Infinity is a mixed-use residential building, located at the corner of Bourke Street and Botany Road in Green Square, Sydney. The 20-story building includes 325 apartments, 75 boutique hotel rooms, a 450-seat conference centre and more than 30 retail, food & beverage spaces. It has a direct connection to the Green Square train station and is adjacent to a Public Plaza and Green Square Library. Completed in 2020, the building has a floor area of 39,000-square meters.
Koichi Takada says “Infinity has a hole to cool down the building. Infinity’s inception was started with the idea of creating a significant opening in the building structure to draw in wind, to achieve a natural cooling effect of the internal spaces through pressure differentials. This creates an iceberg effect in a highly urbanised setting. Due to Australia’s proximity to the South Pole, Australia receives strong winds and cold fronts from the south east – a polar vortex which starts in Antarctica.
The parallels between the iceberg and Infinity represents the tension between nature and the built environment of our time. Architecture can be designed with the ability to reverse the effect of warming and the heat island effect in urban areas. Our responsibility as architects and designers is to optimise the building performance by taking advantage of its locations and forms. We call this ‘climatising’ architecture.”
Designed to Breathe
The aerodynamic form and large opening in the middle of the building serves as an entryway for daylight and natural ventilation as well as enhances the experience of end users and influences how the building integrates with its surroundings. Infinity’s large outdoor swimming pool is situated at the base of the opening.
When the wind passes over this large body of water, it cools the air and drives it into the heart of the architecture – a central public courtyard. Infinity is designed to breathe. By facilitating natural ventilation throughout the building, the opening becomes a key component in providing better indoor air quality and thermal comfort for the residents and reduces energy consumption by minimising the reliance on air-conditioning.
The complexity of the design required exhaustive simulations, wind-tunnel testing and computer modelling to ensure the performance goals were realised. The building prioritises performance and while the opening creates a unique architectural appeal, it becomes an important design strategy that improves not just the living conditions, but a sustainable contribution to the built environment.
Shaped by light for public benefit
Infinity is carved in a particular way so that the fluid form increases year-round sunlight to the surrounding public spaces. Compared to the originally designated massing allowance for the site, the carved and sloping form gives back much more sunlight to the Public Plaza and Green Square Library, built below ground, that would otherwise be shaded.
A terraced apartment structure on the south side is designed with cascading apartments that have external terrace gardens. It is Designed to allow better solar access, the terraced apartments facilitate cross ventilation, rainwater collection, equitable apartment mix appealing to a wider socio-economic group, as well as communal gardens for social interaction. Source by Koichi Takada Architects.