Alexandra Merenkova



Architecture & Urban Conditions




In response to urbanisation growth and its effect on the increase in water demand, how can a marketplace precinct contribute to the Sydney 2030 sustainability plan, providing a platform for a self-sufficient, renewable water system and raise public awareness?

In response to the following question, the masterplan proposal aims to create a cultural precinct, making water its central design catalyst. Located on the edge of Wentworth Park and facing the Blackwattle Bay, the site offers not only an opportunity for architectural expression, but it also provides an opportunity to incorporate primary storm water retention stream and water sensitive urban design.

The masterplan consists of three main elements. A central platform, running along the existing stormwater stream, serves as a major collection and storage vessel.Water Collecting Towers are located along the platform, with several oval “pool-like” features expressing its primary function and serving as a public gathering spaces. An Innovation and Science Center is located on the eastern side of the platform facing Wattle Street. The building seeks to promote education and research to enhance the ability of future building to fully rely on sustainable energy sources. A Marketplace Centre is Located on the other side of the platform and opening towards Wentworth park. 

The water collecting towers on the central platform are glazed umbrellas-like ribbed structures that allow natural light into the main building. The water is captured within the platform and gradually released into the harbour, decreasing the runoff rates and mitigating floods. Each building is also designed to collect and reuse water through the use of similar water towers and a series of louvered water-collecting system along the facade. The materiality of the building seeks to promote lightness and transparency, with fully glazed facade wrapped around the main structure in a delicate way, covered only with the above mentioned ribbed louvers.