News / January 2016
Monday 25 January 2016
London High Street transformation shortlisted for RIBAJ MacEwen Award

The revitalisation of a London high street, Croydon South End High Street, by HASSELL and design studio We Made That has been shortlisted for the RIBAJ MacEwen Award.

The award that celebrates ‘architecture for the common good’ recognised the success of the regenerative scheme, which reimagined a run-down, neglected retail strip into a lively, active streetscape.

The ambitious scheme has been overwhelming successful, with shop vacancies reducing from 25% to just 5% by the time the project was completed.

The project received a great deal of praise from judges who included Stirling Prize winning architect Amanda Levete:

‘I found it playful and well done; it is a lovely little vignette. Suddenly it becomes a place where you might want to loiter rather than hurry along.’

HASSELL Principal, Jon Hazelwood said of the shortlisting: “The recognition by the RIBAJ Award is testament to the impact of robust, simple design that’s improving people’s lives in a simple, but significant way.”

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Tuesday 19 January 2016
Look up, look down: Designing great skyscrapers for global cities

When we talk about skyscrapers, we tend to focus on their impact up high – from their mark on the skyline to the quality of their view. But what about life on the ground?

HASSELL Principal Ken McBryde believes that what’s happening on this ‘ground plane’ now plays a critical role in the success of major skyscraper projects – and the livelihood of our cities.

Project briefs often encourage developments that make an ‘iconic statement’ on the skyline and have strong commercial prospects, Ken told attendees at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 2015 international conference in New York.

“Solving these challenges isn’t enough,” he added. “If our projects don’t address and respond to the city around them and explore the nature of truly public space, then their value is limited and it’s a missed opportunity for city-making and active public realm."

“It’s critical that tall buildings continue a sense of community vertically as well as horizontally to contribute to the shape of the city, its vibrancy and how it’s used.”

Ken believes that designers, developers, government authorities and communities should work together to create and ‘unlock’ these civic spaces – or precincts – so they work on multiple levels. That means they will become ‘destinations’ that appeal to workers, residents, shoppers and diners – and ultimately enrich city life overall.

Ken also pointed out that the best buildings are increasingly offering ‘third spaces’ that blur the line between tenants and communities. These might be a shared working ‘hub’, a publicly accessible auditorium or a new spot for exhibitions.

For example, HASSELL is designing a planned 32-story tower at 60 Martin Place in Sydney that will invite the public into its ground level and rooftop cafes, bars and restaurants – and will also offer a significant new civic space for events.

“HASSELL worked hard in partnership with our clients, the community and the neighbourhood, and planning authorities to ensure the building would contribute to its neighbourhood and the city – creating a lively and attractive destination,” Ken said.

Similarly, the Brookfield Place development in Perth has restored and enlivened an area of the city – including heritage buildings – that was dormant for more than 30 years. The HASSELL design for the building has created a ‘sticky destination’ that draws people in – and keeps them there – to dine, shop or simply explore.

The broader public benefits of that project have resulted in Brookfield Place winning Australia’s pre-eminent urban design award.

“The most enduring city buildings are ones that focus first on being carefully integrated within the city fabric and its public domain,” Ken added. 

Monday 18 January 2016
New media hub opens at Melbourne Park for 2016 Australian Open kick off

The world’s leading media outlets – including BBC and ESPN – will experience new working facilities for the 2016 Australian Open. The new Administration and Media Building (AMB) has opened for the Australian Open, one of tennis’ four grand slam events around the world, which kicks off at Melbourne Park today.

Although still under construction, the building is already fully operational and is one component of a far-reaching master plan for Melbourne Park, designed to secure the Park’s position as a world class sporting and events precinct, and home to the Australian Open tennis tournament.

HASSELL is responsible for the architecture, interior design and landscape architecture of the eight-storey building which is also home to the Melbourne and Olympic Park Trust (MOPT) and Tennis Australia (TA), the organisations that oversee the precinct and the Australian Open.

The upper levels of the building comprise the permanent offices for MOPT and TA while the lower levels are designed to be flexible and able to comfortably accommodate some 600 media personnel from 300 local and international outlets during the Australian Open tennis tournament in January every year. The spaces include flexible work rooms, lounges, and a cafe which had to be designed so that they can be both securely controlled and able cater for the long hours that media representatives work during such events.

The AMB is a key component of the overall master plan, and a building whose design is both appropriate to its context, and supportive of the continued success of the Australian Open and Melbourne and Olympic Park.

Image courtesy of © Kim Johnsen + Arup

Friday 15 January 2016
2016 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: The Urban Dairy

HASSELL is joining forces with the Melbourne and Food Wine Festival once again, this year designing the central hub for the international event that spans 10 days, from March 4-13.

The hub, called The Urban Dairy – a milky wonderland – will catapult passers-by into a large-scale dairy theme bursting with colour and flavour.

HASSELL is responsible for the design of the expanded site, which will be taking over three rather than one site as in previous years.

The design of the Urban Dairy is inspired by collective childhood memories of long summer days spent at the iconic Australian milk bar - think sticky fingers from melting ice cream and slurping on pastel coloured milkshakes.

Theatrical-sized dairy products wow attendees as they indulge in milk-based fare. A giant ice cream, butter slab, milk carton and slice of Brie engage children and adults alike, while a collection of local shopping strip store fronts, including a milk bar, flank either side of the Southbank promenade to serve directly to passers-by.

Paying homage to the tireless and significant role that the dairy industry plays in Australia, the Queensbridge Square ‘Red Stair’ will be transformed into the ‘Green Stair’ for the duration of the festival, with rolling green pastures and cows dotted throughout the space.

For more on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival click here.

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