DA submitted for AJC designed apartments, Macquarie Park

AJC’s design for three interconnected buildings housing 300 apartments in the Lachlans Line precinct in Macquarie Park has been submitted for assessment by City of Ryde Council.

AJC won a Design Excellence Competition for the project, with an innovative design that benefits both the community and future residents. Following the competition, the team worked closely with Council to refine the design and prepare the DA submission.

The site, known as Lot 110, 5 Halifax Street is located at the northern end of the Lachlan’s Line Precinct in Macquarie Park, within 600 metres of North Ryde Metro Station. It is bounded by the M2 Motorway to the east, Halifax Street Park to the west, and a light industrial area to the west that may be rezoned in the future to a mixed-use commercial precinct.

Built form responds to the Lachlan’s Line Urban Design Guidelines of a podium defining the street edges and the tower articulated in a vertical rhythm along the motorway. Its three buildings align to the south and western edges of the site facing a large green open space in the northeast corner, landscaped as an ‘urban backyard’.

Design for the buildings and landscape are emerging from the site’s connection to Dharug Country and the traditional Wallamatta people. Lane Cove National Park was a bountiful paradise with its sandstone outcrops, abundant fresh water, hunting, fishing, and congregating, and over 40 significant Aboriginal archaeological are identified there. Of particular significance are the angophora trees, revered as an ascension tree by the Wallamatta people and used in both their beginning and end of life rituals.

Using the metaphor of the land and trees, the building has a tectonic base of textured masonry representing the area’s sandstone outcrops, while the tower façade grid twists like angophora limbs to reveal a vertical garden within, and the tower façades peel away in blades like angophora bark, framing views to the north – away from the motorway and cemetery. Material and structural façade treatments correlate to the various orientations using blades, balconies and sun-shading to create plays of texture and light.

“I love the northern Sydney landscape with its steep sandstone valleys crowned by muscular towering angophoras. The design emerged quite naturally from our response to the forms, textures and colours of this place. Creating the ‘urban backyard’ on site was our way of giving back to the community, by questioning the site masterplan, we reduced the building footprint to open up the landscaped commons to sun and views.” -Brian Mariotti, AJC Director

Key design strategies include:

  • Create a well-scaled public domain with street wall buildings and panoramic green views.
  • Activate the public domain with entry lobbies, garden apartments and communal open spaces.
  • Bring nature into every building level with landscaped ground plane and rooftops.
  • Acknowledge Country and the Dharug Wallamatta people in landscape design and public artworks.
  • Create beautiful communal spaces with double-height entry lobbies, roof terraces, sky gardens, landscaped courtyards.
  • Design efficient apartment layouts that can be delivered economically.