Urbanest Darling Square One+Two is a 1,300-bed student housing community made up of two towers, between the old warehouse district of Ultimo and the new Darling Square precinct in Sydney. The buildings form a transition between these adjacent precincts and drew inspiration from them.
The northern tower is college style, aimed at undergraduates and the southern tower is self-catered, suited to more independent or graduate students. The ground and first floors of both towers are linked to form a ‘verandah’ of major common spaces; lounges, study pods, gym, theatrette and a dining hall.
These spaces are connected to a central courtyard with an outdoor cinema and to a small urban park at each end of the site, creating a great environment for residents and wider community by activating the public realm.
The accommodation is grouped into a series of neighbourhoods, each with a double-height common room off the lift lobby. These smaller common rooms provide an intimate ‘third place’ for students to socialise, study and relax, close to their rooms but away from the major common spaces on the lower floors.
Open stairs connect all levels, encouraging incidental exercise and interaction. Given the urban nature of the site, we collaborated with graffiti artists to decorate the hoardings during construction and create murals in the common rooms.
The buildings are 4-star Green Star rated, with an emphasis on daylight and internal environmental quality; the masterplan of two towers maximises the amount of façade available for windows and dual aspect rooms.
To see more amazing entries from this year’s WAN Awards please click here.