News / August 2014
Thursday 21 August 2014
HASSELL Sydney studio hosts Danish design students

HASSELL is playing host to five Danish design students who have been tasked with developing concepts for the future of Sydney’s iconic Opera House.

The students have been based in the HASSELL Sydney studio for the past five weeks as part of the MADE by the Opera House program. The program exposes them to life in a multidisciplinary studio and provides design masterclasses in urban planning, wayfinding, theatre planning, acoustics, wind engineering and lighting.

“The students have really engaged with our designers and used their time at our Sydney studio to develop an impressive array of design concepts that could one day help enrich the visitor experience at the Opera House,” HASSELL Principal Matthew Pullinger said.

MADE by the Opera House was established last year in honour of the Sydney Opera House’s 40th Anniversary. The Opera House and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture and Design established the program, which is supported by Australian and Danish sponsors and contributors, including HASSELL.

Each year, ten students of architecture, engineering and design are involved in exchange programs in Australia and Denmark. As well as providing multidisciplinary experience for Australian and Danish students, the program fosters cultural links between the two countries.

This complements the role that Danish architect Jørn Utzon played in the innovative design and construction of the Opera House. Each intake of students generates ideas to benefit the host city, and the current cohort of Danish students opted for a collaborative piece of work focused on the Opera House.

The students held meetings with stakeholders, before developing their ideas.

“HASSELL was approached by the program sponsors to host the students and help them experience life in a multidisciplinary studio, to give them a more rewarding experience,” said Matthew.

“We have supported them with technology, holding masterclasses on design issues 3-4 times a week, and connecting them with Australian students, recent graduates and mentors.”

Monday 18 August 2014
New home for HASSELL Singapore

The new HASSELL Singapore studio was officially opened today, providing a collaborative and creative new studio space for our designers and clients in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region.

The studio, which replaces the previous HASSELL Singapore studio that opened in 2010, has been converted from its original use as three shophouses. Existing walls were demolished to create a vast studio space with a high vaulted ceiling and plenty of natural sunlight.

Our studios – including this one – breathe new life and purpose into old, character-filled spaces. Other HASSELL studios around the world have been converted from a range of previous lives including a bread factory, clothing plant, motorcycle factory and an historic wharf.

In transforming these places we are careful to retain what is intrinsically beautiful about their design – the parts that lend a sense of meaning to the space, that naturally enrich the environment. An approach we also take to our other projects.

“Unlocking the potential of places is central to our purpose at HASSELL,” said HASSELL Principal Philip Hannaford.

“By that we mean designing, creating or transforming places so they can be used to their fullest potential to unlock economic, social and cultural value – whether that’s on a very small scale for one of our own studios or on a much larger scale to create for example a highly efficient airport terminal, iconic cultural centre or inspiring new public space.

“Our ability to do this time and time again is made possible by the collaborative efforts of our diverse talent pool using our rigorous bespoke design process,” said Philip.

It is not just about transforming the building itself. The design of our new workplace is also very much a reflection of our culture and personality as a practice. When we design our own studios, we strive to cultivate the curiosity, creativity, innovation and collaboration that inspires great design.

“Another important aspect of the way we work is that while we are in multiple locations, we operate as one global firm, drawing flexibly on the best talent from across the practice for the benefit of our clients internationally,” said Philip.

“With that in mind, we make sure that a designer or client visiting Singapore or Shanghai from Sydney or London will immediately feel at home in a recognisable HASSELL environment, where our collaborative systems and technologies connect them to the skills and knowledge base of the whole practice.”

Wednesday 13 August 2014
Raising Nanjing's public profile

Nanjing in China is undergoing a major urban renewal with an impressive array of development projects now in progress – and HASSELL is playing a key part. While many of the city's projects are linked to Nanjing's hosting of the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games, the People's Government of Nanjing City is also looking to the future.

HASSELL is delivering a series of public, cultural places in time for the influx of international and domestic visitors, set to arrive in Nanjing for the games. And these places will continue to serve the people of Nanjing – along with its thriving tourism industry – long after the games are gone.

HASSELL Principal, Angus Bruce, says: "This is an exciting time to be working in Nanjing. The projects now under construction are positioned to support dynamic urban living and sustainable growth," he said.

"The cultural tourism projects HASSELL is delivering also support the city's desire to reconnect with its rich heritage, natural history and incredible landscapes. In the process, we'll be helping Nanjing captivate an international audience," Angus added.

HASSELL cultural tourism projects in Nanjing

Fangshan Tangshan Geopark Museum Public Realm

Nanjing Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark, 40 kilometres east of the city, is the site of some of China's most important archaeological discoveries. HASSELL will deliver phase one of the project, a new plaza area, in time for games in mid-August. The plaza area serves both as the museum's forecourt and as the gateway to the larger tourist park. Extensive regeneration of native habitat will help connect this site with its local environment.

Niushoushan Cultural Park

The Nanjing Niushoushan Cultural Park is located on Niushou Mountain, a centuries-old, sacred Buddhist site that’s home to Ming Dynasty temples, historic tombs and palaces, unique villages and reservoirs.

HASSELL is delivering the cultural park to connect, exhibit and preserve the many cultural treasures spread out across the mountain landscape. The result will be an immersive cultural experience for visitors, designed for easy navigation and serene exploration.

Tangshan New City – River Zone

At Tangshan, 30 kilometres from Nanjing’s city centre, a new waterfront promenade and recreational destination will connect the area’s old-world attractions and its new high-end tourism destination, Tangshan New Town. Comprising pedestrian bridges, outdoor cafes, grassy amphitheatres and flowing shade canopies, this new river zone will serve as a welcoming place for social relaxation.

Monday 11 August 2014
HASSELL awarded first place in Bao’an urban design competition

A consortium comprising the Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen, the Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School and HASSELL has won first place in an international competition for the conceptual urban design of the Bao'an West Dynamic Coastal Zone in China. Bao'an is one of the largest districts of the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

The winning concept aims to transform the west coast and turn it into the prime area of coastal economic development in Shenzhen. It will help Bao'an revitalise its maritime economy, coastal life and maritime culture, establishing a sustainable bay city model centred around people and the ocean.

The competition was organised by the Shenzhen Bao'an District government together with the Urban Planning Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality.

The judging panel comprised nine experts in urban planning and design, architectural design and environmental design. After four rounds of open voting, HASSELL and the consortium won the completion.

Thursday 7 August 2014
Winning new Perth stadium design revealed

The new Perth Stadium will be a world-class five-tiered stadium with roof coverage over 85 per cent of its seats, a striking bronze facade that reflects Western Australia's unique geology, LED lights that show home sports team colours, and a wide range of 'fans first' facilities including two of the largest video screens in the country.

The WESTADIUM consortium architectural team consists of HASSELL, Cox Architecture and HKS Sport + Entertainment.

Premier Colin Barnett and Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron recently unveiled the winning stadium design at a special event on the Burswood Peninsula.

Mr Barnett said contractual negotiations between the State Government and WESTADIUM to design, build, partially finance and maintain the new Perth Stadium and Sports Precinct were successfully concluded and the contract would be signed in coming days.

"This is a very exciting day for all West Australians and I am delighted to reveal the design of this world-class venue, which will play a pivotal role in the transformation of Perth," the Premier said.

"The winning design successfully meets the State's requirement for a world-class, multi-purpose stadium within a parkland setting, and does so with a uniquely Western Australian focus.

"The seating bowl maximises stadium atmosphere, gives fans exceptional views and brings them close to the action, providing a special home ground advantage for our teams.

"These facilities will not only deliver an outstanding fan experience on event days, but will also provide year-round access to a magnificent recreational precinct.

"I'm also particularly pleased to announce that the successful negotiations for this contract have confirmed that the capital cost of the stadium is around $40million less than what was originally budgeted."

Mr Waldron said this was an important day in the State's sporting history which reflected the meticulous planning undertaken over the past three years and an unrelenting focus on successfully delivering a 'fans first' stadium.

"The emphasis on delivering a venue that has the fan experience at the very heart is very much in evidence in this design," he said.

"Seat sizes are generous and each one will have a cup holder; fans will enjoy access to more than 70 food and beverage outlets; and those requiring higher levels of access - such as people in wheelchairs - will be able to use designated seating platforms across all seating tiers.

"The technology provisions include 4G Wi-Fi coverage across the stadium and precinct, two giant 240sqm video screens - some of the biggest in the country - and a further 1,000 screens throughout the stadium so fans never miss any of the action.

"The stadium will include the widest range of seating and hospitality options of any stadia in Australia."

The design of the sporting and recreation precinct surrounding the stadium is inspired by Dreamtime stories and the connection with the Swan River, and will have three distinct recreational spaces encouraging use by the community all year round.

A covered Community Arbour, linking the new six-platform stadium station to the river, will represent Noongar community stories. The western section of the precinct will be home to an amphitheatre, two children's playgrounds, picnic areas and a boardwalk while the community sporting oval to the north will be available for public use on non-event days, as well as providing event-day parking.

On site, WESTADIUM will now begin preparations for construction to start by the end of the year. This will involve erecting site offices, mobilising machinery and other facilities necessary to accommodate a peak workforce of 950 during the construction phase.

The WESTADIUM consortium has significant international stadia experience and its members have been involved in an impressive array of past projects, including the recently completed and highly acclaimed Adelaide Oval redevelopment, ANZ Stadium Australia and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in the USA.

The consortium is led by three key members, Brookfield Multiplex (design and construction), John Laing (equity investor and asset management) and Brookfield Johnson Controls (facilities management).

Fact file

_The new Perth Stadium is due to be open in time for the start of the 2018 AFL season
_The Project Definition Plan released in December 2012 stated the project budget was $902.4m, consisting of $820.7m for the stadium and $81.7m for the sports precinct, plus $16m for project management
_Finalisation of the design-build-finance-maintain contract for the stadium and sports precinct confirms the project is within budget
_High resolution images of the stadium and sports precinct plus a new Perth Stadium fact sheet are available.

Tuesday 5 August 2014
The people of Newcastle weigh in on their city's potential

HASSELL is working with UrbanGrowth NSW, providing both urban design and public domain expertise for the New South Wales Government’s Newcastle Urban Renewal and Transport Program. This initiative will revitalise the state’s second largest city and former industrial powerhouse.

During the past decade, Newcastle’s city centre has struggled with the challenges of a changing economy, shifting social and consumer habits.

HASSELL is supporting the program, designed to unlock Newcastle’s potential as the urban core of the Hunter Region – a place supporting long-term economic growth and community vitality.

A major milestone was reached last week as UrbanGrowth NSW hosted the Design Newcastle Summit, attended by 150 Newcastle residents.

HASSELL Urban Design leader, David Tickle said, “Newcastle has the potential to become an exceptional city that attracts and inspires its community, and after the summit, it’s clear Newcastle’s people feel the same way.”

Newcastle Urban Renewal and Transport Program

The renewal program, originally conceived by NSW Department of Planning and Environment and now being delivered by UrbanGrowth NSW, is focused around three city precincts, and includes a series of ‘city building’ projects and initiatives, to be delivered over the next 25 years. The removal of the city’s heavy rail line and the introduction of a new light rail system is central to the project and will restore access from the city to its waterfront and attract people back into the city centre.

HASSELL Principal, Angus Bruce said, “Newcastle’s setting, between the river and the ocean, puts the city in an enviable position. The location provides many of the ingredients needed for an appealing, compact and people-friendly city.”

“Sensitive design improvements will greatly enhance the city’s public spaces and connections. HASSELL will help create a fantastic new interface between Newcastle and its waterfront,” Angus added.

Image courtesy of UrbanGrowth NSW

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