Team members: Pouya Goshayeshi, Daniel Innocente, Lisa Goldsmith
Located on the crest of a ridge-line running northeast and southwest adjacent to the Ryde town centre, is home to re-envisioned Ryde Civic Centre. The site is situated 12 kilometres from downtown Sydney centered at the borderline between the Top Ryde shopping center and the West Ryde neighborhood. The new Civic Centre envisions a synthesis of nature, technology and community. Through the use of living systems, renewable systems and hybrid activities, this vision for the City of Ryde blurs the boundaries between technology, nature and the urban fabric. Inspired by the Austronesian vernacular Architecture and islands that surround Australia, the integration of environmentally driven responses to performance and nature defined the approach. Proposed as a series of geological like formations, the highest point sits on the south end of the site, at the intersection of Blaxland Rd. and Devlin St. Our design proposal begins with a direct response to the density, scale and connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood. The site is situated along a major thoroughfare, between single family residential and large scale commercial developments. This tension between low and high, neighborhood and shopping, prompted a design strategy which would blend the two contrasting sides of the city. The west part of the site behaves like an ecosystem, a park and a resting zone for the residents of Top Ryde, while the east part of the site rises up to meet the commercial development. This landscaped strategy blends into the ground, blurring the boundary between building and ground. Each mound is separated by an inner passage, taking visitors through the building from one side of the site to the next and providing a mountain like view from the east neighborhood. Our design approach synthesizes and celebrates the diversity of activity, with the ability to accommodate a multiplicity of needs for its inhabitants.