The Australian - Wish Magazine
The residential towers of the One Sydney Harbour project epitomise the idea of ‘designing from the inside out’
It is hard to imagine anywhere better than Sydney’s own glittering harbour as a source of design inspiration. Certainly, its breathtaking beauty, and the vibrant energy of the city that surrounds it, captured the imagination of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano after he [and his Renzo Piano Building Workshop] was chosen by Lendlease in 2015 to forge the blueprint for three residential towers as the final component in the property developer’s ambitious waterfront residential, commercial, restaurant and retail precinct project Barangaroo South.
“We immediately started to think about the buildings being like crystals that play one to the other, reflecting and refracting Sydney’s ever-changing light,” says Piano, famous for such iconic buildings as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, The Shard in London, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and the residential and office building Aurora Place on Sydney’s Macquarie Street. “We want the buildings to have a gentle presence in the cityscape, with a sense of lightness and transparency that is in constant dialogue with the harbour.”
Part of the urban renewal transformation of Sydney’s 22ha former container docklands and cruise ship terminal, on the CBD’s western waterfront, One Sydney Harbour is expected to be completed in 2025. Thanks to rocketing sales for the first 72-storey, 317 apartment tower, known as Residences One (R1) – where the combined penthouse and sub-penthouse apartment sold to an anonymous local buyer for more than $140 million in late 2019 and the price for other apartments are commanding averages of around $6.6 million – Lendlease has brought forward the construction of the second tower, Residences Two (R2).
Within this 68-storey tower, with 322 apartments, there will be two ‘Skyhome’ penthouses, each spanning one full floor with 3m-high ceilings, and their own rooftopterraceandswimmingpool.Onofferwithinboth R1 and R2 are also one- to four-bedroom residences in the Harbour, Signature and Luxury Collections. The final piece of the puzzle, yet to begin construction, will be Residences Three (R3), a smaller 30-storey building, featuring apartments (including those reserved for key workeraccommodation)andatwo-storeyretailpodium.
Daniel Goldberg, founder and creative director of the London-based multidisciplinary practice State of Craft, is responsible for tying together a large proportion of the interiors throughout the three-tower development, including the R1 penthouse, the Skyhomes, and amenities such as the indoor and outdoor pools, gym, sauna and wellness studio, wine room and Orangery, which will be accessible to residents in all towers. Having previously collaborated with Piano on The Shard, Goldberg and his team were a good fit for One Sydney Harbour, given they were already familiar with Piano’s lofty “sky-high” thinking and understanding of stealth wealth design. Mindful of Piano’s ambition to capture a sense of “light, lightness and reflection, with a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors,” says Goldberg, his studio’s response has been to create an interior landscape that is “understated, sophisticated, beautiful and timeless, which captures the spirit of Sydney”, he tells WISH on the phone from the studio’s satellite office in Ontario.
It was while working with Foster + Partners during his formative years, on key cultural projects such as the British Museum’s Great Court, that the German-born Goldberg developed an interest in working on a smaller scale, “designing from the inside out,” he says. “I was really thinking about how people move around in and interact with a building, and how that contributes to the overall function and enjoyment of a space,” he says.
Twenty years later, and with his own practice established in 2012, Goldberg pays meticulous attention to making a space feel as good as it looks by “appealing to all the senses – what you can touch, the acoustic comfort, even the sense of smell”, he says. As a result, State of Craft’s approach to One Sydney Harbour has been twofold. First, embracing “the visual connection to both the sky and the sweeping vistas across the harbour, city, bridge, and all the way out to the Blue Mountains and Pacific Ocean,” he says, while secondly playing with “the sense of materiality you find in the nature and lifestyle” of the city. By devising a choice of eight or so material and colour templates, to be used across all apartments in each tower – “where some apartments are lighter, others darker” – the idea is that each provides “a backdrop to the real drama that is the ever-changing landscape outside, from the dazzling light in the morning to the beautiful golden light in the afternoon”.
Grounding the interiors to the spectacular surrounding landscape means that local materials will be used where possible – such as timber sourced from NSW and Tasmania, including a generous use of eucalyptus veneer – and teak decking will be employed for the winter gardens to “pick up on the yachting tradition around the harbour basin”, according to Goldberg.
To conjure “the sense of casual elegance that comes with living or spending time on the beach,” Goldberg offers one suggested material palette incorporating the warm, golden glow of a roughly hewn, light-hued limestonefloorthat“runsallthewaythroughthespaces, through the kitchen, the living room, and all the way out into the winter garden. Hopefully, when someone walks barefoot across it through their apartment, it reminds them of the experience of walking over rocks or sandy shores along the coastline of Sydney.”
By contrast, Goldberg says, darker, polished stone and timber floors will work particularly well at night. “If the reflections in the façade glass of the lights you have inside are minimised,” he says, citing the similar logic used for an airplane cockpit or the dashboard of a car, then the twinkling views of the cityscape and harbour after the sun goes down “remain unhindered”.
He also loves the idea that the slightly shiny and reflective surface of the floor might additionally act as “a continuation of the reflecting surface of the black harbour basin, merging the distant view of the water with the foreground of the apartment’s interiors into one”.
Each palette, with a range of different finishes, fixtures and fittings, including timber, stone, plaster and fabric, “has its own story and integrity”, says Goldberg. Nowhere here are the “ubiquitous superficial elements of luxury, which may seem eye-catching and glitzy but don’t stand the test of time”. Instead, an emphasis on quality and longevity is key – like the vividly veined stones sourced from Italy to be used across kitchen worktops and bathroom vanity tops, and to line the walls of the indoor pool in an alluring shade of deep, rich malachite green.
With at least one wall fully glazed in each apartment, nomatterwhereitsitswithineachtower,theenveloping high-quality,low-ironglassfaçadewillbecomplemented with automatic solar blinds to reflect the heat without losing sight of the views and light. This is just one part of Lendlease’s plan to ensure One Sydney Harbour is the first development in Australia to be certified carbon neutral with a 6 Star Green Rating (making it one of only 18 projects globally included in the C40 cities Climate Positive Development Program}.
Overlooking the recently opened amphitheatrestyle boardwalk of Watermans Cove – part of a new 14km-long foreshore path linking Garden Island in Woolloomooloo with the Fish Markets in Pyrmont, to be completed in late 2021 – One Sydney Harbour’s neighbours include the One Barangaroo Crown Residences (and Crown Sydney casino) by Wilkinson Eyre, and the three International Towers commercial buildings designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour. On its doorstep is a vibrant scene of restaurants, cafés and bars, including Matt Moran and Solotel’s Barangaroo House, the three-tiered building finished in charred timber designed by Sydney practice Collins and Turner, and the 11-storey Anadara apartment building, with its wavy cloud-inspired façade, designed by fjmt.
With its many shared world-class amenities, One Sydney Harbour is part of an exciting new generation of residential developments setting new benchmark standards for superior luxury “connected” living. Like the 70-storey 15 Hudson Yards skyscraper that overlooks The Shed cultural centre (both designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group) and Heatherwick Studio’s The Vessel, as well as sweeping viewsalongtheHudsonRiver,situatedaboveactivetrain yards in midtown Manhattan, these developments boast a “third layer,” explains Goldberg.
“This is about the mini community within your building and how that community can meet, interact and share spaces,” he says of One Sydney Harbour’s amenities, which not only include the two pool, but “the great gym that we’ve designed, as well as the private dining and entertainment spaces, and lounges where you can escape to”. For instance, at One Sydney Harbour, “you can either invite people, whether they are your business partners or families and friends, to come into your apartment or you can choose to meet and entertain them in the private lounges or dining room in the building.”
This flexibility, whether “to retreat or to open up,” Goldberg says, “will play an increasingly important role in how people live because it puts them in control as to how far they want to share spaces with different people.” Equally, with the rise in working from home during the past pandemic year, “having generous spaces that are well lit, beautifully conceived and enjoyable to spend time in – but that also allow for some privacy within the apartment – will also play an important part of this new reality,” Goldberg reflects.
Ultimately, with no one type of resident in mind, Goldberg and team have tried to create interior architecture – both spaces and finishes – that frame the sky and provide a blank canvas for people to add those little touches – artwork, heirlooms and contemporary pieces – which create the feeling of home. “We’ve done thiswithotherprojects,liketheapartmentsinTheShard, which have stood the test of time because we didn’t try to pre-empt how a particular person might want to live,” he muses. “They have a sense of integrity that derives from keeping it simple, using a few good materials well put together, with an attention to detail and craftsmanship. This, I believe, is the best recipe for creating somewhere people will still enjoy in years to come.”