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Urban Design - Emerald Park

Emerald Park is a masterplan of the former Email industrial site that is situated on the western side of Joynton Avenue, between O’Dea Avenue and McPherson Lane, which includes a major privately funded public park at the southern end - an extension of Mary O’Brien Reserve. It comprises eight buildings, built over 4 stages and includes a boardwalk, forecourt, new street and through-site pedestrian way in addition to the park. The open space network allows easy pedestrian movement around and through the site.

Key concepts underlying the masterplan are Diversity, Connectivity and Sustainability. Diversity, applies to the development of a range of building types, diverse streets and communal spaces and housing choice which underpins a vibrant centre that offers complex experiences and social contact. Connectivity, applies to an accessible, genuine and diverse network of publicly accessible and communal open spaces which integrates existing and future landscapes and buildings, and which establishes a lasting framework and pattern for the growth of the area. Sustainability, applies to development of a positive environmental, social and economic outcome for the site that maximises natural cross ventilation and sunlight for the amenity of residents, passive thermal design for ventilation, heating and cooling reducing reliance on technology and operation costs as well as deep soil zones for ground water recharge and vegetation.

The masterplan has been structured around a new public through-site way that crosses the site from north to south along the western boundary of the site and extends an existing street network to connect to Green Square Town Centre. It is bisected with an pedestrian pathway from east to west, through the central courtyard to Eton. The through-site way is lined with a faceted, steel and timber frame that amplifies the walking motion of pedestrians, and provides access to SOHO units.

The building heights have been distributed according to a sun access plane with taller buildings to the north and lower buildings to the south, adjacent to the park. A generous 12m setback has been provided to Joynton Avenue to allow the canopy of the mature fig trees to expand and prosper. A boardwalk below the canopy of mature Port Jackson fig trees provide an interface to ‘Prime' and 'Grande’ to allow rainwater to penetrate into the ground within the tree protection zone. No fig trees were removed.

Buildings vary in height from 4 to 13 storeys and are organised around a central communal courtyard. Buildings have an architectural aesthetic that is based upon environmental and abstract principles, untainted by sentimentality and overworked contextual gestures. The appearance of the buildings avoid the overused expression of cellular, crate-like elements. Special attention has been given to the composition of building elements and materiality, and adjusting walls to maximise solar access. The interplay of the two primary materials, the solid masonry and lightweight metal in Eton creates a distinct and unifying expression to the building forms.

A site-based, water retention system has been incorporated into the site. It comprises two storage tanks, filtration and pump unit in the ground floor car park and basement carpark that are used to recycle roof and ground rainwater for the irrigation of courtyard planting. The project was developed by Cronos Corporation and built by Waterside Constructions.

Data

Location: 13 Joynton Avenue, Zetland, Sydney, Australia
Client: Cronos Corporation Pty Ltd.
Builder: Waterside Constructions Pty Ltd.
Area: Site area: 6.650 sqm (approx 25,000 sqm total site masterplan), Floor area: 16,509 sqm (2.0:1) (approx. 50,000 sqm total site masterplan)
Date: 2013-2015
Status: Completed
Collaborators: Northrop Engineers
Photography: Brett Boardman

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