- Sydney’s Darling Exchange
New Civic Centre
According to Joe Quirke, of Global Construction Review, the extraordinary wooden whirlwind known as the Darling Exchange, to be located in the Darling Square district of central Sydney, has received planning permission.
Japan’s Kengo Kuma Architects (KKA) first project in Australia will be overseen by Lendlease. Six storeys high it will be located near Darling Square designed by Australian design practice Aspect Studios. The Civic Centre is part of Sydney's “newest, most walkable and connected urban neighbourhood”, with 4,200 residents and 2,500 workers.
20km of spiralling wood façade
With 20km of wood in its spiraling façade, architect Kuma exlpained: “Our aim is to achieve architecture that is as open and tangible as possible to the community, and this is reflected in the circular geometry that creates a building that is accessible and recognisable from multiple directions.”
Library, Restaurant & Rooftop BR
The exchange will include a library featuring an “innovation exchange” with a programme to support creative and technology start-ups, a permanent ground-floor open market hall, a childcare centre and a rooftop bar and restaurant with views over Tumbalong Park, the Chinese Gardens and Cockle Bay.
Completion set for 2018
Construction work on the Darling Exchange will begin shortly and is due to be completed in 2018. The 2,700 square metre project is part of the 35% of Darling Square that Lendlease is making available as public space for locals and visitors.
The ‘spiral’ is a wooden screen to” wrap the exterior of the building in a dynamic and exciting manner”. It is a historical reference to Darling Harbour originally being a hive of business activity and a focal point as a market exchange.
Vibrant Heart for the Community
As Steve McCann, CEO of Lendlease explains, “Throughout history, civic buildings and public squares have brought the community together. Our sincere desire is that The Darling Exchange will become a vibrant heart of the local community and a meeting place for all Sydneysiders and visitors.”
Endurance of Timber Persists
Along with China, Japan has a centuries old tradition of building beautiful multi storey timber buildings. Kengo Kuma’s incredible masterpiece follows his ancestors understanding and appreciation of the wonderful use of wood as an incredibly reliable, flexibility and durable element for all forms of construction. It is a trend that is increasingly being seen right around the world. This places unique demands on timber engineers, structural technicians, and timber crafts who have the responsibility for creating, delivering and assembling the components capable of realising any architect’s vision. We are proud to be part of this renewed endeavour.
Designing buildings for factory sub-assembly introduces a further discipline into the construction process. It also provides greater opportunity for the delivery of more accurate, higher quality, components and eventual on site assembled buildings. The procedures and processes involved tends to be more controlled and considered. ‘Safety’ of assembly becomes an essential and integral part of the design process. Pre-planning of how works are to be executed has to be considered in detail before any element is actually sent to the factory for fabrication. Plans for moving, delivering, unloading, site storage and site handling all form part of the ‘off-site’ manufacturer’s tasks.