Wonderland

A contemporary beauty with a sculptural twist

Situated at the southern gateway to Sydney’s CBD, Wonderland completes the urban renewal district of Central Park on the site of the former Carlton United Brewery. It offers a transition from city use and scale to the fine grain terraces and warehouses of Chippendale. Its form is a definitive urban design response, enhancing the outcomes of the masterplan provided at the time of the design competition by offering a diverse ground plane, additional park space, sun access and amenity in one of Sydney’s most densely populated urban environments.
Wonderland’s form is integrated into a layered curvilinear profile responsive to the varying street and building alignments. This sinuous geometry defines a significant north facing public space not envisaged in the masterplan, while maintaining the transitional green space on Wellington Street. This park was reimagined to maximise its proximity to the existing Wellington Street residences, benefiting new and existing residents alike.

The new open spaces and curvilinear built form create a memorable eastern gateway into Central Park from Regent Street. Reinforcing the significance of the Castle Connell Hotel’s heritage, the design carefully combines the location of a child care facility with retail tenancies creating an important active edge to Wellington Street.

From many aspects the dynamic form offers an invitation to explore the ground-plane and public domain, gently unfolding to reveal new experiences. A rich series of pedestrian routes, interconnecting parkland and dining districts has been created. Importantly these pathways follow natural desire-lines interconnecting O’Connor Street, Park Lane, Wellington and Kensington Streets. Enhanced with the familiar patterns of fine grain terraces and shop fronts, the building knits the city into its heritage suburb. An unprecedented diversity of residential typologies offer the greatest degree of choice for purchasers and avoid a monoculture of residents; apartments and terraces suitable for singles, live-works, couples, mixed households and families - a vertical cross section of the city’s inhabitants. Reinforcing this sense of community, Wonderland provides an array of facilities such as a fully equipped gymnasium and a rooftop entertaining area that overlooks Chippendale, featuring barbecue facilities and sculptured seating. It features an exclusive residents’ lounge that can be booked for private functions and meetings offering greater amenity for dense urban living and acknowledgement of changing patterns of living and working.

The highly articulated facade facing Central Park’s Chippendale Green creates a warm, textured backdrop to city life. The landscape approach provides a green extension of the ground-plane into the lower two/three levels of the proposal through vertical planting of the screens to both the garden apartments and within the public space. This creates the sense of green parkland folding up, reinforcing the green theme of Central Park.

The materials palette of terracotta, metal and glass provides contemporary reference to the existing masonry buildings of the site, and responds to the new neighbouring developments.
A durable and cost-effective materiality offers a timeless aesthetic instead of following the flux of fashion trends. The development complements and contrasts the signature glass buildings addressing Broadway, and will reinforce the traditional materiality of Chippendale.

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