside award-winning landscape architects, ASPECT Studios.


City of Sydney





Design Partners

ASPECT Studios

Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover

Fleetwood Involvement

An exhaustive pre-design process saw extensive collaboration with ASPECT Studios to perfect the chosen concept. Fleetwood was then contracted to manufacture the seats and carry out the installation of the project.

More Project Information


The seating designs were created to be simple, playful and visually arresting with striking finishes in fire engine red – a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture. The vision was to deliver works of street art that were as practical to use as they were engaging to look at. At a precinct level, the design intent was to create one sinuous form where each of the seating areas connected to the next, moving fluidly through the Chinatown landscape.


In keeping with the design vision, each of the seating nodes needed to look great. But they also needed to be robust enough to withstand heavy daily use. And being outdoor installations, they needed to survive the extremes of heat, cold and rain Sydney experiences each year.


It was important for the steel plates that connected the seating to be the same red colour as the seating itself. However the paint system required for long-term durability was slippery. Fleetwood’s solution was to introduce a special grit mix to the paint system to enhance the slip resistance to R11 – the code requirement – without compromising the aesthetic appeal of the colour.


  • Street-art inspired public seating finished in fire engine red
  • Interconnected locations to create one sinuous form
  • Steel plates with specially-formulated slip resistant paint

  • Unseasoned hardwood
  • Non marine grade paint system
  • Mild steel

All hardwood was sourced from sustainable forests – we do not use private lot hardwoods that have not been certified as sustainable by the government.


Creative and functional in equal measure, the seating nodes inject new energy into the bustling streets of Chinatown. Day and night, they provide visitors and locals with safe, attractive spaces in which to socialise. Each node is resplendent in a bright red colour palette – symbolising good luck in Chinese culture.


ASPECT Studios engaged with the local Chinese community during the concept stage, helping to fine-tune the designs and ensure maximum public approval.


Rather than merely pass through, the installation of our custom-designed public seating means visitors to Sydney’s vibrant Chinatown precinct now have the opportunity to sit and enjoy this colourful part of the city.



Award Name Location Year
Sydney Design Awards Chinatown Public Domain 2013