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Architecture: Jacaranda Square

April 6, 2011

Sydney’s Olympic Park is repurposed into a new public space with a form inspired by the morphology of a typical sports arena.

Jacaranda Square, or ‘The Everyday Stadium’, is the first new public space in Sydney Olympic Park. It refocuses the Olympic legacy of event and spectacle into a finely grained, sustainable town centre place. The project’s title, ‘The Everyday Stadium’, is both an ironic nod to the 2000 Olympic Games and a precise description of the design concept. The morphology of a typical stadium gives the scheme its enduring diagram: an orthogonal edge of seats and walls (the stands) framing a large informal open space (the field), protected by long perimeters of shade – one built and the other formed by trees (the canopies).

In contrast to the stadium buildings and leftover spaces of Olympic Park, Jacaranda Square is a mid-scaled rectangular space of 50 x 80m, situated on the train station axis and framed on its long sides by new commercial buildings, which define it as the pivotal public space of the new town centre. The park is a place for passive recreation and a centre for community gathering. A circular café, situated beneath the canopy, provides an additional level of amenity for the new community of workers.

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