Lisa-Maree Carrigan Director
Lisa-Maree is Director of Architecture & Urban Design globally at GroupGSA. She leads engagement of teams and clients through design collaboration and strategic direction
Reimagining a local precinct means supporting the health, wellbeing and lifestyle needs of its community. When design contemplates future needs, it has the potential to enriches lives. This masterplanned project will generate a vibrant new hub of connection and drive positive change through Arncliffe and beyond.
GroupGSA were engaged by Billbergia to assist with the masterplan and architectural concept design for a new development at 26-42 Eden Street and 161-179 Princes Highway, Arncliffe. Delivered under the NSW Land and Housing Corporation’s (LAHC) ‘Future Directions’ policy, the project is led by development partner Billbergia and Social Housing Provider (CHP), Evolve Housing.
The 1.34-hectare site sits within close proximity to Arncliffe train station and will consist of 744 apartments across 4 towers of heights varying from 18-21 storeys. The mixed-tenure community will integrate 180 social housing units with 564 main-market residential of equitable scale, design and amenity. At the base of the residential offering will be a mixed-use precinct offering vibrant retail and civic space. Car parking for retail and residents will be serviced through two and a half levels of site-wide basement.
Identified by Bayside Council as a site of special interest, it has been rezoned with an additional allowance for height and floor space—in return for a new 4000m2 public park at the heart of the masterplan. This public space is sheltered from the neighbouring Princess Highway and opens onto Eden Street to the north. It provides ideal solar access throughout the day and improves site through links that are already used by the community.
The parkland, combined with the scale and nature of the development, has demanded a highly collaborative effort from our project team, with knowledge and expertise being drawn upon from our landscape and urban design teams, as well as our architectural experience in residential, retail and social housing.
Located on Gweagal, Bidjigal and Gadigal Country, a key component of the deign response is a co-design narrative led by WSP with local Elders and the project team.
The material expression of the architectural and landscape elements integrates Aboriginal design principles derived through consultation with WSP’s Indigenous Specialist Services.
Buildings A and B are inspired by the local landscape, with water elements and the La Perouse and Arncliffe cliffs influencing the architecture. Building A is informed by the water and the air in terms of indigenous lore. The podium design of Building A features scaled teal-coloured zinc panelling – almost like architectural fish scales – that essentially wraps around the building.”
Meanwhile, the subterranean and formative parts of the earth inform the façade of Building B, which imbues a richer palette of earth-stained aggregate concrete with a natural colour brick-skinned podium. Using concrete and curvaceous form, the architecture is dotted with plants – much like you get in sandstone crops. Planters extend the height of the Buildings A and B to perceive the nearby parkland as wrapping up the breadth of the towers.
Building D, which is close to the Princes Highway, takes its form from the dark greys of a spent banksia seed pod, featuring a dark charcoal palette and light concrete base with black ‘popped out’ steel-framed windows to mimic the husk.
Building C (the social housing tower) is an interpretation of the banksia integrifolia in full bloom. It adopts a warm colour palette, with architectural ‘fins’ lining the building, inspired by the flower stamen.
The project also consulted Auntie Yvonne Sims, Elder of the Bidjigal people, and Indigigrow led by Uncle Peter Cooley in the landscape design, which will include plantings of significant portions of native species, including the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.
GroupGSA’s landscape architects have developed an abstracted play area, based on indigenous flora in a co-design process with Auntie Yvonne, who is very passionate about in social housing, safety for children, observable play spaces and providing enhanced amenity for children.
Other design interventions cultural markers and the incorporation of gathering places and quiet places to connect.