Parkview Drive, Homebush

Design Competition

The public side of the buildings along Murray Rose Avenue are open, and the internal stacked workings of the buildings are expressed, as is the activity and movement within the central courtyards. As such, both the buildings and the space between them are positive spatial elements.

This central space is seen as a gathering space, forming the entries to the commercial buildings and community centre. It also forms a gateway to the brickpits beyond to the north and the remaining commercial precinct to the south. The perspective formed by the tapered plan form of the buildings, and reinforced in the north south landscape "streams", draws the eye through the northern louvred wall (drawn back to the sides like a stage curtain) to the main landscape event beyond – the brickpits.

This affect is mirror to the façade of Building C, creating a north facing screen, which lifts its skirt at the entry of the central courtyard space, revealing the other half of the space. The more public of the two halves. The symmetry of the space is defined by the landscape elements and the edge of the community centre, with its perforated low height awnings projecting across the space and under the edge of the high level awning. This space is also activated by the perimeter retail of Building C, and the proposed openings of the community centre into the space.

The design solution is simple: the efficient and effective stacking of active enclosed spaces and open ground spaces shrouded in a protective

skin defined by the site condition it must protect from; sun, temperature, rain or view.

The residential buildings adapt this approach in a similar but downscaled way. They stack individually framed apartments with textured walls and fixed or sliding screens one upon the other. The screens and openings respond to outlook and internal function.

This play of scale and materiality gives these buildings their own individual and private character without mimicking the commercial developments, but allows visual linking queues to occur between the developments.

Secondary or arbitrary pathways through landscaped "swales" defined by the built form are created to the sides of the central space and the edge buildings linking to the brickpits.

All buildings are anchored to their locale by using rock potentially sourced from the site excavation and housed within customised gabion cages around their bases.

The buildings are raw and unwrapped, and rely on a careful selection of materials and detailing to respond to their interesting locale, a combination of industrial, landscape, sculpture and human drama.

The design constantly refers back to its particular location, function and use of the spaces created to define their form, materiality and spatial qualities, enhancing the identity of region.