Bates Smart design new public development near Sydney's Darling Harbour
The urban strategy was to create a form that celebrates the loca¬tion between the city and the park, and that relates to the expressive architecture of nearby Darling Harbour while also engaging with the edge of the city.
The client’s brief called for approximately 60,000 sq m of commercial office space accommodated in two buildings of up to eight levels with 3,200 sq m of retail facilities on the ground floor and an 800 car base¬ment. Each building is divided into three large open flexible floor plates that are separated by through site links to provide visual and physical connection between the city and the park.
The buildings are as¬sembled to form a singular sweeping curved gesture that springs from a pedestrian scaled two-storey walkway arcing around the perimeter of the park. The resulting form ensures good solar access to the lake and park, while creating a unified form that responds to the site’s unique location as a transition between the park and city.
Triple height atriums between the floor plates of each building provide spectacular breakout spaces that encourage interaction and provide a high level of amenity for building occupants, while also providing an increased perception of connectivity between the park and the city.
The sloping park façade is articulated as a series of ‘leaf-like’ overlapping planes of fritted glass that extend beyond the floor plate to provide sun shading to the floor below and create a delicate, cascading and softly articulated park edge. The street façade is comprised of a series of vertical masonry blades, which provide sun shading and respond to the neighbouring masonry buildings. The blades have three different masonry hues arranged in an abstract pattern to create a sense of movement and playfulness to the composition while providing each building with its own identity.