Arc by Koichi Takada Architects
Architecture

Arc by Crown

POSTED
01.11.2020

The Architectural Masterpiece Made From Over 300,000 Bricks

Koichi Takada architect’s ‘Arc’ residential tower is an architectural masterpiece, it’s brick façade redefining the way Sydney’s skyline is perceived.

The building, which spans the width of an entire block in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, is characterised by its unique materiality and the recurring motif of arches sculpted by brick.

The building, which was created for Crown Group, strikes a perfect balance between the old and new, as the brick materiality references historic Sydney buildings, whilst the duality of the design gives a nod to the future of inner-city living.

Inspired by the brickwork in the neighbouring buildings and the masonry character of significant heritage buildings, Arc by Crown achieves its brief of creating a mixed-use building that relates to the past, with a tower that relates to the future. The varied aesthetics of the podium and the tower introduces a complex duality to the building, further reinforcing that this is far from an ordinary building.

The 26-storey tower is comprised of 135 apartments, 86 boutique hotel rooms and 8 retail and food outlets. The indulgent apartments feature amenities such as a spa, gym, and reflection pool, as well as a rooftop courtyard on the penthouse level.

The decision to use the roof for public amenity instead of private apartments came from a desire to foster a sense of community for residents, as the world-renowned architect Koichi Takada says, ‘imagine a city where people can escape to the rooftop, where the architecture facilitates social interaction and the reimagining of the urban environment.’

Arc By Crown ft. Bowral Bricks in Hereford Bronze and Bowral Blue
By Koichi Takada Architects
Arc by Crown
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The decision to use the roof for public amenity instead of private apartments came from a desire to foster a sense of community for residents, as the world-renowned architect Koichi Takada says, ‘imagine a city where people can escape to the rooftop, where the architecture facilitates social interaction and the reimagining of the urban environment.’

On designing Arc by Crown, Koichi Takada says, ‘it was all about creating a wow factor’. This approach informed Takada’s decision to use brick as the predominant building material for this development, saying, ‘we thought, why not bring traditional materiality into the heart of the city?’

Despite the use of a heavy material such as brick for this intricate project, the building gives a lighter, softer impression in its façade. Takada accounts the elegancy of the building to the stepped brick framework, where each brick was slightly overhung, enhancing the perfectly symmetrical windows and balconies. ‘The idea was to bring more light into the internal space, and also create a wonderful deep shadow.’

Over 300,000 bricks were used to create the intricate detailing in Arc by Crown. Comprised of a combination of Bowral Bricks in Hereford Bronze and Bowral Blue, the bricks give the project a sense of warmth, bringing relief to a modern city centre overwhelmed with metal and glass.

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The material selection was inspired by the natural landscape of Australia; the red brick a nod to the red earth at the heart of the Australian outback. ‘When you walk past the building, (the brick) is something that instantly reconnects us with this mother earth colour,’ Takada says. ‘It’s something that we should not forget; about the roots of our past, and the wonderful materiality that we can reinvest by building like this in the middle of the city.’

This deeply emotional connection to brick is one that Koichi Takada experienced first-hand during the process of designing Arc. Sculpting elaborate, perfectly mirrored arches required many conversation workshops with builders Hutchinson Builders and brick masons Favetti Bricklaying, where the team worked together to develop a plan of execution.

The bricks were sliced by the millimetre to achieve the perfect arch, which required immense skill, patience, and craftsmanship. ‘The whole point of using brick is about the process,’ Takada says. ‘The façade really shows the process.’

It is evident that the process of designing and executing the brickwork in Arc fostered a real sense of community for Koichi Takada and his team, which is a shared experience for those who interact with the building today.

As Takada says, ‘every time I look at this building it makes me happy, and I hope that this building does that to people. It’s very important that it’s not really about the design- it’s about how this piece of architecture belongs in the community, and in peoples hearts’.

FEATURED PRODUCT

Bowral Bricks in Hereford Bronze & Bowral Blue

With their unique granular patina and tactile aesthetic, Bowral bricks are highly prized by customers, architects and designers alike, and set the standard for design and integrity. Their sharp edges and inherent character combine with the distinctive Bowral clay colours to create what can only be a Bowral Brick.

Learn more about Arc by Crown in our Built with Brickworks video below.

https://youtu.be/T8DUv2dM3FA
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