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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Darling Quarter in Sydney, Australia by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

 
October 7th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Darling Quarter is a true integration of urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture toward the creation of a public place within the City. We have sought to enhance the joy and beauty of Darling Harbour, one of the most popular public places in Australia, and to do so in a way that imbues it with a sense of quality and permanence.

Image Courtesy © John Marmaras

  • Architects: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
  • Project: Darling Quarter
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
  • Photographs: John Gollings – Gollings Photography, Florian Groehn, Tyrone Branigan
  • : 2012
  • : World Architecture Festival 2012 – Shortlisted
  • Client / Developer: Lend Lease
  • Electrical Services Consultant: Aurecon
  • Environmental Engineer : Arup
  • Fire Engineering: Defire
  • Hydraulic services consultant and fire services: Warren Smith and Partners
  • Interior Designer: The E.G.O. Group; Davenport Campbell
  • Landscape Architect: Aspect Studios
  • Mechanical Services Consultant: Arup
  • Project Manager: Lend Lease
  • Quantity Surveyor: Lend Lease
  • Structural Engineer: Arup

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

Darling Quarter is where the western edge of the City and the Park meet and is celebrated in a series of defined public spaces, including a pedestrian boulevard, parklands, gateway, children’s playground, and activated edges lined with cafes and restaurants. It is a place for everyone, for city workers at lunchtime and in the evenings, families, children, the young and old, visitors and locals.

Image Courtesy © Florian Groehn

This is a very different type of office building in a very special location. It is an architecture of human scale, natural materials and of a warmth of character appropriate to this very public parkland location. The long gently curving facade defines and enhances the public realm with a warmth and transparency unusual in any commercial building. The mullions are made of natural timber and irregularly spaced like rows of trees in a forest. Between these deep, profiled posts are adjustable timber louvres that control heat and glare automatically adjusted in relation to the position of the sun. Importantly this composed use of natural timber in layers behind very transparent glazing also creates a soft and warmth backdrop to the tree canopies of the parkland.

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

The curves of Tumbalong Park and a ribbon-like connection with the waterfront of Darling Harbour have determined the primary geometry of the architectural form. Split at it centre, the new buildings frame and define a new pedestrian street, the Civic Connector, that links Darling Harbour South via Bathurst Street with Town Hall and the very centre of the City.

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

The different scales of the east and west wings of the project respond to and reflect the varying scale of the park and city, united and resolved through the curved roof that draws natural light to the interior. These long forms of timber and glass, capped by the gentle curves and the scalloped apertures of the roof, create a background to the parkland and a foreground to the rising city beyond, uniting the two in a new public place, Darling Quarter.

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

Above the restaurants, cafes, bars and promenade are the work environments of the building, centred around day-lit atriums. Lobbies on Harbour Street and escalators bring visitors and workers to the dramatic floor of these atriums. The asymmetry of the workplace floors and atriums, edged with stairs, bridges, breakout areas and glazed lifts creates a stimulating and collaborative campus environment.

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

An important aspect of the project’s innovation and sustainability in design is not simply in the point score that reaches the highest levels of sustainable accreditation, but the focus on occupant well-being and the creation of an enabling, supportive, human and ultimately inspiring place to work, generate and exchange ideas.

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

Image Courtesy © John Gollings - Gollings Photography

Image Courtesy © Tyrone Branigan

Image Courtesy © Tyrone Branigan

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Categories: City Center, Civic Center, Port's public spaces

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