Taking out a top gong at the largest and most prestigious architectural award, the World Architecture Festival (WAF), Sydney’s inner west development Casba has been recognised on the global stage.
Winning first prize for mixed use completed building, the award celebrates Casba as a leading example of how to balance urban renewal with respect to changing demographics and population growth.
Designed by SJB in collaboration with BLP, with interiors by BKH and developed by Cornerstone Property Group; Casba is situated on Danks Street, Waterloo, in what is now a foodie and art lovers haven but was once an area dominated by light industry.
Casba references the warehouse typology of the precinct without displaying a direct, kitsch relationship. “With Casba we wanted to honour the established grain and texture of the Waterloo location, but we had to balance heritage considerations of this former warehouse precinct with the growing expectations of inner city living environments,” says Adam Haddow, director of SJB Sydney.
Comprising of 65 residential dwellings and 3,000 sqm of retail space, to achieve good urban renewal, Casba was conceived around three guiding elements: a communal, publicly accessible courtyard, a pedestrian link throughout the site and active street edges.
The design approach was to start with the round-the-clock, publicly accessible, internal courtyard or cloister. To inject character to the public realm of the development and also reference the heritage of the original warehouses, recycled bricks were used in the cloister and throughout. Residential buildings were made of brick and painted white, providing a quiet and restrained backdrop to the residential environment within.
“As our cities grow and the demand for housing options increases, it’s essential that developments not only contribute to the built environment, but also contribute to the society,” says David Leece, director of BLP. “We have an obligation to create places people want to not only sleep and relax, but also connect with their community. We hope we achieved this with Casba.”