Newcastle East End, a three-stage development overseen by iRIS Property, has had its first stage completed, with three new mixed use buildings designed by SJB, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and Durbach Block Jaggers Architects that will reinvigorate east Newcastle, from Perkins to Newcomen Streets.
The development reflects significant innovation in the design and planning processes that will shape the city’s continued growth. Newcastle is viewed as more than a mining town in this day and age, and is very much a future-focused and livable urban locale.
SJB and their owners GPT were awarded the masterplan for the Newcastle CBD in 2013. With the first of the four city blocks approved for development nearing completion, the project represents something completely new – a radically collaborative design and development process that aligns with the Design Excellence objectives outlined by Government Architect NSW, setting an important precedent for regional centres across the state.
An architectural team comprising SJB and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was selected through a series of interviews. Their demonstrated capacity to deliver mixed-use buildings and approach to working within complex heritage restrictions made them a clear choice for the development.
The overarching site approach developed by the architects was based on their collective ambition to create a protected civic space in the centre of the site that would offer urban diversity, retain historic fabric and work in dialogue with the city surrounds.
The initial designs were presented to Newcastle City Council’s Urban Design Consultative Group in 2017. Consulting with a team of architects who had taken the time to understand the nuances of the city meant that Newcastle City Council became allies in the design process. As a result, a number of parameters outlined in the approved masterplan, which would have likely set the constraints of a design excellence competition, were reconsidered so that the buildings could better respond to the immediate site and surrounding context.
The collaborative approach between practice and council has allowed for Newcastle East End Stage 1 to properly flourish as the architects originally intended. In regional areas undergoing rapid growth and simultaneous development across large sites, Newcastle East End Stage 1 demonstrates a way of making new places that echo the rich grain and fabric of cities that have developed more slowly.
This approach has directly shaped the success of Newcastle East End Stage 1. At Newcastle East End,
To reinvent a city you need to reinvent the processes that bring new buildings to fruition. Newcastle East End sets a wonderful benchmark for how a collective of architects and local councils can work together to achieve development that is characterful, vibrant, viable and sustainable.
Newcastle East End Stage 1 is 90% sold. To enquire or to find out more about Stage 1 and further stages, head to eastendnewcastle.com.au.