Sydney Architecture Images- Contemporary Non-Commercial

Jacksons Landing apartments


Denton Corker Marshall


Jacksons Landing, Pyrmont




Millennium Minimalist Modernism  "the closest sydney gets to that melbourne style of architectural interest".


concrete frame


Apartment Building 
  The Distillery Apartments (foreground), The Quarry Apartments (background) and detail Yellow/Green 'The Distllery'.
Jacksons Landing, Pyrmont

Start Date: 2003

Arup has provided quality assurance services on the facades of two landmark buildings in the new harbourfront Jacksons Landing development. These services help protect the value of the client’s investment in the buildings and have minimised potential exposure to risk.

Arup was employed by Lend Lease Developments during the construction phase to rectify existing problems with the building facade. Arup facade specialists reviewed the subcontractor’s shop drawings and calculations to pinpoint the source of any inaccuracies.

A rigorous top-to-bottom inspection of the building was then conducted to identify recurring defects. A facade specialist was placed on the building site to provide full-time ongoing supervision of the construction. This specialist ensured realisation of the high quality facade intended by the developer.

Arup designed, documented and managed repairs, providing a full spectrum of services to Lend Lease Developments. Existing gaps in the facade were sealed to prevent the ingress of water and other outdoor elements, and the aesthetics of the facade were enhanced to ensure a consistent quality of external finish.

These solutions have ensured the structural integrity of the facade, minimising the client’s potential exposure to risk. They have prolonged the life of the facade, protecting the value of the client’s investment and minimizing the requirement for post-construction maintenance.
Battle for beauty in a city going flat out

Wendy Frew Urban Affairs Editor
January 19, 2008 Copyright SMH.

Divisive ... Jackson's Landing in Pyrmont.
Photo: Jon Reid

SYDNEY'S love-hate relationship with developers has moved from the city's heart, where the best and worst buildings can be found, to its liver and lungs, the urban renewal projects such as Pyrmont and Green Square, where "banal, scaleless high-rises" are creating what some describe as residential wastelands.

The buildings we feel most strongly about are in the city centre, such as the McKell Building's demonic tower and the elegant curves of Aurora Place. But our most divided opinions are now focused on the former industrial areas on the edge of the city that are experiencing a flurry of apartment construction.

The debate about whether medium-density living will be a disaster or a delight is likely to eclipse past cat-fights about the aesthetic merits of Sydney's office towers, as the State Government tries to find room for tens of thousands of people in city suburbs over the next decade.

Some say that where once we divided the city into the bad, the bold and the beautiful, Sydney now risks being characterised by soul-destroying apartment complexes that cast a physical and metaphysical shadow over the city.

What was most offensive about the developments that typified Sydney's construction scene was not the extreme but the endless, mindless mediocrity, said the architecture critic and Herald columnist Elizabeth Farrelly.

"[It is] the vast swathes of pink pseudo-sandstone McMansion estates, the faceless mega-malls and the banal, scaleless high-rises that are turning our vivid urban and seaside patterns into mind-numbing nowhere lands," said Farrelly, who would rather see aesthetic controls abolished to allow more ugliness in the interests of also allowing more beauty.

"There is, I think, much evidence now that aesthetic controls simply enforce mediocrity, thereby achieving the very opposite of their intended effect. So the buildings that are the most vile are, almost by definition, the least identifiable."

The most common criticism is the size of the buildings. So much bigger than anything else nearby, new apartment blocks either dominate the landscape, fail to integrate with the streetscape or sit uncomfortably with heritage buildings.

Pyrmont, once a quarry for the yellowblock sandstone used in some of Sydney's most imposing buildings, is at the heart of the debate. Some laud it as a successful mixture of elegant restoration and sympathetic low-level modern buildings sitting snugly beside sophisticated apartment towers.

But others say the opportunities offered by the peninsula's topography and harbour views have been squandered.

It was everything that was wrong with Sydney planning, said the president of the Local Government Association, Genia McCaffery, who is also Mayor of North Sydney.

"Pyrmont, what a tragedy," Cr McCaffery said. "You could have created the most wonderful open space for the city but the buildings are all too big and they are not pleasing to the eye … Nothing is done on a human scale."

Glen Searle, senior lecturer at the School of the Built Environment at the University of Technology, Sydney, lamented the failure to create a new urban village reminiscent of Potts Point, Paddington or Glebe.

"Scale is the problem," Dr Searle said. "You can have fairly ordinary buildings, but if the scale is right it makes a big difference to how people use the space."

There were places where planners were getting it right, such as the residential enclave being built at Little Bay in Sydney's south, which includes renovated heritage buildings and new apartment complexes.

He also gave a tick to the Victoria Park development at Zetland because of its clever use of open space, vital for people living in apartments.

For every sigh of disappointment about poor design there is a heartbeat of optimism about apartment blocks designed to reduce energy and water use or that merge well with the streetscape.

The NSW president of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Deborah Dearing, said things changed dramatically after the former NSW premier, Bob Carr, introduced tougher design rules for multi-unit housing in 2001.

"Before then, if you drove down Anzac Parade or Parramatta Road you would see some of the worst buildings ever built - and they were strata titled, which means we will be living with them for a very long time."

Developers were now more likely to think carefully about the interior and exterior of their buildings, and how they interacted with people.

The quality of the buildings in Pyrmont was mixed, Dr Dearing said, but the overall design of the area had created multiple views of the harbour from streets, laneways and small parks.

"In the past we would have ringed the area with high-value high-rise apartments."

What the urban renewal projects often lack, she said,

no matter how well planned, was an organic energy that only came when people made a place their own.

A healthy urban heartbeat was pulsating through Danks Street, Waterloo, with its crowd of small art galleries and restaurants. "Some very clever people connected with each other and those connections created a vibrancy … Now it is a very special place."

Copyright SMH.