Designing the Iconic Versus Designing the Connected: Lessons from Australia & New Zealand

Ian Briggs
Plus Architecture, Melbourne

Jaimin Atkins
Plus Architecture, Christchurch

Delving into high density urban design, this presentation outlined the challenges and opportunities in designing for two critically important sites in the context of each other’s place-making potential in their respective cities. This presentation drew on Gravity Tower in Melbourne’s rezoned Fishermans Bend and Pacifica, one of Auckland's tallest residential towers.

Comparing the two projects, the presenters explore how large scale rezoning and development can be approached in a sustainable, innovative, and responsible way, through innovative design responses such as vertical blades to negate sunlight and year round winter gardens and communal spaces. The talk examines the key challenges to achieving these goals by exploring the site challenges, planning frameworks, and access to infrastructure.

Using these case studies, this presentation examined two similar yet very different projects (and urban climates) to demonstrate what can be achieved with locally relevant high-rise vernaculars – for Gravity Tower, the tradition of the sheltered veranda in Australia, with a focus on filtered light and the importance of clear views. Pacifica evolved from an urban design response to draw up the unique qualities of the specific site, with two laneway addresses, a heritage building to the north, and the main street frontage to the west, creating four columns that twist into the tower.

From Australia’s largest urban regeneration precinct, Fishermans Bend, to Auckland’s progression as a ”livable city,” the presenters discuss what it is to design the iconic versus what it is to design the connected.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation

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