Humanising High-rise Living
Koichi Takada’s philosophy of connecting to the natural environment is reflected in high-rise residential towers like the Skye in North Sydney.
Doha is familiar with Koichi Takada’s designs through the interiors of the Qatar National Museum, how an Australian architect was inspired by the natural cave surroundings of the desert to recreate the same look in wood within the interiors of the gift shops at the Museum. While designing high-rise buildings in Australia, Koichi Takada Architects use the same philosophy of connecting to the natural environment while humanising high-rise living keeping it grounded in human experience.
“In the age of the super-tower and dense hyper-Manhattan tower typographies, there is an urgency for sprouting vertical villages to feel human, to somehow still ground us to the earth despite their soaring, exhilarating and often farfetched statures,” says Takada of his approach for Skye by Crown Group, the first built specimen of Takada’s unprecedented and detail-driven, human-focused design for high rise.
Building upon the Crown Group’s sense of retreat and resort style living, Takada has designed a unique city sanctum, a part of a new city fabric – yet timeless and set apart from its rapid pace. Skye by Crown Group represents Koichi Takada’s boundary-pushing approach, and the practice’s contribution to a more conscious, pivotal architectural language.
Located in North Sydney, and gazing outward across Sydney’s spectacular east and west skyline, Skye by Crown Group is a considered vision of mixed-use vertical living, responding to the city context, while reimagining the urbanism of high rise as a rich collective experience, steeped in lifestyle, nature, and community.
Sculptural and visionary, Skye by Crown Group has been informed by naturally occurring phenomena of light, Aurora Borealis. Its undulating façade follows the terrestrial aurora wave and its gentle but striking fall to earth. A veil of bronze-hued cylindrical columns resembling great lengths of bamboo draw the eye skyward, channelling light up, and then back down to earth.
In place of outmoded private top-level penthouses, Takada convinced Crown Group and North Sydney Council to reconsider this space, instead designing a breath-taking rooftop infinity pool and sundeck (‘Skyedeck’). Here, residents are given a shared sky-high experience of Sydney’s coveted outdoor lifestyle, as well as sweeping views of the harbour city.
Careful, organic and site-specific design details come together to mirror Skye by Crown Group’s natural surrounds and Sydney’s singular and intoxicating sunlight – positioned to capture spectacular daybreak and dusk. Azure blue tiles meet the sky and harbour, while ochre-coloured timber decking matches Sydney’s natural stone.
In Skye, the undulating façade of bronze-hued cylindrical powder-coated aluminium columns, supplied by Aambianz, aptly named the ‘veil’, creates a highly-articulated expression worthy of a landmark building. Extending from the ground floor up, the façade becomes a precedent to the built form and its functionality. Dividing the building into three sections, the façade optimises solar access, increased ventilation, privacy and casual surveillance of the public domain. On the rooftop, the landscaping and the veil sculpt the building form and allow for a spectacular rooftop garden and infinity pool deck. Connecting the ground floor and upper levels, the veil’s vertical connections divide the building into three elements, reducing the appearance of its bulk and scale. The ‘veil’ gently defines the top of the building and counteracts the hard edge and commercial character of North Sydney CBD. It distinguishes the building’s rooftop and ground floor, a more inviting façade expression that draws residents and visitors into the ground floor retail amenities.