Sydney's Broadway is getting a facelift / by Tom Oliver Payne

 Courtesy Central Park Sydney. 

Courtesy Central Park Sydney. 

A bunch of interesting developments have come alive in Sydney's broadway region over the past few years.

The scheme at Central Park has been well-received on both the local and international scale. The 235,000 sq m mixed use scheme has given the city a fascinating new addition to the skyline, has added some much needed public space and has set the bar with regard to environmental building standards. Designed by Jean Nouvel, One Central Park was ranked by Emporis as one of the world's best skyscrapers and ranked as Australia and Asia's best tall building by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The $1 billion UTS masterplan adjacent to Central Park promises a range of access routes and public space and of course, a host of new buildings throughout Ultimo - one of which has been designed by Frank Gehry. The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, named after the Chinese-Australian business man and philanthropist, will accommodate 1,300 students and 400 academic staff in a unique tree house structure.

One Central Park. Image: greenroofsaustralasia
One Central Park. Image: greenroofsaustralasia

Both of these buildings provide an architectural quality that will be easily distinguishable from a city that still primarily comprises 1960s modernist towers. They also indicate something that's occurring at a much wider scale. With a new wave of tall building construction, Sydney is forming a distinct and interesting urban aesthetic. Hardly the destructive construction boom that the city experienced during the Green Ban years, these developments appear to be a respectful enhancement of the existing urban realm.

The Central Park and UTS schemes epitomise Australia in its modern context. As new environmental standards, strengthening connections with Asia and a desire for high density living increasingly influence the built environment, new buildings like these help to raise the standard in planning and architecture and positively represent a city to a global audience.