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Sustainable Apartment Life in Pyrmont Village

m central green roof Sustainable Apartment Life in Pyrmont Villagedarling island Sustainable Apartment Life in Pyrmont Village

The past two decades in the Inner West have seen fast-tracked urban renewal, as industry moves away and apartment buildings take over. The result is apartments suburbs, such as Pyrmont, which the local council aims
to make “a sustainable inner city village.”

Pyrmont is a prime area for apartment development and living – stretching waterside views, with close proximity to the city, yet a community spirit – benefits which the luxurious Darling Island Apartments on the tip of Pyrmont Peninsula take full advantage. The spacious Peddle Thorp Walker designed apartments are highly integrated within the environment, and expansive use of glazing gives an interesting contrast between private and public spaces.

More common in Pyrmont, however, are apartment buildings that recall the rich industrial past of the suburb, and it is all about finding a careful balance between the contemporary and the historic. The wool stores and warehouses of the past have both inspired the forms of new buildings, and been converted into apartments. One apartment building inspired by the mass of wool stores is Allen Jack + Cottier’s Bullecourt Place, a residential development, towards which mixed feelings abound, containing two nine-storey residential towers. The development’s contemporary finishes, however are clearly modern, as are the light-filled open-plan apartments.

glebe harbour Sustainable Apartment Life in Pyrmont VillageGlebe Harbour, looking over Blackwattle Bay and the Anzac Bridge, is another area in the Inner West experiencing rapid urban development. SJB Architects took inspiration for the exteriors, not from the industrial past of the area, but from the Victorian terrace architecture. The primary aim of the project was to introduce higher density living, and repopulating the previously forgotten area.

Much urban consolidation, however, is not sustainably designed, and developers have built many of the apartments around the harbour with view to maximum returns, little thought being given to environmental concerns. In many apartment buildings, sustainable practices could be fairly easily implemented on larger scale. Green roofs, for example, although not a new concept, are rarely seen in Australia, despite being widespread in many parts of Europe. One successful example close to home is MC 1, a woolstore conversion in Pyrmont by Dale Jones-Evans Architects. It has a stunning ‘green roof’ consisting of grasses and succulents interspersed with timber boardwalks. Not only is the ‘green roof’ of MC 1 a peaceful area for residents to relax, it helps provide thermal insulation, and to reduce the heat-sink effect, which can raise city temperatures up to 10oC.

The importance of sustainable architecture is a growing concern internationally, and a concern that is forcing Sydneysiders to reassess the balance between the environment and the urban that currently exists, so that Sydney can be sustained for many future generations.

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