Skye by Crown Group
When designing the soaring cities of our future, how do we humanize high-rise living?
Koichi Takada Architects have envisioned a new approach to high-rise living, instinctively interconnected with the natural environment, and grounded in human experience.
In the age of the super-tower and dense hyper-Manhattan tower typographies, there is an urgency for sprouting vertical villages to feel human, to somehow still ground us to the earth despite their soaring, exhilarating and often farfetched statures. Such is the approach for Koichi Takada – and Skye by Crown Group is the first built specimen of Takada’s unprecedented and detail-driven, human-focused design for high rise.
Building upon the Crown Group’s sense of retreat and resort style living, Takada has designed a unique city sanctum, a part of a new city fabric – yet timeless and set apart from its rapid pace. Skye by Crown Group represents Koichi Takada’s boundary pushing approach, and the practice’s contribution to a more conscious, pivotal architectural language.
Located in North Sydney, and gazing outward across Sydney’s spectacular east and west skyline, Skye by Crown Group is a considered vision of mixed-use vertical living, responding to the city context, while reimagining the urbanism of high rise as a rich collective experience, steeped in lifestyle, nature and community.
Sculptural and visionary, Skye by Crown Group has been informed by naturally occurring phenomena of light, Aurora Borealis. Its undulating façade follows the terrestrial aurora wave, and its gentle but striking fall to earth. A veil of bronze-hued cylindrical columns resemble great lengths of bamboo, and draw the eye skyward, channelling light up, and then back down to earth.
There is an urgency for sprouting vertical villages to feel human, to somehow still ground us to the earth despite their soaring, exhilarating and often farfetched statues.
Takada habitually takes cues from the natural environment, with the idea that this coerces a far richer experience of architecture – and life. One, two and three bedroom apartments across 20 light-filled floors each magnet the outside in, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and unexpected openings that quietly reveal the cityscape beyond the building’s walls. Resort style amenities, winter gardens and wide, sun-drenched balconies are peaceful outdoor urban sanctuaries – each providing a seamless ebb and flow between indoor and outdoor space.
“I think architecture can certainly draw inspiration from experience of Sydney’s unique topography,” he says. “The quality of organic living within Sydney is beautiful sun, beautiful lifestyle, and pockets of beautiful national parks and beaches. In Sydney there is a perfect balance between the natural and urban landscape. Skye by Crown Group imitates this balance.”
In place of outmoded private top level penthouses, Takada convinced Crown Group and North Sydney Council to reconsider this space, instead designing a breathtaking rooftop infinity pool and sundeck (‘Skyedeck’). Here, residents are given a shared sky-high experience of Sydney’s coveted outdoor lifestyle, as well as sweeping views of the harbour city.
Careful, organic and site-specific design details come together to mirror Skye by Crown Group’s natural surrounds and Sydney’s singular and intoxicating sunlight – positioned to capture spectacular daybreak and dusk. Azure blue tiles meet the sky and harbour, while ochre-coloured timber decking matches Sydney’s natural stone.
In Sydney, there is a perfect balance between the natural and urban landscape. Skye by Crown Group imitates this balance.
Drawing inspiration from the shards of light that dance across the Northern Skies, Skye creates a memorable and warm entry experience.
Further deliberately selected design elements work to soften and break down the building’s monumental mass – key for Takada in making the experience of Skye by Crown Group more intimate and approachable on a human scale. Panelled tinted mirroring and low-light, coupled with a scaled-down installation of the building’s sculptured exterior veil, create a memorable and warm entry experience in the residential foyer.
Unlike standard high rise sites, Skye by Crown Group is at once secluded and open – shielded from city bustle, but distinctly social and connected with the world outside its walls. As part of its unique, welcoming design, its podium has been raised to create more open and inviting public space. At street level a restaurant precinct and pedestrian through-link hail the neighbouring local community in.
As sectors of Sydney undergo a certain urban metamorphosis – with North Sydney a pivotal area on the cusp of change – Takada’s considered line of design thinking for mixed-use is essential. If badly conceived, new vertical cities could create a siloed, alien sense of living. Under the direction of Koichi Takada, Skye by Crown Group offers a new, thoughtful approach, and a richer, connected urban living experience.
- Project Skye by Crown Group
- Location 211 Pacific Hwy, North Sydney
- Client Crown International Holdings Group
- Status Completed November 2016
- Architecture Koichi Takada Architects
- Landscape Architecture 360 Degree Landscape Architects
- CGI Integrated Design Solutions
- Structural/Civil Engineer Van Der Meer Consulting
- Hydraulic Engineer C&M Consulting Engineer P/L
- Builder Crown Group Construction PTY LTD
- PCA Vic Lilli & Partners
- Acoustic Engineer Acoustic Logic
- Accessible Engineer Accessible Solutions
- Electrical Engineer Building Services Engineers
- Mechanical Engineer Building Services Engineers
- Fire Engineer Holmes Fire
- Sprinkler Consultant DA Design
- Facade Engineer Arcadis Design & Consultancy