Urban Design Projects Shaping Parramatta’s CBD

V-by-Crown-ParramattaAfter the purchase of Mercure Parramatta for a speculated $40m, and with Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta set to open in 2018, Parramatta is in line to become a growth hub for investors seeking to move away from the tightly held CBD market, there is a strong interest continuing in the region as discussed by The Urban Developer who take a look at a number of developments currently shaping Parramatta’s CBD these include;

V by Crown brings to Parramatta a residential tower that balances functionality with comfort, history and understated elegance.

Transforming ParramattaComprising 30 floors of luxury residences atop a retail podium, V By Crown boasts contemporary design with a sleek glazed façade. The building unites with nearby Parramatta Heritage Parklands and the 200-year-old St John’s Church to create a unique sense of place in central Parramatta.

Bennelong Bridge – Sekisui House opened the $63 million Bennelong Bridge connecting the peninsula suburbs of Wentworth Point and Rhodes.

Construction on the bridge commenced in September 2014 and has taken approximately 20 months to complete. The bridge has now been dedicated to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) as well as additional funding for future maintenance of the bridge.

Darling Mills, North Rocks – Darling Mills North Rocks fuses natural local features with sleek contemporary architecture, to deliver a residential complex designed by Candalepas Architects. The project offers five designer towers and six boutique terraces in a landmark enclave less than four kilometres from Parramatta’s CBD.

Promenade – This luxurious $525m  riverside residential project by developer Starryland spans over 5 hectares and will comprise of 774 luxury 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments across 11 towers, ranging from two to twelve storeys.

This resort style project is in a prime waterfront location in close proximity to the Parramatta CBD with stunning river, Parramatta CBD and district views. Promenade also includes an expansive 1.2 hectares of landscaped parkland and a private residents podium courtyard.

Parramatta Square Civic Building, A cutting-edge glass construction featuring a wave-shaped façade of crystalline blocks has been selected as the winning design for Parramatta Square’s landmark civic and community building.

A Design Excellence jury voted unanimously to award the international design competition to a consortium of French firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and Australian firms DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson.

The eye-catching design encapsulates and extends above the historic Town Hall with a cantilevered structure providing a platform for the Council Chambers. Core to the building design is a stack of transparent glass that gradually rises to the northeast with a large LED screen for public art projections. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities  will 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.

This years’ theme, will focus on an understanding of what makes a city ‘smart’ from a urban design perspective and how the built environment develops during the city planning process.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstracts close 25th July 2016.

 

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The Englefield Designed For Smart Living

englefield urban designSmart living is at the forefront of design for Perri Projects tailored living residences, The Englefield, located in South Yarra showcasing the latest in luxury apartment living.

This boutique high-end development features seven penthouse-sized apartments designed for the discerning owner-occupier who may be considering living in an apartment for the first time.

Six of the apartments are generously sized 2 bedroom (plus study) or 3 bedroom residences with a top floor penthouse spanning the entire third level. The penthouse offers grand spaces surrounded by terraces with spectacular views over South Yarra and features the highest quality craftsmanship in every detail.

Perri Projects Director, David Scalzo said, “In itself this technology is currently already used in state-of-the-art luxury homes, but it’s rare to see this technology incorporated into boutique apartment developments.

“Our intention is to take the latest innovations in cutting edge technology and timeless elegance, and apply it on a commercial scale, to create an opportunity for our residents to enjoy life’s rarest luxuries – time and space,” he said. Lush landscaped surrounds from Paul Bangay Design seamlessly intertwine the greenery with metal and stone finishes from architects Woods Bagot. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Hyatt Canberra from Monday 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours available on Wednesday 9th November.

Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference.

This years’ theme, Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities”  will focus on an understanding of what makes a city ‘smart’ from a urban design perspective and how the built environment develops during the city planning process.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE.

 

 

Greens vision for developing Brisbane

6634846-3x2-940x627Last week, Jonathan Sri became the first Greens councilor elected in Queensland. Here he outlines a Green vision for a city that responds to the will of the people.

The Greens spoke of a vibrant, sustainable city – a cosmopolitan Brisbane with an efficient, affordable public transport network. They talked of human-scale, walkable suburbs, with separated bike lanes, tree-shaded streets and veggie gardens along the footpaths – social neighbourhoods, with lively public spaces, a bustling night-time economy and a healthy respect for music and the arts.

Most importantly, we envisaged a city where housing is both well-designed and affordable, where residents – not property developers – have the final say over how our neighbourhoods evolve, and where rising rents don’t fracture and fragment our communities. Because if the benefits of urban development flow only to the rich and powerful, such ‘development’ can’t accurately be described as genuine progress.

Unfortunately in Brisbane, most big urban planning decisions are taken out of residents’ hands altogether. This means planning decisions tend to favour the short-term interests of elite developers and investors rather than the long-term interests of ordinary Brisbanites.

There’s an injustice at the heart of Brisbane’s construction boom. Low-rent sharehouses and boarding houses are being demolished to make room for apartments that are often too expensive (and inappropriately designed) for poorer residents.

Property investors collect empty homes like trading cards, often choosing to leave new apartments vacant rather than renting them out cheaply. The supply glut of apartments hasn’t significantly improved housing affordability (and unfortunately, under current political and economic conditions, a sudden property market crash would likely hit the poorest the hardest).

Frustratingly, the increased rates revenue that council collects from new apartments isn’t necessarily reinvested in the neighbourhoods that are directly impacted by the development. It goes into general revenue, and is largely spent on mega-projects that might impress the media (and the corporations who tender for these mega-projects) but don’t materially improve the lives of ordinary residents. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held in Melbourne in November.  To express your interest in the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE.

Expansive thinking is needed on the ACT’s urban parks strategy

urban design parksFor a city with a large and plentiful selection of recreational areas (and easy access to national parks and nature reserves), Canberra’s town or district parks often appear underwhelming. Commonwealth, Weston, Glebe and Telopea Parks stand comparison with the Australia’s finest, but the remainder are modest affairs of limited utility. And if University of Canberra landscape architecture professor Andrew MacKenzie is correct in his assessment, they’re not being managed according to any long-term strategy.

That’s not to suggest they are being starved of money or resources. Far from it, Dr MacKenzie says. However, he argues that the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate has carriage of too many parks and open spaces, and that as a result is almost fully occupied just keeping the grass cut. This imperative has also made TAMS reluctant to look at how existing parks might be improved or modified to accommodate the rapidly expanding populations of the inner north and south. And Dr MacKenzie singles out Haig Park, the ice hockey stick-shaped parcel of land intersecting Northbourne Avenue in Turner and Braddon, as emblematic of this failure.

In 2012, a draft master plan for Haig Park prepared for TAMS noted the park’s heritage values, its importance as a park primarily surrounded by residential and commercial developments and the desirability of “enhanced recreational opportunities”. To that end, the authors recommended, among other things, that park furniture and pedestrian tracks be upgraded, that art works and commemorative features be installed and that more lighting be erected to improve public safety.

Though the draft master plan has never been formally ratified, the government this month announced it was considering installing “mood” lighting and removing some trees to open up a through path from Braddon. However, Dr MacKenzie says the draft plan’s revival is unlikely to ensure Haig Park becomes an engaging public open space – rather it will condemn it as being “frozen in time”.

The long line of evergreen plantings within Haig Park testifies to the area’s beginnings as a break in 1921. An unwillingness to depart from this layout for heritage reasons, even though it contributes to a forbiddingly cold and dark atmosphere in winter, is one of the draft plan’s more fundamental weaknesses. That said, however, Haig Park’s shape and size (only 19 hectares) militates against the sort of imaginative design and planning that Dr MacKenzie advocates. Nonetheless, he is correct in arguing that the government can’t seem to see the wood for the trees. To read more click here.

Churches make a comeback in commercial buildings

The modernised Highway Christian Centre. (image SMH)

Churches have traditionally been the hub of the community, but one architectural firm in Collingwood has given a modern twist to this ageless concept.

ClarkeHopkinsClarke has made “Don’t forget the church and community in urban design” ethos in its urban design. “Towns evolve differently from what they used to. Unless it’s master-planned in, different uses such as churches often get overlooked. They don’t get a voice at the table,” said CHC partner Dean Landy.

“We’re passionate about building strong communities. It’s not just about the buildings. The main driver is ‘Get a layer of culture and activation into town centres’.”

What that means in practice is the church shares its facilities with a variety of local groups. It uses the building on the weekend, the peak time, and the locals during the week.

CHC, with 65 staff, turns 55 this year. The company has been a pioneer of this concept, which covers not only greenfield land in Melbourne’s growth corridors, but brownfield sites where redundant buildings in light industrial areas are given a new purpose.

CHC has completed or is undertaking church projects at Hoppers Crossing (an old glass manufacturing plant was converted into a 700-seat auditorium with functions rooms and full commercial kitchens), Scoresby, Point Cook, Box Hill and Bundoora.

The churches are mixed denominations. Point Cook has a Church of Christ, whereas the others tend to be new Australian Christian churches, such as Apostolic, Hillsong and Planet Shakers. The buildings are not designed with religious architecture and paraphernalia. “They are appealing to a younger demographic, with contemporary music, art and performance, and cafes. They adapt to what today’s younger culture wants,” Mr Landy said. “Mainstream churches have an ageing demographic. As the church population ages, they are closing down.” Mainstream church buildings are often transformed into apartments.

At Scoresby, the Highway Church was built in a refurbished old warehouse surrounded by a small village centre in a light industrial area. The centre is used regularly by the council, businesses and schools. A small theatrette is used as a conference centre…

Read more by Philip Hopkins, Sydney Morning Herald 28 January 2015

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