As congestion grows in inner-city environments, the answer may well be to look to the past. Imagine an Italian-style piazza, complete with bell-tower, where community is celebrated, not excluded, crime is minimised by passive public scrutiny and riding bicycles and walking are the favoured forms of transport.
Tucked behind heritage buildings on the fringe of Sydney's CBD, the Quadrant Off Broadway provides a new residential space with a community-minded spirit. The project is mixed use and includes 234 residential apartments, 63 student apartments, with 253 beds, 10,000m² of commercial space and 3000m² of retail.
Created by architects Cox Richardson, Quadrant's mixed use encourages a variety of activity around the central plaza.
High density environmental issues were a primary focus for the project. For example, combining work, study, living and retail on one site near a transport hub and two universities promoted pedestrian and cyclist traffic over car use.
The size of each building within the complex is configured around the scale of the adjacent cityscape and to maximise solar access to the plaza.
An eight-storey block rising behind Broadway's heritage shops houses the student accommodation on the southern edge of Quadrant. This block is stepped back from the historical frontage to allow the heritage shops to retain their own form.