Sydney’s Innovation Gateway
Sydney’s CBD has long been defined by a glistening harbour and the great steel arches that traverse it, as well as the historic The Rocks district with its sandstone structures sandwiched between towering hubs of business and culture.
But just beyond the bridge, 18kms north west from the city lies Macquarie Park: the suburb tapped to be Sydney’s second-largest CBD. Long characterised by uninviting business parks of the 1980s and brown brick units, Macquarie Park is in the middle of a $15 billion urban renewal upgrade that will see the area completely transformed to meet the changing needs of working Australians now and into the future, redefining commercial design and vastly improving the work life balance for thousands of individuals.
At the heart of this regeneration, directly connected to the Macquarie Park metro station, sits Macquarie Exchange (MQX): an ambitious new ‘community business district’ by Frasers Property Industrial and Winten Property Group.
The first of its kind in the region, Macquarie Exchange is reinventing the corporate parks of yesterday to provide a dynamic destination for workers and visitors alike. Four innovative commercial buildings integrate with intimate laneways packed with an eclectic mix of dining and retail, as well as green-filled public spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Anthony O’Neill, Commercial Development Manager for Frasers Property Industrial, says that the precinct’s masterplan was designed to be as open as possible and to mirror the best elements of community-centred design, rather than simply focus on the provision of office space.
“Being on top of the metro, this site will be the starting point for many people’s journeys into Macquarie Park, not just for those working within MQX itself,” says Anthony. “The ground-floor plaza has been fully pedestrianised to welcome people into the site and create a space where the entire Macquarie Park community can come and enjoy.
Those arriving at the Metro Train station will be able to meander through vibrant laneways filled with cafes, restaurants and retail designed to cater from a morning coffee, to lunch with colleagues or clients, and right through to after work drinks with friends.
Those laneways connect directly to a large central park, the calm and welcoming heart of the precinct, where workers can enjoy a bite to eat in the sunshine, combat the 3pm slump with a spot of fresh air, or get stuck into an outdoor fitness class on the lawn.
Anthony says health and wellbeing was a major consideration for the team when assessing the design of the precinct. “Each building has significant rooftop or terrace spaces which support those ground-floor park spaces and provide opportunities for people to host outdoor meetings and just spend more time outdoors generally. We’ve also integrated opportunities for Wi-Fi and charging points throughout the landscaping to make sure people can essentially work from any location in the precinct to prevent workers becoming too stagnant.”
A gym facility has also been proposed for the precinct, along with a childcare facility on the ground floor to support working parents and make it as easy as possible to maintain a healthy work-life balance, the importance of which has been further emphasised during the COVID-19 era.
And while some design changes have been made to respond to the way Australians are working in 2020—including medical grade air filtration and alternate means of moving up and down buildings—Anthony emphasises the importance of taking a long-term view when building a landmark precinct like this.
“A project like this is intended to last for well over 30 years, so for us the focus is really on future-proofing the design to ensure it’s relevant in the long term,” Anthony explains. “We’ve addressed this by providing flexible floorplates and inter-floor connectivity to support a new way to work, our Wired rating to ensure we’re digitally connected, WELL rating to ensure we’re healthy, and renewable power supply and sustainability targets to do our bit for the future of the planet as well.”
“This project is almost ten years in the making and we couldn’t be more excited to see it finally underway,” says Anthony. “To have the opportunity to take 15,000m2 of land and turn it into Sydney’s next community business district is really just incredible.”
A community business district like no other
- 11,132m2 public space
- 15,620m2 site area
- 7,000+ employees on site
- 3,800m2 designed retail spaces
- 4 min metro frequency
- Alfresco dining
- 2,200m2 of green space
- Outdoor fitness
- Childcare centre
Construction is now underway at Macquarie Exchange. For more information and leasing enquiries, visit mqx.com.au.
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