A confident, clear, and poetic gesture for the people in the heart of downtown Sydney.
Occupying a narrow site between the center of Sydney and Darling Harbour, there was a clear opportunity to create a destination with a different sense of scale and, within that, an opportunity to introduce a new park into the heart of the city. Cockle Bay Park is designed to be both a human scale destination and a true urban icon on the skyline – a beacon for the people’s harbor.
Cockle Bay Park links Sydney’s CBD to the waterfront at Darling Harbour, covering an area over the Western Distributor freeway that currently acts as a barrier between the city center, the waterfront, and the thriving Pyrmont district. The “ground” level in fact comprises multiple; an expansive, state-of-the-art retail program sits alongside and is woven into an expansive public park that stretches from the elevated main level to the waterfront below. Wide pedestrian paths frame a continuous public path through the development, and serve as the link between the shops, restaurants, and bars on site.
Design for the Eye-Level Experience
Cockle Bay Park had to be a confident, clear, and poetic gesture in the urban setting. So that had to be a gesture felt at every level, from where the tower meets the skyline to, most importantly, where it meets people at the ground.
Cockle Bay Park focuses on the eye-level experience of the development’s two scales: the city scale, where the tower joins the skyline, and the village scale, where people move between the city center and the waterfront. Cockle Bay Park’s unbroken silhouette slips seamlessly among the towers of Sydney’s CBD, breaking down into more human-scaled pieces as it reaches the public and retail spaces at the ground level. This interplay of scales is respectful of both Sydney’s urban fabric and the diverse community of people it is designed for.
The tower, which is threaded together by public space, defines a new type of high-rise development that mixes traditional retail, office, and public program into a unified, human centered environment.
The ground-level comprises 10.000m2 of park space, the most expansive addition of public space central Sydney has seen in a century. Cockle Bay Park is a microcosm of the Sydney itself, a city unique in its ability to entwine a friendly, local community atmosphere within a cosmopolitan city.
A Future-Focused Working Environment
The two most important assests for any organisation are its people and its real estate. Cockle Bay Park is aimed at creating a comfortable and healthy working environment.
Key to establishing a great workspace is understanding the users and their different profiles.
The challenge for the future of workplace is to successfully address the needs of Millennials, Generation X, and those who come after. The workplace at Cockle Bay Park fosters individuals’ cognitive process and working preferences; where one can be creative at different times during the day and where environmental stimuli amplifies collaboration. Understanding the personality types of the users allows for effective managment; conscientious spatial design is key in letting them thrive.
Cockle Bay Park delivers a unique solution for the project by introducing a human centric design for the podium, incorporating an elevated outdoor street that cuts its way through the podium and boasting spectacular views to the water at every turn. It’s also partly sheltered from the prevailing wind with just enough breeze coming off the water to make it an ideal spot in the summer. Energy and climate modelling allowed for optimization of the microclimate in and around the development. This research allows the project to make good on its commitment to the public realm. Cockle Bay Park offers an opportunity to set a precedent for people-focused design in an increasingly densifying world.
Article courtesy of Henning Larson