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    $5-billion Sydney Science Park one step closer

    Kirsty Sier

    A 287-hectare site eight kilometres out of Penrith is set to become an international epicentre for food, energy and health research.

    A development application has been submitted for a seven-storey structure – called the Baiada building – which would be both the first stage of Sydney Science Park, and the eventual headquarters of the commercial and research precinct.

    Initial plans for the building propose 10,200 square metres of tenancy space, to be divided between offices, communal spaces, and a meeting and presentation facility that would support a number of scientific disciplines.

    The technological nature of the Baiada building is reflected in the material choices that have been revealed in draft designs. The boomerang-shaped building – which tapers at both ends to form twin triangular points – features a glazed aluminium curtain wall fa├žade and a frameless, glass box entry. Horizontal aluminium sunshades will be fixed to vertical mullions between the first three “phases” of the building.

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    A new town centre and a network of open spaces have also been including in the masterplan, supporting the precinct’s function as an Australian outlet for leading science-based businesses, tertiary institutions, and other providers of research and development. A new primary school has also been included in the masterplan for Sydney Science Park.

    The Sydney Science Park development has already been several years in the making. In 2015, the NSW government gave the project the green light to proceed to the next stage of planning. The release of the masterplan – designed by Celestino in conjunction with Urbis and FJMT Architects – is the first significant indication of what Sydney Science Park will look like.

    The collaborative masterplan supports the Planning Proposal for the site, and represents the “preferred outcome” for Sydney Science Park. In addition to research and development space and student accommodation, proposals for the precinct comprise 3,400 new dwellings, a primary school, and landscaped open space including sporting fields and parks.

    The Baiada building represents Sydney Science Park’s first phase of development. When first completed, it will be a standalone building. As development continues around it, it will become at the epicentre of an integrated urban precinct, which will eventually include pedestrian walkways, cycleways, and supporting public transport infrastructure.

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