It’s also turned the old rundown inner west district into one of the liveliest urban precincts on the city fringes. “Central Park has been a great success,” says close neighbour Judith Neilsen, one of Australia’s leading style barons, philanthropists and art collectors who owns the acclaimed White Rabbit Gallery nearby.
“They have created a friendly space with a village atmosphere, where there is a tangible sense of ownership and belonging. Living in it, I’ve been able to see the pleasure and enjoyment the green spaces have given the community. You see all sorts in the park: dog walkers, students, locals, fitness groups, barbecues, parties, joggers, families. Everyone uses the shopping centre, comes in to see the VIVID installations, and Spice Alley and the restaurants are flourishing. It’s very special.”
The joint venture development, between Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House, of about 2200 homes over nine buildings, is now due to be completed by early 2019, with the final residential release of a new 294-apartment parkside building, Wonderland, to take place over the next few weeks (see Box).
Frasers Property Australia development director Mick Caddey says it’s been astonishing seeing the project gradually take shape. “We’ve achieved something that just isn’t monolithic,” he says. “There have been so many different things and different architects involved, and modern buildings as well as restored heritage buildings, and little laneways and food areas.
“They’re all so diverse, the only aspects they have in common are the consistency in presentation and the quality. It’s been a really fabulous journey seeing it all come together, and for the city to get these developments up.”
International urban design Sydney: Central Park wonderland
Professor Sue Holliday of urban policy and strategy at the University of NSW, says Central Park should be applauded for trying hard to introduce sustainability into its design. “They made a lot of positive moves in that direction, which is where inner-city regeneration needs to go,” she says.
“It’s also brilliantly connected with shopping and laneways, and all that is funky and engaging for people like Gen-Xers and millennials. Others might say it’s too high and overshadows and isn’t consistent with Chippendale. But I sometimes compare it to Green Square and Victoria Park, which doesn’t have anything like its diversity of uses and energy.”
With each building at Central Park designed by a different architect, it’s attracted enormous attention for those designs. Architectural judge and lecturer Michael Zanardo, of Studio Zanardo, says there are a lot of innovative things about the buildings and their environmental initiatives.
“There are lots of things to hold up about it being a good news story, but I would hold back from saying you’d want to replicate it completely everywhere,” he says. To read more click here.
International urban design Sydney and a wide range of topics will be discussed at The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities to be held at Hyatt Canberra from 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours available on Wednesday 9th November.
Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference. Early bird closes 26th September 2016 so be quick to receive a discounted rate.