The Darling Exchange

The Darling Exchange

The Darling Exchange©Kengo Kuma and Associates
The Darling Exchange©Kengo Kuma and Associates
The Darling Exchange©Kengo Kuma and Associates
The Darling Exchange©Kengo Kuma and Associates

The Darling Exchange

Sydney, Australia
Tentative construction completion: 2019
Market Hall, Public Library, Child Care, F&B
Site area: 1,116㎡
Total Floor Area: 6,604㎡

The project is a multi-offer building that is comprised of pubic uses; childcare, library and commercial uses; fresh food market and restaurant. It was planned as a part of the large urban development in the active area of Darling Harbor, Sydney.
The site within the development is like a small pocket among high rise buildings in rigid geometry with hard surfaces. The urban design strategy for The Darling Exchange is to create an architectural form in harmony with the square to become a part of the landscape, in human scale with natural material to offer tangible and comfortable building to the surrounding.
It is surrounded by residential blocks, retails at lower podium and active flow of people along the boulevard. Being at the focal point of activities, non-directional architectural form was selected. Circular form achieves the building to be accessible and recognizable form multiple directions. It reflects and promotes the vibrant and active neighborhood in divers mixed of users of the Darling Square Precinct.
Ground floor plane is to be conceived as an extension of the Square. Fully glazed façade enable the space to be open, transparent and accessible from all directions. It promotes interaction with active street life and free flow of people offering opportunities for community’s daily use. Middle levels of the building are dedicated for public use. To express its active and diverse nature of the building use, geometry was created by dynamic shifting of floor plates. By shifting floor plates, comfortable and active outdoor terraces are created at each level that suite the use for its function.
Timber was selected for the building envelope material to offer natural texture to the neighbors. Timber stripes are composed in organic and spontaneous pattern and wraps around the shifting floor plates. It acts as a screen to filter the natural light and gives soft texture to the interior space. It is our intent to express architecture as a part of natural elements, like a tree or a “nest” in playful and primitive manner.
(Yuki Ikeguchi, Partner in charge)