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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. This site is a brown field carpark site that services adjacent sites which have been previously developed with large footprint, low-scale industrial buildings. Sydney 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.

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One key contextual drivers was to ensure that the scale and character of development on the site is a good contextual fit with the Hansard Street Conservation Area and that the development is future proofed to integrate cohesively to the inevitable development to the north and south of the site, while retaining a level of individual identity. This was achieved by articulating the building form into three discreet pieces with two recessed “living links” to the adjacent buildings to the North and south of the site.

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Another key contextual driver was to enrich the through site link with a distinctive social signifier, a campanile like element to demarcate the threshold between the busy Botany Road address to the west and the nascent residential community to the east. This element, coupled with the new square, addresses the quieter residential community, providing a visual culmination of Sonny Leonard Street, creating a focal nexus between the street, the pedestrian lane, and the threshold to Botany Road. The architectural expression of this element becomes the focus for the prime materiality of the building in contrast to the simplicity of the majority of the building materials. It is a careful concentration of quality that best addresses the built form, urban aspirations and context of the proposal. The varying street façades and their architectural resolution provide a distinctive character to the new square while maintaining an appropriately simple, calm character to Botany Road and Hinchcliffe Street. The central pedestrian link through the site is open for its full height, to ensure that it is clearly identified as part of the public domain. The widening of the threshold between the buildings creates a place for people rather than a mere thoroughfare.

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The building footprints have been formulated to ensure the proponent’s commercial objectives and the creation of a high quality, legible public domain. The building forms are separately articulated into three discreet pieces with two recessed “living links” to the adjacent buildings. These discreet pieces are accessed by two cores and form distinctive components, thereby creating a finely grained, well-scaled inner-urban residential environment. Lobbies have been located in discreet locations to further enhance a sense of intimacy and individual identity for residents. Retail addresses both Botany Road and the public square between the buildings while a small amount of residential is provided with street level entry facing the new residential precinct to the East.

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In the northern Building the floor space is arranged around a central core with access to light and air at it’s southern end where the curved, textured campanile wall intriguingly filters the play of light into the lobby. The addition of deep slots into the facade and the cross over apartment at the North permits excellent ventilation to the apartments. Solar access is achieved by arranging apartments stacked either side of the north-south axis or by providing a double orientation to ensure no apartments are facing purely south. A setback, two storey, terrace-like articulation facing Hinchcliffe street responds to Council’s aspirations to provide a suitable residential rhythm and articulation for new development sites. A setback, double height retail zone addresses Botany Road and wraps around the building to address the new public spaces.

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Planning in the southern building is simpler as a response to its demure site constraints. A symmetrical plan provides wings either side of a naturally ventilated, naturally lit core that looks out onto the newly created public space through an open stair. The strongly articulated slot in the building form provides an excellent visual address to the new building and a negative vertical articulation provides a conceptual dialogue with the positive vertical articulation of campanile element on building to the North. Retail zones wrap the lower part of the building and address both Botany Road and the new public square.

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