This hybrid-use project is an exploration of hyperform - a massive, urban scaled block that supports new and diverse living spaces – it is a radical departure from the low density suburb with its detached dwellings, front fences and driveways. Whether or not it is considered to have achieved its maturity, this project engages with important issues for living - the need for expression of individuality, density and the potential for variation in design. The project revives the modernist theme of replication.
At first, this project appears to be a random pile of bits of buildings stacked carelessly one on top of another, but this is not the case. There is a logic and a clear organisational system that is related to the specific location, evident in the spatial and circulation system. The site is in the Green Square Town Centre, adjacent to existing two storey terraces and the new civic square. The building form steps down to the adjoining two storey terraces and captures roof top views to the civic square.
The block is perforated to create deep recesses, voids and platforms for indoor/outdoor living. It is a counterpoint to the slim-line building forms that maximise perimeter but create predictable living experiences, driven by minimum standards rather than by diverse experience. The hyperform avoids the text book and prescriptive urban design approach. The perimeter is folded back into the main form to create pockets of spatial complexity. The porosity of the block alleviates its visual mass. The block responds to envelope, required ratios of floor space and maximum height constraints. The block is 40m wide, 80m long and 36m high (10 storeys); the cross section is maximum 12m wide. The block is below the sprinkler height.
The hyperform has hybrid-uses with shops and offices on the first two levels and housing above. The block is developed with a streetscape that extends into the site, through -site links, gallery circulation, private and communal courtyards, and roof-top gardens. It is perforated with voids, volumes and yards that are carved out of its mass. The project investigates the use of external spaces as a formal device to break up the mass of a building and to create new ways of living. It explores how much spaces might be identified and inhabited in hybrid-use projects.
The hyperform is a perforated honeycomb that presents a unique opportunity to create a modern aesthetic untainted by sentimentality and arbitrary contextual gestures. The expression deals with the question: how diverse do you make the facade of a building with diverse interiors, the external expression and materiality of the block does not reflect its internal complexity, but provides a uniform jacket of material restraint. This disguise avoids arbitrary facade elements common to most multi-unit housing. The design focuses on liveable indoor/outoor space and the organisational section. It still responds to many performance factors such as sun control construction, technology and apartment amenity.
Type: Live / Work / Hybrid
Location: Green Square Town Centre, Sydney, Australia
Stanisic Architects (Christian Bruna)