Sydney is undergoing unprecedented population growth posing predictable pressures on the urban setting.

The 2019 Sydney Urban Lab explored an area under such pressure between Sydenham, Marrickville and Tempe train stations in metropolitan Sydney. This area is a mixture of warehouses, stores, factories, workshops, car repair shops, offices and residential areas from different historical periods, mixed with the infrastructure of the rail corridor and the Cook’s River. This variety of programs produce an overlapping of styles, typologies, scales and densities with strong social implications. A perfect place to be in and observe, to participate in its evolution.

The studio explored the capacity of this area to increase residential densities with the aim to create new communities that mix and add to that which exists. The challenge was to observe and value not just the built heritage but also the social heritage - the rich variety of cultures that coexist in a relatively small area, making it a whole world within the city.  

About 2019 Sydney Urban Lab Chairs: Ricardo Flores, Eva Prats and Jon Jacka

Flores & Prats is an architectural office dedicated to the confrontation of theory and academic practice with design and construction activity. They have worked in rehabilitation of old structures for new occupations, in the design of public spaces with neighbour’s participation, and in social housing and their capacity to create community. Their work obtained, among others, the Grand Award in Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts of London for their Mills Museum in Mallorca, the City of Barcelona Award and the Special Mention at the Spanish National Awards for the Sala Beckett International Drama Centre and the City of Palma Award for the Cultural Centre Casal Balaguer.

Jon Jacka Architects is an architecture studio based in Erskineville, Sydney. Jon’s approach spans practice, teaching, research, publication and public engagement. His key interests are equity, diversity and social interaction. Jon’s work is practical and experimental and eschews projects considered socially or environmentally detrimental.

Tutors included Rachel Neeson (Neeson Murcutt + Neille), Philip Thalis and Laura Harding (Hill Thalis), Anita Morandini (City of Sydney), Jen McMaster (T R I A S), Helen Lochhead (UNSW), Philip Oldfield (UNSW).

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