The removal of the Sydney Entertainment Centre and carpark created a rare opportunity to create a substantial and meaningful new public space in the heart of Sydney. ASPECT Studios’ competition-winning public domain design carved out a unique identity for the space by transforming a previously isolated area into a place of integrated and vibrant public life.
TRADITIONAL OWNERS & ONGOING CUSTODIANS OF THE LAND The Gadigal of the Eora Nation
LOCATION Haymarket, Sydney, Australia
Year 2014 - 2019
The design process involved lifting the square to create a seamless transition between the surrounding buildings. The introduction of a canopy to the western edge of the square created a sense of shelter and an invitation to linger, while doubling as an extension of the social ground planes of the new public buildings.
ASPECT's public doman design also called for a circular community building atop the space, later realised to striking effect in the form of a new public library designed Kengo Kuma and Associates.
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With a renewed sense of place and position, the square reforges connections between the precinct and the rest of the city. A pedestrian-focused network of city streets, laneways and the 20-metre-wide pedestrian boulevard bisecting the ground plane all work to create a fine-grained street experience in a dense urban environment.
By creating a bolt of continuous, people-focused urban fabric from Central Station to Chinatown and Darling Harbour, the project stitches the previously severed southern CBD back together and supports renewed social and spatial connections.
Darling Square embodies a new urban typology, fusing landscape, architecture, art, food and culture. A captivating new world-class urban neighbourhood has rejuvenated the heart of Sydney.”
TEAM ASPECT Studios, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Arcadis, Denton Corker Marshall (master plan), Hassell (master plan), Peta Kruger, Brendan Van Hek, Eliat Rich and the Centre for Appropriate Technology
AWARDS 2021 IFLA Asia-Pac LA Awards; Cultural & Urban Landscape - Awards of Excellence
2021 Greater Sydney Planning Awards; Great New Place to Live and/or Work
2021 CTBUH Awards Urban Habitat – District/Master Plan: Award of Excellence
2020 AILA NSW Landscape Awards: Award of Excellence for Urban Design
2020 Australian Urban Design Awards for Built Projects; Local and Neighbourhood Scale