With the Blue Mountains as its backdrop and the vast Nepean as its viewpoint, NSW’s Penrith has the potential to realise tremendous growth. This progress is what St Hilliers Group and First Point Projects are aiming to help facilitate with a new development in Thornton.
The new retail and commercial precinct in the heart of Penrith, Thornton Central, will be an urban village with high quality yet budget-conscious residential apartment living so far unprecedented in Penrith’s city centre.
This includes 10 medium-density residential apartment buildings designed by dKo architects, each between three and eight storeys high, with the opportunity for taller buildings in key locations.
Informed by SEPP 65 and Section J of the Building Code of Australia, the design of the apartments will take advantage of northern aspects and cross ventilation, and incorporate expanses of glass and generous balconies.
According to St Hilliers’ Chris Mattes, the apartments are not too different in size and quality from those found in central Sydney. The blocks, sitting on the northern side of Penrith Station, will also benefit from the amenity provided at the base of the buildings.
“We didn’t want to create an environment where what we were doing would be disproportionate to what was sitting on the southern side of the railway,” says Mattes.
“We’ve ensured that the curvature of the skyline will meet the train line, taking it down through the Thornton precinct, and into the lower scale residential housing stock that UrbanGrowth NSW is currently delivering; essentially a seamless transition between the existing city to the extension of the city to the north.”
The new apartments will be complemented by a retail and commercial centre adjacent to the Penrith Station and main North Penrith commuter carpark. This centre, designed as a through link between the station and the carpark, will feature a 2,500sqm supermarket, and up to 3,000sqm of speciality shops and other commercial uses, such as restaurants, a medical centre, gymnasium and childcare facilities.
Some of the ESD initiatives Mattes says the team is currently looking into include powering up common and car park lighting with photovoltaic cells, as well as providing screened areas on the apartments’ balconies for occupants to hang dry their clothes rather than rely on clothes dryers.
The development will occur over seven stages, with the sites jointly purchased from UrbanGrowth NSW. It is expected to be completed in the next four to five years.
All Images: dKO Architecture