Macquarie Park Village is a new multi-residential and retail development located north-west of Sydney’s CBD. Designed as an urban oasis by architecture firm Allen Jack+Cottier, the project offers 700 apartments across seven architecturally designed buildings featuring resort-style amenities and nestled along 2.24 hectares of tree-lined avenues.

The architects’ design of the building forms steps away from the typically rigid and repetitive facades seen on multi-unit residential developments to create an organic community, each with its own unique look that complements the natural surrounds.

Creating a cohesive look for the unique buildings was critical to achieving the architects’ vision for the development. 

“This is a ‘family of buildings’, each with its own individual character but sharing a common architectural language,” says Mark Louw, Director Architecture, Allen Jack+Cottier. “We have focused on offering alternative lifestyle choices and building typologies in the development, and making sure the housing is appropriate to the local market and context, as well as including many environmentally sustainable design features.”

A panelised express jointed cladding system from James Hardie Australia, ExoTec was selected for the buildings’ façade for its versatility, colour and texture customisability.

According to Louw, the ExoTec façade panel and fixing system with expressed joints allowed them to break down the scale of the facades with staggered joints and panels cut to considered sizes for proportion of the panelised system relative to the adjacent materials and finishes, which also allowed them greater use of colour and texture. While the colour palette takes inspiration from the bush, the architects’ decision to use a variety of materials and textures helps break up the sheer mass of the buildings.

The architects were able to accelerate the pace of the project by choosing the lightweight and panelled façade. The façade panels also enabled the design to come to life while reducing both time and wastage on site. 

Waste was minimised by designing the façade panels into modules to suit sheet sizes, and then painting the panels onsite. The installation team was able to cover large expanses of areas over relatively short times allowing the buildings’ facades to be completed earlier compared to a more labour-intensive installation system.