Era is located on a gateway site into the Chatswood CBD, which has undergone a transformation in recent years into a vibrant cosmopolitan hub, while still maintaining the intimacy of its village roots. The urban design principals used reinforce this by creating quality open space, public amenity and increased connectivity. The ground floor and public open spaces have been designed to work together to ensure activation of the street and through-site link.
The corner location of the retail shop and commercial entry off Railway Street encourages pedestrian activity and forms a natural pathway to and from the train station. The geometries create desire lines to the through site link and the residential entry while providing activation and surveillance. The design of the ground plane responds to and enhances the existing pedestrian use patterns and networks so that ERA is an inherent part of Chatswood’s urban fabric.
The shape of the building is designed to optimise surrounding views, maximize solar access, and ensure amenity to the apartments. This creates a dynamic form rising above the podium with a contrasting geometry and materiality to the commercial uses below. There is a clear differentiation between the glazed curtain wall of the commercial podium, which is aligned to the street creating a clearly defined edge, and the more solid residential tower above.
The residential tower is set back and angled to the north, with the glass lines following the balconies stepping out to catch the sun and views at the upper levels. This dynamic facade serves to break down the form. Classic materials are used internally to give a timeless elegance that is inviting and sophisticated. The interior detailing of the communal areas continues the themes of the building creating a unified whole.
The new public park is situated to the north maximises the opportunity for solar access and provides high quality amenity for surrounding businesses and residents. The park consists of a series of planted terraces and activity zones providing for a varied experiential quality. Artworks specifically commissioned for the site add playfulness and richness to the public domain and encourage interaction.
The design of the landscape in addition to being seen as a green amenity is also an abstract painting creating visual interest when looked down upon from above. The active sustainable components of the design include solar panels to provide power to common areas, water sensitive urban design, storm water harvesting for irrigation, areas for recycling, water saving fixtures, energy efficient lighting, and common facilities and gardens to facilitate community within the development.