Putting the heart into Green Square

Putting the heart into Green Square

Secret garden

Green Square’s future library and plaza is set to become a landmark focus for the Green Square community. The library will sit below an extensive public plaza with a storytelling garden, an amphitheatre and even a water play area.

A jury of leading Australian architects unanimously chose the stunning design by Stewart Hollenstein in association with Colin Stewart Architects – a young Glebe firm of architects. The City conducted an international design competition that attracted 167 entries from 29 countries.

Felicity Stewart and Matt Hollenstein described their winning scheme as more of a “community living room”, with an amphitheatre, sunken storytelling garden and music rooms where residents can practice their instruments without disturbing neighbours.

Mobile furniture will allow for impromptu concerts, there’ll be a tower for movie projections, and a water play area will keep children cool in summer.

A giant glass wedge will project above the library, and a grassed tramway and wide open spaces for festivals are planned alongside.

The design has been highly praised.

Jury member Glenn Murcutt, a winner of architecture’s highest international award, the Pritzker Prize, hailed the winning design as “brilliant” and “a superb solution”.

“You have got dynamite, it’s fantastic … it has the potential to be one of the most exciting places to be in Sydney,” he said.

Multi-award-winning Victorian architect John Denton, who chaired the jury, said a library below ground and an inviting open plaza above was “absolutely world class” and would see the project become “a beacon and an oasis” for the whole Green Square community.

The City has allocated $25 million for the library works, and a further $15 million for the public domain and plaza. Refinement of the design will continue this year and work will begin when ownership of the site is transferred to the City and then remediated, with construction likely to finish in 2017.

You can see the winning design on display at the Tote Building, 100 Joynton Avenue, Zetland, and online.

Did you know: Green Square is Australia’s biggest urban development located 4 kilometres south of Sydney central. It will have at its core the 14-hectare Green Square Town Centre.

Within two decades, the 278-hectare $8 billion Green Square project will be home to 40,000 people, 22,000 jobs and 20,000 new homes.

  • 17-21 December 2012: Jury selects winning entry and writes jury report.
  • 25 February 2013: City of Sydney accepts jury’s advice on the winning entry.
  • 2013-2014: Winning architects to work with the City of Sydney to refine design ahead of construction. Site transferred to City ownership.
  • 2014-2015: Site made ready for construction.
  • 2015-2017: Expected construction dates.

It is quite simply one of the biggest projects in the City’s history.

When Green Square is fully developed, the City of Sydney will have a thriving new town centre with 40,000 new residents in 20,000 new homes (including affordable housing). It will include a stunning new library and recreation centre, parks and open space, with public art, new childcare and other community facilities.    

After years of planning, technical studies, design, community consultation and economic feasibility assessments, work is now underway to provide a civic centre for the transformation of this former industrial site.

Green Square will go a long way to meeting the NSW Government’s targets of 61,000 new homes and 114,000 new jobs in the City of Sydney by 2036.

The City is working hard to ensure this new growth is accommodated without impacting on the character of our existing villages by focussing increased populations in former industrial and urban renewal sites. 

The 280 hectare Green Square development takes in the suburbs of Waterloo, Alexandria, Beaconsfield, Rosebery and Zetland. The City has budgeted $440 million over the next decade to build community and recreation facilities and provide new streets and parks.

The demolition of the former South Sydney Hospital site is complete, with some buildings retained for reuse, and remediation works underway.

Once ready, the site will house community and cultural facilities including childcare, a community hall, artists’ studios and workshops. A master plan for the site is currently being prepared that will incorporate 100 affordable housing dwellings.

With such a huge development underway, we want to make sure new and existing residents can easily move in, out, and around the area. While the NSW Government has yet to reveal plans for much-needed light rail to Green Square, the City has purchased land for a future light rail network. 

Green Square is a massive undertaking, but at its heart must be community spirit, beautiful design and sustainable living – elements that define the City of Sydney.

Caption: Artist's impression of Green Square Town Centre

Last updated: Monday, 20 May 2013