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White Bay Urban Framework

This is a major strategy initiative by UrbanGrowthNSW given its focus on the Bays Precinct in Sydney and in particular the White Bay Power Station (WBPS) site which is the first of these sites to go to the market.  The RFP was released to the public on October 30. Key collaborators on this project were McGregor Coxall (landscape architecture) and Design 5 (heritage architecture).


The Framework was developed in unique circumstances, with an 6 week timeframe from start date to 90% draft and then two weeks of adjustments and final drafting prior to the announcement.  This time pressure was compounded by a conceptual dilemma in that the site is the first to be released, and so has little confirmed adjacent future context.  Finally, the UDF was to sit within an RFP where the market will respond with their own proposals, which may vary broadly in terms of use, typology and so on.


Using the Power Station as a driver for quality, the result was a tool consisting of two key elements.  The first was a series of mandatory criteria based around the need to protect the identity of and community access to the Power Station.  Views, access to heritage elements and public space around the WBPS were all quantified as minimum requirements that every proponent must meet.  With the Power Station protected and also organising the site around it, a series of 10 Advisory Criteria were established that act as guides for design excellence and also a tool for assessing the proposals.  Each criteria was clearly explained and each had a set of deliverable that each proponent must complete so that proposals can be prepared.