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    Tower design by Koichi Takada Architects unveiled for first Sydney town centre in a century

    Geraldine Chua

    The biggest project the City of Sydney has ever undertaken is currently underway, with Crown Group releasing the first images of its 20 storey tower designed by Koichi Takada Architects.

    Featuring a curved form and comprising 416 apartments and 5,000sqm of retail and restaurant space, the design joins the 1,576 other development applications which are expected to be lodged in the coming months, and will be submitted for approval in May.

    Located four kilometres south of Sydney’s city centre, the building is part of the new Green Square town centre, which will be built on 14 hectares of former industrial land. It is part of the 280 hectare Green Square redevelopment area that includes land in five suburbs between the city and the airport.

    “Green Square is Australia’s biggest urban renewal project and the City is working to ensure it’s a beautiful, sustainable and well-functioning neighbourhood. Once it’s complete it will completely transform the southern part of our city,” says Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

    $440 million will be spent building roads, drainage and community facilities, including a library, public plaza and an aquatic centre and sports park. 

    An artist's impression of Crown Group's proposed 20-storey tower designed by Koichi Takada Architects at Green Square. Photo: Crown Group, Source: SMH

    Construction of up to 10 major new buildings at Green Square, which range from three to 28 floors, is expected to begin by Christmas this year. They will flank the planned public plaza and sunken library, which is designed by Stewart Hollenstein in association with Colin Stewart Architects to be the hub of the new town centre.

    Labelled by competition judge Glenn Murcutt as ‘brilliant’, the duo’s designs will incorporate an outdoor plaza to create multiple sites for play, work and rest.

    View of Green Square library and plaza from Botany Road

    A design competition is also being held for the precinct’s new sports recreation park and aquatic centre, with architects invited to put forward their designs earlier this year. The winner of the two-stage process will be announced later this year, with construction work expected to begin soon after.

    At the same time, an application for 104 affordable housing apartments by CityWest Housing has already been approved, with work expected to be well underway by the end of the year.

    Delivering the first town centre in 100 years, the City of Sydney is seeking advice from Danish architect Jan Gehl, founding partner of Gehl architects, who drove the idea of transforming George Street in Sydney into a huge pedestrian and light rail plaza.

    Danish  architect Jan Gehl is advising on the Green Square Town Centre

    According to the SMH, Gehl has raised concerns about the density of the Green Square site, saying that it was crucial to have “extra good public spaces” if dense, narrow streets were to be built.

    “It is quite high and it is quite dense and it will be somewhat overshadowed in many places, so it is extremely important that the spaces between the buildings become very acceptable, very attractive,” he said.

    Gehl's comments echo previous sentiments for the Barangaroo project, from which he resigned in October 2013, saying that economic pressures for the site had led to an evaporation of “concerns for the people landscape”.

    The Green Square town centre project is expected to be completed by 2030. It will provide 3700 new apartments and 8500 new jobs, with the broader Green Square precinct to be home to 40,000 residents

    MP Danish architect Jan Gehl with Lord Mayor Clover Moore and architects Matthias Hollenstein and Felicity Stewart inspecting Green Square Town Centre Model

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