Kengo Kuma's Sydney Tower

Kengo Kuma’s ‘Stacking Forest’ design wins competition for new Sydney tower

Apr 3, 2018
  • Article by Natalie Mortimer

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s ‘vertical urban forest’ design has been named the winner in a competition to design Crown Group’s new tower in Sydney.

Kuma, who designed the 2020 Olympic Stadium Tokyo and the V&A museum in Dundee, Scotland, worked in partnership with Australian architecture firm Koichi Takada Architects on the design of the tower, which forms part of a five-building development in Waterloo.

The 19-storey tower will feature a cantilevered infinity-edge rooftop pool, gym and community room with a plant-filled, green exterior designed to emulate a stacked forest.

Overseen by the City of Sydney, the competition to design the development’s tallest building attracted a high-calibre of entries judged by a panel of experts including independent architects, who assessed architectural design excellence.

“Our intention is to give a warm and a natural atmosphere to the community with unique design strategies,” Kuma says.

Kengo Kuma's Sydney Tower

“The upper volume of the tower seamlessly transforms into the lower part of the stepped terraces in order to create an intimacy between the building scale and the pedestrian scale on the street level. Eaves wrapping the façade are covered by sticks, which give a warm impression of the wood to the façade.

“The entire façade becomes a vertical urban forest by having a vegetation on each eave. Those strategies will blur and soften the profile building, and give a whole new image of the W48 precinct of the Waterloo,” Kuma added.

The development also includes three buildings designed exclusively by Koichi Takada Architects and a building designed by Sydney-based architects Silvester Fuller. Housed in the complex will be 384 luxury apartments and a mix of restaurants, cafes and shops.

Kuma last year chaired an international design competition that promotes peace.

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04 Apr 18 at 3:56 PM • Lorhkan

That”s a bit sweeping.. in the parts of Australia where winters are chilly, northern winter sun is a valuable contributor to comfort, especially if that sun strikes a floor of high thermal mass. Properly designed eaves will exclude the sun for whatever portion of the year is appropriate for the local climate, but admit it during the coolest months. Highland areas, the arid inland, even the Sydney area, Canberra and certainly all of Victoria need good winter sun to reduce heating costs. Windows to the east and west certainly need more shading than eaves can provide, but deciduous vines trained as a cutrain at the outer edge of 3 to 4 meter wide verandas, particularly on the east, provide delightful outdoor spaces in summer, and once the leaves drop, the morning sun warms the house very pleasantly. That free heat is worth far more than 3W of power per squ are metre. In domestic buildings. Office blocks are a different case altogether.

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