Location: Green Square, NSW
The site is located in the rapidly transforming southern part of the Green Square Town Centre. It is approximately 2.5 km south of Central Sydney and within easy, level walking distance of the Green Square Railway Station. The precinct is presently characterised by a diverse mix of older light industrial development, both new and proposed medium to high density residential development, and existing low scale commercial/retail development.
Both this and adjacent sites have been previously developed with large footprint, low-scale industrial buildings. City Council has prepared a new public domain plan for the Town Centre, which reflects the transformative change in proposed use and character from industrial to residential/mixed use through a finer-grained and more permeable public domain structure.
This is established for the Hatbands site by the Green Square Town Centre DCP Schedule 17 Indicative Public Domain Plan, which sets out a new local street and pedestrian connections within the site.
The site is essentially level and approximately one hectare in area, with a small western frontage to Botany Road and a southern frontage to Tosh Lane and the Hansard Street Conservation Area. The new internal street and extension of Dunning Street to the east will create a new block structure that is suitable for the type and density of use proposed for the site. Three individual sites result from Council’s Public Domain Plan, with two large, east-west sites bounding the new street and a small infill site to Botany Road.
Key site contextual drivers to the Concept Design are:
There are no other significant site constraints that affect the Concept Design, other than the requirement to ensure that habitable ground floor levels and the car-park access are located above minimum PMF flood levels inclusive of freeboard.
This Concept Design addresses the sites existing and future context, its environmental constraints and primary development controls, being the Draft Planning Proposal Sydney LEP 2010 (Green Square Town Centre), Sydney DCP (Green Square Town Centre) 2012, SEPP65 and the RFDC.
A key objective of the Green Square Town Centre DCP is to ensure that built form and height create a gentle transition from the Hansard Street Conservation Area in the south, through to the taller residential towers planned in the vicinity of the railway station to the north.
The proposed building footprints are relatively conventional, and have been formulated to ensure that the both the proponent’s commercial objectives and creation of a high quality, legible public domain across the site are comprehensively realised. The footprints provide the street-frontage land dedications required by Council and comply with the LEP primary land use, height and floor-space controls, as well as the general and site-specific requirements of the DCP, with particular reference to Part 6.
Four separate buildings are proposed, with six individual access/service cores providing the basis for articulation of each building form into smaller, distinctive components, thereby creating a finely grained, well-scaled inner-urban residential environment as required by the DCP. The ground level lobbies have been evenly spaced around the street frontages to further enhance the sense of intimacy and individual identity for residents.
Planning of the buildings forming the new street has been carefully considered, and is a key feature of the Concept Design. The proposal is compliant with the building envelopes set out in the DCP, as well as the provisions for vehicular and pedestrian access within and adjacent to the site. The required central pedestrian link through the northern site is open for its full height, to ensure that it is clearly identified as part of the public domain.
One of the key issues that residential development with long east-west alignments of this density must inevitably address is compliance with SEPP65 objectives and RFDC Rules of Thumb in relation to solar access, cross-ventilation and minimisation of south-facing apartments. In many cases, cross-over apartments are utilised to achieve this compliance, however this apartment typology has proven to have a number of problems including inadequate natural light and ventilation, large internal floor areas, and higher construction costs and market resistance associated with internal stairs.
The urban design proposal for the street façades and their architectural resolution is a key element of the Concept Design. It provides a distinctive character to the new street, derived from a contemporary expression of the two-storey terrace house at the ground and first floor levels, surmounted by individual four-storey elements.
These upper elements are strongly articulated in plan, creating a more intimate residential rhythm and scale supported by a distinctive roof profile.
For Site 11A, the upper three storeys above the six storey street frontage are set back behind the access corridor line, ensuring that they are not visible from within the street at ground level and thereby creating a well-scaled, balanced symmetry and 1:1 proportion to the new street.
For the Site 11B northern street facade, apartment terrace “stacks” at certain locations are designed to create a strong visual break through the building and at the parapet line, thereby providing a highly modulated and appropriately scaled building rhythm and roof silhouette for a residential development of this nature. Sun-shading in a variety of configurations will further enhance the individual expression of each element.
The two end elements have a strong horizontal expression derived from continuous balustrade spandrels and profiled decorative metal sliding sunscreens. For these important elements at the threshold to the new street, it is proposed to vary the façade cladding from precast concrete, and line the apartment terrace soffits with timber.
For the Site 11A southern street façade, a similar approach is adopted in relation to articulation and massing to create a generally balanced street character and symmetry. For this façade however, the breaks between the individual apartment stack elements reveal the open circulation corridors and a quite different character and expression.
Because this façade is south-facing, the detail of these facades will be less sculptural and somewhat “calmer”, as external sun-shading is not required. Varied expression of the slab edges and a roof level metal cornice will provide compositional interest and character. An expressed lift core is a strong vertical element and feature on this street edge, and will be carefully detailed to ensure that it is materially integrated and scaled into the façade. A glazed shaft to the street could be considered here.
It is generally anticipated that solid façade walls to both buildings will be high quality precast concrete panels, in a variety of formats and texture/painted external finishes.
Generally, the two design approaches to the upper street facades will be carried through to the courtyard facades for each building, with variations in the design response arising from their individual solar orientations. The street level expression for the ground and first floor changes however, as the apartments on these levels facing the courtyards are single level only
Ground and First Floor Levels to New Street
These are generally two storey maisonette apartments, with bedrooms at the upper level to ensure optimized privacy. The section of these apartments complies with the requirements of the DCP in relation to street setbacks.
The architectural expression proposed for facades at these levels is directly responsive to the design strategy of two-storey, street facing terrace-style apartments. Two-storey high flat precast panels are arranged in a continuous rhythm along the street, framing each apartment. This rhythm is expressed in different ways, varying from framed “boxes” seated on a strong masonry plinth to a series of individual blades allowing the four storey element above to be expressed in a more three-dimensional manner.
Perforated metal Juliet balconies sit within each apartment frame at the fist floor level.
The Concept Design responds to Lateral’s key requirements for simple, cost effective, low maintenance and robust structure and construction systems.
All vertical structure is positioned to provide simple, efficient floor spans and complete vertical structural continuity through the car-parking level to the foundations.
The individual cores are compact and rectilinear in plan, allowing for standard concrete construction techniques.
Botany Road Building
The façade proposal for the Botany Road infill building will echo the proposal for the end elements of the Site 11B street façade – continuous, solid horizontal spandrels and sliding decorative screens to address the western orientation and potential visual and aural privacy impacts arising from this busy thoroughfare.