One Central Park

One Central Park (OCP), by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is an innovative and environmentally ambitious landmark project within the redevelopment of the Carlton & United Brewery site in Sydney.

One Central Park
One Central Park is the iconic centerpiece of the redevelopment of the Carlton & United Brewery site in Sydney, supporting the underlying master plan assumption that Sydney’s best locations for vertical living are near major inner city traffic nodes.
More importantly though, by lifting the building mass off the ground and concentrating it along Broadway, space is released for a new public park.
One Central park
Top and above: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, One Central Park, Central Park, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia. Photo Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Frasers Property and Sekisui House

The first design challenge is to give this pivotal new park a real presence at an urban scale. Because OCP is a high rise, it is possible to bring the park up into the sky along its facades and make it visible in the city at a distance. On the South side, the park rises in a sequence of planted plateaus that are scattered like puzzle pieces in randomized patterns across the facades, so that each apartment has not only a balcony, but also its own piece of the park.

At the individual scale this creates pleasant private gardens and at a collective scale, a green urban sculpture. In this way, the building offers a flower to each resident and a bouquet to the city. On the North, East and West sides, the green takes more continuous veil-like appearances with green walls, continuous planter bands and climbing vegetation. The plants deliver a message of sustainability, and because their shade reduces energy consumption for cooling and their leaves trap carbon dioxide, they also effectively make the building more sustainable.

One Central Park
Ateliers Jean Nouvel, One Central Park, Central Park, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia. Photo John Gollings, courtesy of Frasers Property and Sekisui House

The second design challenge arises from the tall massing along the North side of the site. In order to remediate overshadowing of the park, the volume is broken up into a lower and a taller tower. On the roof of the lower tower, 42 heliostats (sunlight tracking mirrors) redirect sunlight up to 320 reflectors on a cantilever off the taller tower, which then beam the light down into areas that would otherwise be in permanent shade.

The system adapts hourly and seasonally to the need for brightness and warmth, so that the dappled lights move on the ground in a precisely programmed choreography. At night, the heliostat becomes a monumental urban chandelier and appears in the dark sky like a floating pool of tiny LED lights that merge into a giant screen and simulate reflections of glittering harbour waters.

One Central Park
Ateliers Jean Nouvel, One Central Park, Central Park, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia. Photo Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Frasers Property and Sekisui House
Four strategies to help improve Sydney’s carbon footprint have been applied: OCP creates apartments where they’re really needed, near the city’s main job market in the nearby central business district; it improves the usually poor energy performance of residential high rises to meet a rating of at least five under the Australian Green Star standards and achieve a 25% reduction in energy consumption compared to the average; a system of 5km long linear slab edge planters function like permanent shading shelves and reduce thermal impact in the apartments by up to 30%; in addition to its TriGen Power Plant, OCP feature a system of solar power.

One Central Park, Central Park, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia
Program : residential building
Architects : Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Architect of record : PTW Architects
Green Walls : Patrick Blanc
Completion : 2014

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