While we have seen many projects with green infrastructure embraced in Sydney’s urban centres since early exemplars such as the iconic One Central Park (Ateliers Jean Nouvel design architect with PTW Architects local collaborating architect) - a leading international example for the City of Sydney’s Green Roofs and Walls Policy Implementation Plan - its uptake in more suburban areas, where there is already an abundance of green space and leisure areas, has been much more gradual.
Council initiatives are paving the way for this suburban transformation, with Sydney’s The Hills Shire Council’s Environment Strategy (October 2019), encouraging new and diverse habitat types, such as green roofs and walls which ‘can complement natural areas and help grow the urban forest.
‘Trees can help reduce the impact of heat waves and extreme heat.’ (The Hills Council Environment Strategy 2019, p34).
An exemplar project for Castle Hill, designed by international architects PTW, Chateau at 16 Middleton Avenue takes sustainable principles of green infrastructure design from its city precedents (One Central Park, The Alexander at Barangaroo) and adapts them to an appropriate response for this area which is undergoing significant growth and revitalisation.
The current urban scale of the area consists of low-rise free standing dwellings, however, this urban character is likely to change in areas with close proximity to the Showground Metro Station.
“Our clients wanted a high-end but quintessentially vernacular, sustainable response to apartment and townhouse living for this project in the picturesque Hills Shire.
An area known for its natural Australian bush setting and agricultural roots, the site is well-located just south of Castle Hill Showgrounds and future local centre,” said Simon Parsons, PTW Managing Director, Asia Pacific.
Green roofs, integrated gardens throughout and significant areas of deep soil planting for large trees were the perfect solution for the desired aspects of leafy neighbourhood living, mixed with lifestyle, connection to community and sustainable outcomes.
“Green roofs bring the benefits of an expansive backyard to apartment living, with numerous sustainable advantages, sophisticated resort-style amenities and naturally cool buildings, substantially lowering demand for air conditioning,” says Parsons.
On the ground level, nestled between the four towers (comprising 296 dwellings, including one, two and three bedroom luxury apartments, town houses and penthouses) sits a Zen adventure Garden and through-site link giving residents connection and access to the future Showground train station and bus link.
The network of open space and improved connections will also encourage pedestrian and cyclist activity throughout the precinct.
As well as extensive community gardens, grassed and vegetated areas, the roof tops offer unique spaces and amenities such as a resort-style wet-edge pool, gym, barbecue areas and breakout meeting spaces.
This project on one hand brings the benefits of urban living to what was a traditionally suburban area; and on the other the spirit of the landscape and leafy character of Castle Hill to this large apartment project.