Can you describe a city where neighborhoods enrich and enliven urban life?
There are so many. When you consider the world’s great cities part of what makes them interesting is that they are carved up into these dynamic precincts and regions, each with its own specific atmosphere and place within the cultural mix. New York is an obvious example; its precincts such as SoHo, Brooklyn, the Meat Packing District, Queen’s, Broadway and the Upper East and West Sides punctuate a city of overwhelming size and scale into smaller, legible parts.
Here in Sydney, I think the Darling Quarter is an example of world-class precinct. It is a venue that can facilitate so many activities for all age groups and types of people, and it’s an especially great precinct for families – a unusual thing in cities.
Brookfield Place Sydney was a rare project as it stitches a major mixed-use commercial development above a significant new passageway into Wynyard railway station. What are some of the opportunities and responsibilities that come with creating a precinct above a busy metro connection?
Wynyard Station is one of Sydney’s busiest train stations. In the past, it was quite difficult to navigate. We felt a responsibility to create a seamless arrival and departure experience. The transition between the underground station through to George street needed to feel clear and intuitive, so that commuters could arrive at their destinations on time and feeling relaxed.
We undertook extensive pedestrian modelling which helped inform three highly cohesive routes into the underground station. These spaces were designed to create in the impression of space and visibility, which are important elements of a good wayfinding experience. We emphasised connections not only to George and Carrington Streets but within the Brookfield Place Sydney precinct, including the new commercial tower, Shell House, and 285 George Street. Stitching fine grain retail and hospitality tenancies throughout the precinct played a big part in this, and the design team and the client saw this as one of the key opportunities to activate the precinct. For example, Wynyard Lane runs through the precinct and activating hospitality spaces along that lane was an emphasis of the project.