- Architects: Benson McCormack Architects
- Location: Marrickville NSW 2204, Australia
- Lead Architects: Glenn McCormack, David Benson, Simon Johnson, Jin Soon Ng
- Area: 2750.0 m2
- Project Year: 2017
- Photographs: Melinda Hird Photography
- Builders: Hone Constructions Pty Ltd
- Landscape Architects: MHLD
- Structural And Hydraulic Engineers: John Romanous and Associates
- Building Certification: Building Control Group
- Client: Hone Constructions Pty Ltd
Text description provided by the architects. WAVE is a mixed-use urban infill development located in Marrickville which is a rapidly changing inner-city suburb of Sydney that is enjoying a steady intensification of development and with that a long-awaited rejuvenation and reinvigoration of its urban landscape. WAVE reflects the new-found optimism of its changing context whilst serving to balance the live/work environments of the scheme that results in an architectural solution of social equity and inclusion for all users. Completed in early 2017, WAVE comprises 34 shop-top dwellings located above ground floor retail tenancies that activate its street edge with cafes and other strip retailing spaces. The orthogonal building form reinforces the street-wall whilst ‘peeling’ away from its northern side boundary to liberate a safe zone for the building’s occupants. optimize solar access and A ground floor commercial tenancy overlooks a generous garden space setback from the street all inhabitants living and working in the development ove through to encourage a strong sense of community through the accidental convergence between occupants.
The building form is orthogonal in the way it addresses the two street frontages. The building form reinforces the street-wall objectives of the urban design principles governing future development in the precinct. Modest gaps in the front façade also allow glimpses of the courtyard space beyond that serves as the ‘heart’ of the development. The product of careful peeling away of the main building form from northern side boundary is a generously landscape central courtyard through which all users move and enjoy. The curving, twisting building form defines a relaxed and reflective open space insulated from the noise of this urban address. Wave is a new mixed-use development located on the western side of Illawarra Road, Marrickville. The address originally comprising two (2) old warehouses which are now replaced by a 6-storey building consisting 34 apartments above ground floor retail (4) and commercial (1) tenancies.
Completed in late 2016, the core conceptual framework for the design was to promote a development that promoted the ‘accidental’ convergence of all users, thus creating a living/working environment of social equity and inclusion; a truly ‘mixed-use’ development that celebrates the vitality of this inner western Sydney precinct. The building form is orthogonal in the way it addresses the site’s two street frontages. The building form reinforces the street-wall objectives of urban design guidelines established for the precinct but modestly challenges those guiding principles by modestly detaching from the site’s extremities. This reveals gaps in the streetscape that allow glimpses from the public domain into the ‘heart’ of the development. All users pass through one of the gaps in the street-wall to be presented with a landscaped courtyard that’s insulated from the noise of this dense urban address. The building peels back from the side boundary to reveal a ‘lung’ of quiet open space for the enjoyment of all building occupants.
The twisting and curving form of the building behind the street facades defines a relaxed communal environment at its core. Materials employed in the development are deliberately honest and somewhat primitive, befitting the urban context in which the development is set. Curved off-form concrete walls and slabs are set against face brickwork that adds warmth to the overall pallet of materials. Metal blades ‘blinker’ sight lines between dwellings but importantly adds a layer of lightness to the otherwise masonry building form. ‘Wave’ sought to establish a genuine live/work community within a single development where each resident, employer, employee or visitor could converge to equally share the seclusion of the landscaped courtyard space or conversely sample the street activity newly created at the Illawarra Road frontage; a truly ‘mixed-use’ development. Too often the ‘ceremony’ of entering and exiting a development of this scale and type is neglected particularly in dense inner city urban environment such as this.
While respecting the overriding urban design principles established for the precinct, the design modestly challenges the guiding principles by creating gaps in the ‘street-wall’ to allow glimpses into the ‘heart’ of the development. Detaching the building from the site extremities also allows the building to ‘breath’ with cross ventilation of private and communal areas important for the health of those living and working in the building. Despite the predominantly east-west axis of the property, most apartments are deliberately orientated north to optimize solar access for all dwellings. Materials employed in the development are deliberately honest and somewhat primitive, befitting the urban context in which the development is set. Curved off-form concrete walls and slabs are set against face brickwork that adds warmth to the overall pallet of materials. Metal blades ‘blinker’ sight lines between dwellings but importantly adds a layer of lightness to the otherwise masonry building form.