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AJ+C NOW AND AHEAD
Allen Jack+Cottier Vol 4 Issue 2
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MACQUARIE CENTRE

RESIDENTIAL / COMMERCIAL / RETAIL

 

“vibrant and walkable transit-oriented centre, vital to the evolution of Macquarie Park” 

 

AJ+C has been working in close collaboration with NH Architecture (NH) to deliver a Development Application (DA) to Ryde Council for the mixed use redevelopment of AMP Capital’s Macquarie Centre in Macquarie Park.

 

The Stage 1 DA Concept Plan which has just been approved by the East Sydney Joint Regional Planning Panel has the potential to completely transform the suburban shopping mall typology that exists there today, by focussing on a future context of diverse urban land uses including higher density living, street activation and site linkages, and new relationships between retail and mixed development uses. The concept design provides diversification throughout the built environment with new civic spaces and public domain improvements, community spaces, and new retail precincts.

Macquarie Park is envisaged by the NSW government’s metropolitan strategic plan as a major generator of economic growth. This project is seen as an opportunity for a new identity, one that reflects the urban design aspirations of the Macquarie Park corridor by enhancing existing uses of the centre and integrating other uses to create further vitality.

A year of intensive concept design workshops have resulted in a clear and compelling argument for the proposed design parameters, building envelopes, floor space distribution and site connections.
Diversity in the range of offerings will make the centre a desirable and a vital place within the Macquarie Park corridor and a more legible more usable, pedestrian friendly, vibrant, safe and identifiable place.

JULIEN VAN DEN BERG

 

Four things you need to know about Macquarie Centre

 

IT'S FASCINATINGLY COMPLEX.

Projects like this are in that super interesting space between architecture and urban design. The podium and tower architecture is still in its infancy - but we’re laying the foundation for this to happen in the coming stages. Initially, it’s about understanding how every square metre of the existing buildings work – envisaging how retail and mixed use developments will change in the coming decades – and what their public amenity needs will be.

 

 IT'S A MAJOR CHALLENGE.

The existing building is enormous, and markedly complex – not just because it’s a retail box with multiple split levels. It sits over a significant topographical feature, with multiple entries around all sides, and nearly a kilometre of street frontage. At almost every entry point there’s some conflict between foot, customer and service traffic today. Figuring out how to make all those things work better and meld it with the great opportunities for growth is the challenge.

 

IT'S ALL ABOUT TRANSFORMATION.

AMP Capital’s proposal will completely transform the suburban mall there today, creating a new identity for itself and the Macquarie Park Corridor. A suburban context will become a very, very urban space. Currently defined by vehicles and low density development, with little pedestrian friendly space or linkages, it will identify Macquarie Park as a dense, safe, liveable, desirable place.
 

IT WILL BE RECOGNISABLE, BUT VERY DIFFICULT.

The current closed-in retail box simply won’t meet the demands of the integrated urban places of the future. So external public spaces will punch deeper into the site, and the line between these and mixed use developments on the site will become less clear. The focus will increasingly be on the experience for visitors, shoppers, workers and residents.


OPAL ASHFIELD

AGED CARE

 

  “The design has been resolved to a high quality architectural,
landscape and urban design level.”

 

AJ+C has designed a new Opal Aged Care (OAC) Residential Care Facility (RCF) on a parcel of land within the Stockland Cardinal Freeman Village precinct in Ashfield. The village occupies 4 hectares, an entire suburban block, approximately 7km west of the Sydney CBD and 1km from Ashfield Town Centre. The ‘Cardinal Freeman Village’ was established in 1977 and ad hoc development had taken place up to the present time.

 

The master plan (developed by AJ+C in 2012) proposed a mix of independent accommodation along with low and high care residential aged care accommodation and a progressive upgrade and/or replacement of existing building stock, whilst sensitively addressing existing heritage items.

The Opal RCF comprises 5 ‘houses’ and accommodates a total of 133 residents in single bedroom units with en-suite.

Opal Ashfield continues the tradition of providing care to the elderly which was established on the site many years ago. The renewal of the site allows this tradition to continue while providing state of the art facilities in a tranquil established environment.

The design has been resolved to a high quality architectural, landscape and urban design level. This will enable the provision of services to continue in a way that greatly benefits current users, village residents and the neighborhood providing a high quality urban village.

 

BLACKTOWN TENNIS CENTRE STANHOPE

ARCHITECTURE / SPORTS / PUBLIC

 

  “The way this area flows through to the existing and new facilities make this the jewel in the crown for the city’s sporting assets.”

 

Blacktown Tennis Centre Stanhope, the latest in a series of AJ+C designed sporting facilities, opened in Western Sydney in August 2016 – allowing the ‘sporting city’ of Blacktown to compete for and host major regional tennis tournaments for the first time.

 

The facilities include extensions to the existing Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope stadium (doubling its indoor courts from two to four and creating additional services), 16 plexicushion courts - including 4 championship size courts and an exhibition court with seating for 288 spectators.

Blacktown Tennis Centre Stanhope is the latest in a number of AJ+C projects designed to meet the current and future needs of those living and working in the Blacktown City Council area, with those previously completed including Blacktown Soccer and the Fairfield Community Centre.

Our client, Blacktown City Council, had strong support from Tennis Australia with their ambitions to create ‘a sporting city’. A dedicated client and stakeholder group has resulted in a new facility which integrates with and compliments the existing Leisure Centre. Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali describes it as “the jewel in the crown for the city’s sporting assets”.

 

NEW DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTRE OPENS
IN WESTERN SYDNEY

ARCHITECTURE / PUBLIC

 

A new respite and resource centre for young adults with intellectual disabilities - designed pro bono by architects from AJ+C - has opened in Sydney’s Western Suburbs.

Australian Council of Women Affairs (ACWA), previously operating from an old fibro home on site, was unveiled in December.

 

Architect Jane Johnson, who initiated AJ+C’s involvement, said the centre was designed to provide warm, contemporary spaces for adults over 16.

Johnson said the project represented an extraordinary opportunity to help “design and realise a dream”, creating a custom-made facility that would see the ACWA into the future.

“Our client was a group of women from the ACWA, including Centre Coordinator Maha Hafez, who was passionate about giving the centre’s users the best quality of life possible.”  

The facility includes two sensory rooms, a tactile wall, hydrotherapy room, and rear courtyard and garden leasable to the public.

Ms Hafez said: “The completion of this project marks a great milestone in the development of My Home Disability Services, created to fill the gap in services for adults with special needs who come from Arab backgrounds.

“This project was made possible by the selfless contributions made by QK Radio, AJ+C, El Cheikh Family Trust, Alliance Project Group, an array of trades, and a generous community who have been helping financially for the past 10 years.”


Copyright © 2016 Allen Jack+Cottier Architects, All rights reserved.
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