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    First look: Bate Smart’s winning triangular-shaped tower design at Sydney Olympic Park

    Geraldine Chua

    Bates Smart has been selected as the winning architectural firm for a 30 storey residential tower at Sydney Olympic Park, with developer Ecove releasing first images of the winning design.

    Beating three other practices who were invited to submit designs for the Opal Tower, Bates Smart’s proposal features a curved, triangular-shaped building with green walls embedded into the façade.

    Elevated communal courtyards are situated every five levels, with the architects seeking to create a new ‘vertical community’ design that meets high levels of environmental performance.

    This will, in part, be achieved by the provision of cross ventilation to apartments and common areas, as well as the shading of apartments in summer while admitting winter sunlight.

    Other features of the new gateway site include a cascading water feature, as well as a childcare centre.

    According to project director Philip Vivian on Bates Smart’s online journal, the triangular shaped tower will be a slender entry market to Olympic Park.

    “The soft corners reflect the elliptical towers further along Australia Avenue, while vertical gardens continue the landscape of Bicentennial Parklands into the third dimension.”

    The development is expected to improve the public access between Sydney Olympic Park and Bicentennial Park via a new landscaped bridge over Bennelong Parkway and a pedestrian tunnel under the existing railway line.

    Offering panoramic views north over Homebush Bay to Chatswood, east to the CBD, and south over the park to Sydney Airport, the building has an unusually high proportion of four-bedroom apartments on the upper levels, each measuring approximately 160sqm internally.

    This was planned in response to forecasts that the residential population of the suburb will swell to 14,000 by 2030.

    “Scaled-up apartments are a perfect alternative to the family home, and we could have done more of them in our earlier buildings,” says Sue Ballestry, marketing director of Elcove.

    “The influx of residents has made Sydney Olympic Park into a fully functioning suburb. There is a real sense of community here, and residents appreciate the benefits of living in the sporting and entertainment heart of Sydney and having 430 hectares of parklands as their backyards.”

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