Aqualand top out $1 billion AURA by Aqualand in North Sydney
18/08/2023 | Urban.com.au
Leading Australian integrated property development group, Aqualand, is one step closer to unveiling its latest contribution to the evolving inner-Sydney skyline, following a topping out ceremony at their latest landmark project, AURA by Aqualand.
Located at 168 Walker Street, on the edge of the rapidly transforming North Sydney CBD, AURA by Aqualand has now marked the completion of its uppermost floor, which rises 29 storeys above the streetscape.
To celebrate the milestone, Aqualand’s Managing Director, Jin Lin, was joined by North Sydney Mayor Zoe Baker, and Principal of the project’s architect Woods Bagot, Jason Fraser, along with a selection of key project stakeholders, at a small formal ceremony.
In keeping with tradition, the event included the craning of a ceremonial evergreen tree to the top of the building as a symbol of good luck. AURA by Aqualand represents the fifth residential project delivered by Aqualand since the company’s launch in 2014 and is well on the way to joining a portfolio of other notable completed projects such as BLUE at Lavender Bay in Milsons Point and The REVY at Darling Island.
The $1 billion mixed-use project is the second to be delivered by Aqualand’s internal construction arm, Aqualand Construction. Once complete, it will comprise 386 luxury apartments above a richly landscaped two storey retail podium and commercial spaces.
AURA by Aqualand is Sydney’s latest example of architecture as sculpture, a category that includes some of the city’s most memorable buildings, from the white sails of the Sydney Opera House to the giant plant-draped bowls of Barangaroo House and Darling Harbour’s nest-like mixed-use building, The Exchange.
Aqualand Group Managing Director, Jin Lin, says the project is testament to the developer’s genuine commitment to collaborate with world-leading partners to deliver luxury projects that create dynamic communities and proud legacies for future generations.
“We couldn’t be more excited to reach this milestone and look forward to welcoming our future residents to AURA by Aqualand by the middle of next year, where they will enjoy an enviable lifestyle in the heart of this rapidly transforming and prestigious precinct.”
Aqualand’s Executive Director Development & Construction, Tom Catalovski, said he was proud of his internal construction team’s commitment to delivering the project.
“While there’s still plenty of work to be done, with the facade installation currently at level 20 and rising a level each week, and inside the residence’s kitchens are being installed and the tiling of bathrooms is progressing its way up the building floor by floor, it’s very exciting to see the building reach its highest point.
“It’s now easy to see the building’s distinctive design and I’m truly proud of my construction team’s hard work in reaching this significant milestone. It’s important that we take stock of all we’ve done to date and celebrate our achievements.”
Woods Bagot’s streetscape transforming design comes in the form of an elegantly curved building with a gracefully undulating facade which creates an illusion that the single structure is divided into four separate towers, with staggered peaks stepping down from level 29 to level 23. The distinctive hourglass shape cinches in at the level-nine ‘waist’ of the building, where the resident’s community centre is located.
Jason Fraser says the design draws inspiration from the eroded sandstone forms of Sydney Harbour and the ever-changing play of light on the water.
“We started looking at the harbour for inspiration. The building is shaped in an organic way reminiscent of these eroded stone forms,” he said.
“The ground plane is also carved out to reveal sandstone walls, interesting textures and colours drawn from the sandstone.
Fraser said sculptural buildings are harder to draw, document and build.
“Many of Sydney’s most famous sculptural buildings, from the Sydney Opera House to Barangaroo House and The Exchange, are designed with an obvious community benefit in mind. The sculptural form is used to give back to the community. AURA by Aqualand represents an impressive and ambitious commitment by a residential developer to give back to the community architecturally.”