Innovation Ecosystem

Urban Strategy

‘The ‘Innovation Ecosystem’ submission was chosen as a winner after the judges found that it brings nature and commerce together along with hotels, aged care and just about everything you can think of.’ – Ken Maher jury chair

Winner of the 2011 International ‘Ideas on Edge’ Design Competition

The river at the heart of the city

‘In 2011, Mark Tyrrell and Daniel Griffin won the Parramatta Ideas on Edge Design Competition with their scheme Innovation Ecosystem. Innovation districts are now a dime a dozen, but Tyrrell and Griffin picked up on the concept before their widespread proliferation. Few innovation districts capture both the urbanity and wild proximity to nature evoked in their fecund and feral proposal.’

– Landscape Architecture Australia

Moments of Architectural Drama

‘Tyrrell and Griffin’s winning concept focuses upon blurring the physical and metaphysical boundaries between the local culture of Parramatta, and its local ecosystem, finding moments of architectural drama at their junction. The scheme recognizes that the site is located at a brackish point of the river where the fresh water from the inland meets the salt water from the coast. This mixing of waters produces a highly diverse ecosystem at a local level. It is a place where species of fish meet, where salt and freshwater tolerant plant species are found and where hundreds of birds are attracted to the mix.’ (Arch Daily)

Program Intensifiers

The design breaks down a series of abrupt and divisive river edges by laying a generative grid over river and land. The grid resolves itself into a variety of functional built elements in the design but also acts as a conceptual tool to blur land and water. Next, a series of ‘program intensifiers’ are layered on the design. Local culture is intensified through the creation of an urban incubator for innovation and ideas. This takes the form of small studio spaces, research labs, aged and childcare, performance spaces and university and corporate support shopfronts. Together, this small-scale urbanism plugs into the disused rear of shops and creates a humming cultural district which moves out over the river.

An urbanism ‘of’ the river

The site is allowed to flood regularly, and runoff is collected in a mosaic of rain gardens that treat storm water from the urban core of the design and release it clean to the river. Ultimately, the river has no edge in the final proposal; it is an urbanism ‘of ‘ a river rather than ‘beside’ a river. (Arch Daily)

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