Australian Architectural Review (AR) recently awarded Peddle Thorp Architects, Melbourne and Sustainable Built Environments (SBE) a commendation for their finalist listed entry in the Proposition 2065 design competition.
The major strengths of this scheme related to the way scale and connectivity have been handled. The fractured volumes of the key buildings were seen as a clever response to both of these challenges, allowing for both permeability and a dissolving of building mass. The jury also saw the embedding of community programs deep within the heart of the site and integrated into the artificial topography as a good strategic move, as an activation of the ground plane.
The jury acknowledged the improvements made to Peddle Thorp + Sustainable Built Environments’ proposal since Stage 1 of the competition, particularly in defining the complex artificial ground plan and the effects of the public domain on the linkages with the key grade connections to the locality.
Proposition 2065 competition is a two stage, open to all architects and anonymous. The competition’s aim is to produce innovative architectural concepts and development solutions for a specific Australian site. The brief for 2010 challenged entrants to design a mixed-use development for a disused site in St Leonards in Sydney, immediately adjacent to the train station and major road intersection.
The jury composition, associated workshops and selection criteria reflect a competition that attempts to balance the design potential of a site and the economic realities of commercial development.
The site functions as a circulation hub; designed to interact with the surrounding buildings and spaces, thereby activating the precinct. The site’s diverse mix of residential, commercial, retail and community zones that are active at different times of the day creates a 24 hour precinct that has a dynamic synergy with the existing neighborhoods.
Retail activities complement existing businesses at the Forum. Provision of commercial space offers the opportunity to consolidate existing healthcare, educational and graphic design uses. The building is offset from surrounding buildings and elevated above the ground plane, creating dynamic edges to the site by generating active spaces in between and by activating the existing static laneways.
The whole site is a switch back ramp which acts as a circulation hub, actively connecting the site to its surrounds. The site, with its close proximity to excellent public transport networks and residential buildings, is a transit-oriented development. It offers significant employment capacity with the provision of commercial and retail opportunities, which are supported by a diverse mix of community facilities and amenities. Pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths weave through the site, integrating it into the existing neighborhood fabric and connecting it to local laneways, the Hospital, St Leonard’s station, the Forum and Talus Reserve. Pedestrian and bicycle movement through Evans Lane to Talus Reserve has been prioritized over vehicular circulation.
The parking area includes dedicated spaces for small, fuel-efficient, hybrid cars and car-share vehicles to encourage building users to maximize use of public transport and to discourage them from using private cars. Universal Design and DDA principles will be incorporated to enhance access for all, as well as CPTED principles to reduce the opportunity for crime. To improve access for all in the locality, a Mobility Centre is located next to St Leonard’s station, providing equipment, facilities and services for less mobile and older persons, and people with disabilities.
The site has been designed around the triple bottom line concept of minimizing the impact of the development on the environment, enhancing economic prosperity and improving social equity. The site has been transformed into a dynamic ESD platform which facilitates the sustainable operation of the development. The aim is to create an exemplar energy-efficient development. Our approach is to firstly reduce energy demand by employing a climate responsive design strategy, then install energy efficient technology and finally, supply demand with renewable energy generated on site topped up by energy from low carbon sources. The development aims to balance the water cycle, in terms of the volume of water supplied to and water discharged from the site. The development aims to optimize resource efficiency through the selection of low environmental impact materials, the provision of space for the storage of recyclable waste and the collection of organic waste for use as compost for the community gardens. Affordable housing provides accommodation for key workers associated with the adjacent healthcare and educational facilities, improving social equity. The commercial, retail and community uses generate employment capacity in the locality, thereby enhancing economic prosperity.
+ Project credits / data
Project: Proposition 2065 | Architectural competition | http://www.proposition.com.au
Services: Architectural Design
Location: St Leonards, Sydney city, Australia
Total Built Area: 29 000 m2
Program: Mixed-use (Commercial, Retail, Community & Residential)
Client: Willoughby City Council, Altomonte Holdings
Entrants: Peddle Thorp Architects | http://www.pta.com.au & Melbourne + Sustainable Built Environments | http://www.sbe.com.au
Architectural Design: Antoine Damery
ESD Strategy: Danielle MacCartney, Pratik Shah, Imm Chew, Ben Lornie
Visualization: Charley Lee & Antoine Damery | http://www.adesigner.fr