Jacaranda Square

ASPECT Studios: ‘The Everyday Stadium’ is the first new public space in Sydney Olympic Park. It refocuses the Olympic legacy of event and spectacle into a finely grained, sustainable town centre place. The project title ‘The Everyday Stadium’ is both an ironic nod to the 2000 Olympic Games and a precise description of the design concept. The morphology of a typical stadium gives the scheme its enduring diagram ie. an orthogonal edge of seats and walls (the stands), framing a large informal open space (the field), and protected by long perimeters of shade – one built and the other trees (the canopies).

In contrast to the stadium buildings and left over spaces of Olympic Park, Jacaranda Square is a mid-scaled rectangular space of 50 x 80metres, situated on the train station axis and framed on its long sides by new commercial buildings which define it as the pivotal public space of the new town centre. The park is a place for passive recreation and a centre for community gathering. A circular café, situated beneath the canopy, provides an additional level of amenity for the new community of workers.

The perimeter walls which are composed of glazed brick to the street and concrete to the centre, have been designed to provide joy and amenity along their entire length. ‘One-off’ pre cast seating, made up of a series of modular pre-cast concrete provides lounge suite resting place for ‘everybody’. The seats are made up of two moulds and are designed to ‘telescope’ and step along the 155 lineal metres of perimeter wall. They have a playful and personable scale and make an active and occupied edge to the inside lining of the square. The edge is defined by a low masonry wall set out orthogonally to the surrounding street grid giving the space a strong rectangular form. From the street the wall appears as a rich and dramatic frame, laid out in a finely grained ‘brixel pattern’ of green glazed and face bricks that define the edges and entries to the park. Concrete and brick were used extensively in the project, concrete for its ability to achieve complex curves, and brick for its fine grained tactile quality and for its cultural, place making associations to the adjacent Homebush Brickpit. As well as the polychrome glazed bricks, the majority of the interior hardscape is made up of recycled bricks.

This project successfully fuses Landscape Architecture, Industrial and Graphic Design with Architecture to create an intelligent and memorable open space. It has received many awards including the 2009 Think Brick Horbury Hunt Award, 2009 Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Award, Commendation in Urban Design 2008 MBA NSW Awards Civil Engineering.

Team: ASPECT Studios in collaboration with MWA, Deuce Design
Project Title: Jacaranda Square, ‘The Everyday Stadium’
Location: Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
Client: Sydney Olympic Park Authority
Photographer: Kyal Sheehan, Simon Wood, Terence Chin
Text: Aspect Studios
Budget: AUS$2.2 million
Scope: Master planning, concept design, design development, documentation
Area: 4000 square metres
Completion date: 2008

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