architecture: public buildings

Ryde City Center

Ryde, Australia

Building type:
International architecture competition
Surface: 40 000 m²
Project: 2016

The proposed design concept will help create an emblematic vision of the future for the city center of Ryde. Instead of massive high-rise structures, the project proposes two green hills forming a symbolic gateway, integrating an open, permeable public space, combining mineral, vegetal and water landscape. The whole complex represents a transition between the huge scale of the Top Ryde Shopping Center and the smaller one of the low-rise dwellings, achieved through a cascade of architectural volumes with green roofs. The project proposes a dialog with the existing context, taking into account the community needs and way of life. It offers the neighborhood a place for gathering, celebrations and cultural events that will serve as a social hub for the citizens. Connectivity will be ensured by removing the vehicular access that is dividing the plot into two separate parts. This way integration can be achieved throughout Top Ryde in every direction by pedestrian linkage, also connecting it to the designed new bus station. The unique Gateway green complex is also a perfectly perfectly balanced area in terms of density, integrated into the specific cityscape. All functions are interrelated and form an open city center that offers various opportunities for visitors and employees, as well as optimal quality of life for residents. The existing Civic Council is to be demolished, as it was already deemed unfit for carrying out its functions, presenting a major obstacle to achieve both emblematic and sustainable design for any new development. The new buildings are designed to be distinguishable and reflect Ryde’s history and cultural heritage, but also to correspond to the highest sustainable standards by implementing the latest green technologies. The new complex will sustain a high level of energy efficiency including low and zero carbon technologies, solar gain, energy consumption reduction and renewable energy production. Natural ventilation will be provided through double-skin façades towards the streets – the main source of noise. Green design and vegetation will characterize each of the floors of the terraced buildings. Noise pollution will be avoided by situating the main volumes opposite to Devlin Street, thus creating a shielding green exterior that will serve not only the new construction, but also the surrounding dwellings. Room designation will be flexible and will allow transformations, in order to provide the necessary housing and/or office spaces, depending on the future development of the project. Apartments will be divided into affordable key-worker, low and medium income resident dwellings. A multifunctional hall will be designed so as to serve various purposes, including the possibility to be at the disposal of the Civic Council. A two-level underground parking can be built with a capacity of around 800 places. The Tram monument will be relocated in one of the buildings, to be on display for the visitors. The city will achieve a new identity by creating a benchmark multifunctional, sustainable complex in a perfect balance with the generous public space and the surrounding areas.