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And The Winner Is...

Monday, 28th July 2014

Bates Smart has been selected as the winning architectural firm for a 20-level residential tower at Sydney Olympic Park.

The first images of Opal Tower have just been released by developer, Ecove, following a design competition in which four of Australia's finest architects were invited to create a building worthy of the prime location at the eastern entry to the suburb.

The winning design, by Bates Smart, features a curvaceous, triangular-shaped building with green walls of living plants embedded into the facade, and elevated communal courtyards every five levels.

A cascading water feature is one of the many focal points of the gateway site, which will also have a childcare centre.

The development will markedly improve the public access between Sydney Olympic Park and Bicentennial Park via a new landscaped bridge over Bennelong Parkway and a pedestrian tunnel under the existing railway line.

Opal Tower is the fourth residential building from Ecove along Australia Avenue – and will be the most prominent. Bates Smart designed the second and the third of these, Australia Towers II and One Australia Avenue. ATII (25-storeys) is scheduled for completion by year’s end, with One Australia Avenue (30-levels) following around six months later.

Ecove knows the buying demographic at Sydney Olympic Park, having sold out Australia Towers (216 apartments), ATII (287 apartments) and One Australia Avenue (320 apartments). That’s why Opal Tower will have an unusually high proportion of large four-bedroom apartments.

These super-sized apartments will be around 160sqm internally on the upper levels, offering panoramic views north over Homebush Bay to Chatswood, east to the Sydney CBD, and south over Bicentennial Park to Sydney Airport.

They are aimed squarely at people wanting a home-sized penthouse-in-the-sky.

“Scaled-up apartments are a perfect alternative to the family home, and we could have done with more of them in our earlier buildings,” said Sue Ballesty, the Marketing Director of Ecove. “We will be one of the few apartment developers in Sydney catering for families.”

More than 600 residents live in Ecove’s Australia Towers, which was completed in 2012. The residential population of Sydney Olympic Park will swell to around 5,000 within the next few years, and is forecast to reach 14,000 by 2030.

“The influx of residents has made Sydney Olympic Park into a fully functioning suburb,” said Ms Ballesty. “There is a real sense of community here, and residents appreciate the benefits of living in the sporting and entertainment heart of Sydney and having 430 hectares of parklands as their backyards.”

The marketing for Opal Tower won’t start until late 2014, but people can register their interest on the Ecove website: Opaltower.com.au

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