Tower with ‘sky gardens’ proposed above planned Sydney Metro station

Indicative Victoria Cross integrated station development by Bates Smart.

Indicative Victoria Cross integrated station development by Bates Smart.

Image: Bates Smart

Transport for NSW is seeking to secure approval for the concept design of a 42-storey office tower, by Bates Smart, which is proposed as an integrated station development above the planned Victoria Cross metro station in North Sydney.

The site is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Miller and Berry Streets. It neighbours the heritage-listed MLC Building, which itself was designed by Bates, Smart and McCutcheon and built in 1957.

The concept stage of the application asks for a maximum building height of 168 metres, or approximately 42 storeys, with a maximum gross floor area of 60,000 square metres.

The indicative building design comprises a glazed office tower, formed from a number of stacked, stepped volumes. The form would allow for the provision of a number of “sky gardens” overlooking the North Sydney Skyline and Sydney Harbour.

In a built form and urban design report, the architects said that the way the tower would interact with the ground plane was a primary consideration, given the presence of the proposed metro station. The indicative design also includes a podium that uses “Y” columns to create a lobby, a station entrance and a concourse that would be “virtually column-free” and allow for nearly unimpeded foot traffic.

“Our aim is to create a highly permeable podium that will contribute to the public life of North Sydney,” said Philip Vivian, director of Bates Smart.

“As work becomes less private and more integrated into the city, our podium is truly a connective space between the public realm and the private realm of the workplace.”

Transport for NSW proposes to construct the tower as part of an integrated development package, which would result in the combined delivery of the station, the tower and public domain improvements.

Indicative Victoria Cross integrated station development by Bates Smart.

Indicative Victoria Cross integrated station development by Bates Smart.

Image: Bates Smart

The application, which seeks approval for a building envelope, is now on public exhibition. In March 2018, Transport for NSW announced three shortlisted groups for the tender to build the Victoria Cross integrated station development: Lendlease Development, John Holland Charter Hall Joint Venture and Dexus Funds Management. A future detailed design application for the building would have to be lodged by the group that eventually secures the development rights above the station.

Indicative Victoria Cross integrated station development by Bates Smart.

Indicative Victoria Cross integrated station development by Bates Smart.

Image: Bates Smart

The station will be constructed as part of stage two of the Sydney Metro project, which includes the construction and operation of a new metro rail line from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour through Sydney’s CBD to Sydenham and on to Bankstown through the conversion of the existing railway line. Tunnel constructions for the Metro will take place from 2018 to 2020 and construction of the stations is due to begin in 2021. The second stage of the metro is due to open in 2024.

International practice Foster and Partners and Australian partner practice Architectus were appointed to design six new Sydney Metro stations, including Victoria Cross, in April 2017.

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