Saturday, 6 September 2014

Central Park, Chippendale, Sydney

For as long as I can remember there has been a great big old brewery falling to bits tucked in behind Broadway & Abercrombie Streets in Chippendale. 
In 2007 colourful signs sprung up around the perimeter announcing 'Central Park'.
Over the past few years signs of development began to appear at the site.

The result - the first set of shops, accommodation and park land have been completed and are now open to the public. The rest of the grand plan is expected to take another 6-8 yrs.

I've included a link to their main page above if you'd like to know more about the 'world- leading team of architects', their community consultation process or what's next.
For now, this is what I saw on offer this week at the brand new Central Park.

One Central at Central Park
Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel & French botanist/artist Patrick Blanc, One Central contains shops & living spaces. 
The "public park" is a vertical garden that "climbs the side of the floor to ceiling glass tower." Blanc has used 250 native flowers and plants, the "vines and leafy foliage spring out between floors and provide the perfect frame for Sydney's skyline."
Nouvel has said, "we have created a continuity so the façades extend the park into the sky."

Perched on top is a hovering cantilever section that houses luxurious penthouses.
The Heliostat Sea Mirror is a "beguiling assembly of motorised mirrors that capture sunlight, and direct the rays down onto Central Park's gardens."
Yann Kersalé's LED art installation brings the building to life at night (every Th, Fri, Sat & Sun night until 10pm) with a "shimmering firework of movement in the sky." It contains 2880 coloured, programmable LED lights & 320 mirrored panels.

Part of the Central Park design allows for a "commercial campus" for students that will sit on the corner of Abercrombie & Broadway. UTS and Notre Dame Uni are both situated opposite and Sydney Uni is just a couple of blocks up the road.

The heritage listed Abercrombie Hotel on the corner will be maintained. 
The rest of the building will "float" above & around it.

According to their website the vision for Central Park includes "a green oasis", which will become "the green heart of Chippendale." 
It will "wrap around" the east & south facades of the Brewery & include public art and a "place to get your feet wet."
A "series of landscaped terraces" will connect the various buildings to each other and the Park.

"Halo is a wind activated kinetic sculpture by two of Australia's pre-eminent public artists, Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford....According to Michaelie, 'the inspiration for Halo came from the history and industrial forms of the old brewery combined with a dynamic response to the natural and built environment of the new precinct.'"

The day I visited was VERY windy & Halo spun beautifully, even poetically in the space!

Turpin & Crawford also designed the wonderful Tied to Tide in Pyrmont, that I featured a number of weeks ago.

The old Kent Brewery was built in 1835 & acquired by Carlton United in 1983. It covered an area of 5.8 hectares. 
To preserve the legacy "archaeologists, heritage consultants & architects specialising in urban conservation" will transform "the site's flagship brewery building and yard into a public venue of spectacular dimensions." It will combine "new and old technologies".
This is still one of the 'works in progress areas'. 
The plan is to create "a dining, entertainment and community hub" called the Brewery Yard.

Beautifying construction 
 A temporary 'artists in residence' public art project has been put in place during the construction phase.

Caroline Rothwell installed Symbiosis in 2012, a red nylon inflated tree fed by white PVC pipes to symbolise 'the artificial, technological and the human circulatory system."

It was fascinating to see how this old urban landscape is being transfigured into a modern hub.

I will return to check on progress over the next few years, and hopefully, to use some of the new entertainment & dining facilities!

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot & Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday P (is for Progress) post.


  1. Wow! That is some interesting architecture.

  2. Powerful images! I am just staring in awe and wonder. Thanks for sharing...and here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

    1. Yes!
      I love how they are keeping true to the old brewery's style with the modern additions - it still looks industrial although aesthetic industrial :-)

  3. Wow! These are some pretty impressive shots!


  4. I love the vertical garden. Amazing.

    1. On their website they had a few pics taken inside some of the apartments. You could see tendrils of greenery framing the windows - it looked beautiful.

  5. Quite a combination of old and new. I hope it turns out to be all the visionaries see. Sometimes in the states, the visions exceed the actual and then the public is disappointed. But we are a strange lot, we Americans. Never satisfied, it seems.

    1. I'm impressed so far Judy.
      I'm looking forward already to the autumn colours in the vertical gardens (note to self - plan return visit for April 2015!)

  6. What great architecture! Lovely photogarphy.

  7. Fascinating architecture, and a beautiful use of space. Thank you for sharing this!

  8. Hmm, I think this is one I'd need to see in person. I know exactly where this is from my 10 years living in Inner City Sydney, but clearly I haven't seen it for a while. I imagine the apartments are all frightfully expensive. While I'm all for including plants in projects I'm not sure if I like this vertical one. Have you seen it lit up at night Brona? I wonder what it's like to be inside the building during the light show? Does it interrupt watching the tele for the residents? I do think that it's great that they're including resident artists though.

    1. Another complex is bring built on the old Harold Park site in Glebe that is awful - an urban jungle with a few aesthetic attempts.
      At least Central Park seems to have a vision and is working on sustainability. The vertical garden looked weird from across Broadway, but looked better when viewed from the courtyards. At the moment it feels quite sterile, so I will be curious about its progress on return visits.


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