AURA by Aqualand envisioned as a permanent sculpture by the sea

24/01/2023 | Architecture & Design

Woods Bagot and Aqualand’s AURA building in the transformative North Sydney is imagined as a sculpture as opposed to a tower. Mimicking the eroded coastline of Sydney Harbour, the tower’s form seeks to redefine both streetscape and skyline.

Located on Walker Street, the mixed-use project comprises 386 residences sat above a landscaped retail precinct and commercial spaces. The unique facade and staggered peaks on the upper levels work to create an illusion that the structure is seemingly divided into four separate towers. The hourglass-esque shape cinches at the ninth level, where the community centre is located.

“One of the things we love about North Sydney is that the sandstone at the water’s edge is the same sandstone you see all through the suburb. There’s also this incredibly rich landscape from Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay, all the way up to St Leonards Park. We wanted our building to become a part of this unique landscape,” says Woods Bagot Principal Jason Fraser.

“The building is shaped in an organic way reminiscent of these eroded stone forms,” Fraser says. “The ground plane is also carved out to reveal sandstone walls, interesting textures and colours drawn from the sandstone.”

The retail precinct will provide the community with an array of curated outlets, including a bakery, cafe, wine bar and contemporary Japanese restaurant. A network of landscaped laneways will welcome people into the precinct.

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