Turramurra has experienced a mixed history with multi-residential projects, most failing to recognise and retain the area’s well-known leafy, village character. The project is an opportunity to create an exemplary village centre without compromising on intimacy of scale in the buildings and public spaces. Leveraging existing assets and retaining a village character; the focus is place-making through activation, a variety of public and green spaces and a landmark Community Hub building.
CHROFI were engaged by Ku-Ring-Gai Council to design a Masterplan for the Ray Street Precinct; a 12,300sqm site that makes up roughly one third of the combined Turramurra Local Centre. The triangular site is the result of an orthogonally organised village centre that was at one point divided on a 45 degree angle by the North Shore rail line corridor. The site abounds in assets. A train station, bus interchange, parking, library and supermarket have already resulted in an active village centre despite lack of quality public domain.
CHROFI’s engagement followed an extensive review of all community facilities, libraries and community centres in the Ku-Ring-Gai LGA. The brief consists of a new combined library and community centre building, European scale public piazza, full-line supermarket, parklands, commuter parking and connections to existing rail network. The challenge of the study was balancing this brief with the creation of a quality town centre, self-funded by the provision of mixed use housing and retail.
The strategy was to utilise a low, natural valley running across the site to partially bury the supermarket whilst still allowing outlook from internal spaces. Parking also goes underground. This alleviates the ground plane and creates an accessible platform above with access to district views, tree canopy and sunlight throughout the day. The platform is the site for low scale housing and retail as well as a variety of crafted public open spaces. The public spaces are each different in character including narrow laneways, streets, a European scale piazza, heritage botanical gardens, linear park etc. These spaces collectively build a ‘place’ that aims to attract the local community,
Building design focused on place-making through the creation of activated ground floor public space, human-scale residential units and a landmark Community Hub Building in a position of prominence on the Highway. Large buildings were broken-down into more singular building blocks to each be designed and developed with a highly individual character.