Sydney Olympic Park: Creating Livable Density from a Sporting Legacy

Guy Lake
Bates Smart, Sydney

The 2000 Olympics left Sydney Olympic Park with a legacy of monumental sports stadiums and rail infrastructure to serve major events, yet failed to introduce living and working environments to activate the area. The Sydney Olympic Park 2030 Master Plan utilizes the existing infrastructure to increase density and create an active place to live and work. Three invited design competitions have resulted in four high-rise residential towers. This presentation explored the design of these buildings and how they engage the master plan’s characteristics.

Australia Towers use striking elliptical forms to recall the iconic geometry of the nearby sport stadiums. The double-ellipse geometry is offset, creating slots that provide natural light and ventilation to the common areas, while maximizing solar access to apartments. Opal Tower sits at the gateway to Olympic Park and Bicentennial Parklands–the place where Sydney meets nature. A unique, soft, triangular-shaped tower creates a slender omni-directional entry marker, while vertical gardens in a series of slots continue the landscape of the Parklands into the third dimension. Boomerang Tower, on Olympic Boulevard, is a soft bent form that maximizes views and enables every apartment to receive north sun. A more urban tower on a podium, it manipulates terra-cotta chevrons for solar control.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation

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