Creating a new democratic place for North Sydney
The Victoria Cross development will transform North Sydney’s traditional CBD into a vibrant community heart by integrating the new Metro Station with a new office tower, a dining and retail precinct and an interconnected public domain.
The tower will be a powerful, singular expression—able to be read ‘in the round’ on the city skyline, yet revealing its complexity upon approach. It is composed of a series of 8-12 storey expressed volumes and fine grain of external shading which subtly varies depending on the orientation of each facade
The floorplates have been designed with connectivity and flexibility in mind. The long span of structure maximises visual and physical connectivity across the workspace.
Victoria Cross contains four levels of office space within its podium. These spaces connect to an OSD sky lobby at level 2. The interconnected office and sky lobby create a rich overlap between community, metro customers, podium office employees, and OSD tenants and visitors, knit the building into its social context, and maximise activation of the public domain.
The OSD sky lobby is an expansive space enjoying looking out over tree canopy onto the new Miller Street public domain. We designed it to be active beyond normal business hours and as a space that can flex to many different uses. Accessed from both the main lobby on Berry Street, and the secondary lobby off the laneway, it contains commercial office reception areas, a lobby cafe, and a large lounge area and informal meeting spaces. Adjacent to this space are the lift lobbies serving the tower. External balconies lining the western edge spill out from the sky lobby and create a second level of activation in the public domain.
Back at ground level, five new food and beverage outlets open out to the public domain. They sit between the tower’s main entrance and the Metro entrance, enjoying prime location and acting as activity centres at the tower’s base.
The through site link between Miller and Denison Streets directly connects to the Victoria Cross Metro Station and doubles as a vibrant pedestrian laneway. This neighbourhood scale streetfront—it’s 7.5 metres wide—has been designed for cafes and casual food and drink offerings, as well as a two storey destination restaurant and bar offering. Our intention has been to create a beating new heart for North Sydney which extends the life of the commercial core beyond 6pm Monday through Friday, and into evenings and weekends to create a vibrant, urban centre.
Surrounding Victoria Cross, we have created spaces where people are comfortable to meet, work and socialize – spaces for sharing a coffee or an informal lunch are created under the canopies of trees. The tower anchors the North Sydney CBD Laneways Concept Plan, integrating new public spaces at 1 Denison Street and 100 Mount Street. Extending the MLC lawns and boulevard planting north along Miller Street to Berry Street will create a new series of urban plazas interspersed with new green lawns. The new through site link and Miller Street plaza will complete the vision for a unified public domain in North Sydney.
The Victoria Cross Station entry is clearly visible at the corner of the Miller Street through site link. From here escalators take passengers directly down to the station concourse level. Escalators take passengers from the Denison Street link down to the concourse level. The link also helps to clarify circulation through to the surrounding streets, increasing pedestrian permeability and connecting into existing bus stations.