One Central Park
By Jason Dibbs
One Central Park is a vibrant, living landmark in what was once a derelict brewery site in downtown Sydney. One year on, this collaboration between French architect, Jean Nouvel and French botanist, Patrick Blanc is a blossoming vertical landscape, helping to redefine Sydney’s latest cultural precinct.
|Landscape is architecture. So at One Central Park, we have created a kind of continuity between the park and the buildings, so the facades literally extend the park into the sky.”|
One Central Park, designed for Frasers Property by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Jean Nouvel in collaboration with Australian-based project partners, PTW Architects, consists of a 34-story residential tower and a 12-story serviced apartment tower atop a bustling fashion-retail shopping center. The building’s green façade, designed in collaboration with renowned botanist Patrick Blanc, is planted with a variety of indigenous and exotic climbing plants, some flowering, forming a vibrant vertical landscape. Covering approximately 50% of the building’s façade surface area, the living garden introduces a moment of natural serenity into Sydney’s dynamic and evolving downtown district. A resident of One Central Park, Sydney-based architect and artist Simon Weir, has commented on the unexpected but welcome effect the flourishing garden areas have had in attracting native birds and insect species to what is an otherwise densely urban environment.
|By miming what can exist in Australian nature, we are proposing a new form of high-rise living in direct contact with nature.”|
One Central Park combines a number of sustainable design strategies, generating one of the most environmentally efficient residential towers in Sydney to date. Botanist Patrick Blanc’s vertical garden system consists of hydroponic walls and planting panels integrated into the building’s façade structure. The vertical landscape provides natural solar mitigation for apartment areas, and continues along the horizontal plane to the south of the building, forming a green corridor at the lower level plaza, connecting the building to terraced gardens and parklands, complete with restaurants, cafes and areas for meeting friends and relaxing.
Although of vastly different statures, the 34-story residential tower maintains a constant visual dialogue with the more modestly sized 12-story serviced apartment tower, not only through a shared language of vertical green spaces, but also through the constant reflection of sunlight and artificial light from mirrors fixed atop the lower tower and impressive cantilevered terraces featuring a motorized heliostat erupting westward from the taller residential tower. The terraces also offer impressive panoramic views for residents. At night, the atmosphere of the cantilever is transformed by a custom LED lighting design by French artist, Yann Kersale.
One Central Park has already received a number of important accolades for innovation and sustainability, including ‘2014 Best Tall Building in Asia and Australia’ and ‘2014 Best Tall Building in the World’ from the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, as well as the ‘2014 Leaf Award’.
One year since completion, the iconic One Central Park is both literally and visually flourishing, with many planted flowering varieties in bloom and residential and retail areas bustling with life. Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s One Central Park provides a statement for a future vision of Sydney built on the vibrant and harmonious synthesis of natural and urban environments.