July 25, 2018
The Sydney Forum for Architecture and Urban Design Inc
Image courtesy of Brandon Heng
The Infinity development under construction in July 2018 at Green Square, Sydney. Designed by Koichi Takada Architects, it will be one of the defining buildings of the new Green Square Town Centre, with an underground pedestrian connection to Green Square Station. Part of the glass entrance to the new library is on the right.
It’s Australia’s largest urban renewal project – the eight billion dollar Green Square scheme in Sydney – so it was a fitting location for our SFAUDI urban walk on Saturday July 14th 2018. Our members’ response to the transformation of this former industrial area into an attractive and sustainable urban environment was generally positive, in contrast to their concerns about the quality of the massive residential developments that have been built in Rhodes.
The walk began at the new Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, formerly the Esme Cahill nurses quarters, which will provide artists’ studios, workshops and gallery spaces, and will also be available for community hire. The building’s transformation, which includes a dramatic canopy designed by Peter Stutchbury, extending from the arched windows of the original 1936 era facade, has drawn widespread praise, and won the Australian Institute of Architecture NSW Architecture Medallion.
The walk continued to the unfinished Infinity building at Green Square Station, which will provide an innovative corner-piece to the new Green Square Town Centre – which is now finally underway after two decades of planning. Infinity has been designed by Koichi Takada Architects. The fluid form of the building, essentially two interconnected loops, is – according to Koichi Takada – designed to create a “seamless connection between the public and the private ……a haven for its residents but also an embracing and sculptural portal for the easy everyday flow into and out of its private, public, recreational and retail zones and its open, light-flooded heart”.
Other developments nearing completion are the new library – designed by Stewart Hollenstein, and Mirvac’s 28 storey Ovo development, which in addition to being the tallest building in the new town centre, (a useful landmark for disorientated newcomers) will also include some affordable accommodation.
The next destination on the walk was the East Village complex, whose shopping centre, with its distinctive “timber mushroom” columns, was also designed by Koichi Takada.
The large numbers of people who already inhabit Green Square’s new apartments have already triggered the establishment of new cafés and restaurants, including Allpress Espresso on Epsom Road – where the SFAUDI grouped stopped for coffee, followed by lunch at Café Vité on Elizabeth Street, which has only be operating for twelve months. With 55,000 residents expected to occupy Green Square over the next twelve years, expect many more cafés, bars and restaurants to open their doors in the months and years ahead!
This article was published online at sydneyforum.org.au