How AURA by Aqualand adds a new jewel in North Sydney's crown

01/02/2023 |

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Integrated property developers, Aqualand has collaborated with acclaimed architect firm, Woods Bagot to create a new jewel in North Sydney’s crown. 

Located at 168 Walker Street, the $1 billion mixed-use project, AURA by Aqualand takes on an elegantly curved form, redefining the streetscape and city skyline, delivering 386 luxury apartments above a landscaped retail precinct and commercial space. 

The development 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.

Architect Jason Fraser, Principal at Woods Bagot, said, Woods Bagot found a partner in Aqualand willing to embrace sculptural forms that would make the building more interesting not only to residents but to the wider community.

“Sculptural buildings are harder to draw, document and build,” he said. 

“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 building’s undulating facade creates an illusion that the single structure is divided into four separate towers, with staggered peaks stepping down from level 29 to level 23. 

Fraser said 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,” Fraser said.

“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.

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