Rosenthal Carpark (Lane Cove, Sydney) Design Ideas Competition

KI Studio withdrew from the design competition ( we were one of the five invited companies that attended the briefing meeting) for Rosenthal Carpark as we could not support the approach taken for this ideas competition. The existing proposal with its current built form proposal limits the opportunities for good urban design, through providing the roof top as a dominant, blank canvas with limited integration with adjacent streetscapes.

It is unfortunate that we withdrew as we were told by Council that we could not modify the built form in any way. However we note that most of the competition entries did modify the built form.

We believe that the current scheme can only be improved by revisiting the sheer bulk and scale of the development to allow for a better visual integration with the setting, whilst protecting key attributes of it.

Key points informing our decision were:

  • The current built form concept disregards the streetscape by removing all mature vegetation (Eucalypts)- that are a key essence of Lane Cove’s character.
  • A good public domain and retail centre should seamlessly integrate with the adjacent areas. The current scheme simply provides a large podium that greatly limits the interplay and fluidity of adjacent spaces to interface with it.
  • The limitations on the footprint of access ramps and the positioning of built form elements above ground constrain the design resolution. In our opinion there should be some flexibility with these elements.
  • A roof garden and Eucalypts do not mix. (Eucalypts need deep soil zones)

Overall, in our opinion, there has been a lack of due process and of proper site contextual considerations.