The City of Newcastle has announced the winning design for the $880 million redevelopment of Iris Capital’s award-winning East End development.

The architectural design competition was assessed by a three-member independent competition jury, which was unanimous in its decision to select designs from SJB, Durbach Block Jaggers and Curious Practice, for stages three and four of Iris Capital’s 3 Morgan Street and 22 Newcomen Street development.

The winning design features 235 dwellings across five buildings, as well as 1,731m² of retail floorspace and approximately 300 parking spaces, with an estimated overall construction cost in excess of $150 million.

Strong design elements supported by the jury include a Market Square public space concept and perimeter colonnade, multiple public viewing corridors to the harbour, integration of green spaces, and a distinct character for each building.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, congratulated SJB, Durbach Block Jaggers and Curious Practice on their stand-out design and commended Iris Capital for their ongoing commitment to revitalising Newcastle’s East End.

“Newcastle’s East End is transforming before our eyes, with architectural design excellence bringing the history and heritage of this harbour precinct into the modern era,” Mayor Nelmes said.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Declan Clausen, said the City was a step closer to seeing the complete vision for the East End precinct come to life.

“The architectural design competition presented an exciting opportunity to bring together a shared vision between City of Newcastle and Iris Capital to complete the final stages of the city’s revitalised East End including the vision for a public corridor to connect the Harbour to Cathedral Park,” Deputy Mayor Clausen said.

“The East End will become a landmark urban precinct for the enjoyment of residents and visitors for generations to come.”

The architectural design competition was run by an independent jury process under the governance of City of Newcastle and the New South Wales Government Architect’s Office. It was administered by consultants Urbis on behalf of Iris Capital.

Iris Capital’s CEO, Sam Arnaout, complemented the competition process and expressed his gratitude at the high quality of design that all the architects displayed.

“This is a critically important and significant development for the city, that will bring to life across Iris’ land, a long-held vision to connect Newcastle Harbour to Cathedral Park,” Mr Arnaout said.

“The winning design has unquestionably delivered on its purpose to achieve design excellence and has maintained the Christ Church Cathedral as the city’s prominent landmark structure with a family of beautiful buildings that follow the topography and mesh with the built form of the hill.

“Like stage one, which has been embraced by the community and is critically acclaimed, the final stages will be similarly recognisable though the adaptation of designs that draw inspiration from existing Newcastle architecture and retention of key heritage buildings.

“The competition has been the catalyst that will enable Iris Capital to deliver a truly world-class amenity through an efficient design that future residents will be proud to call home.”

SJB director Adam Haddow said the SJB team are over the moon to once again collaborate with Durbach Block Jaggers and Curious Practice, to deliver the final stage of the project.

“SJB has been investigating this unique precinct in Newcastle since 2013, having worked on the original masterplan as architect and collaborator for the East End’s stage one development,” Mr Haddow said.

“Our vision for the East End is rooted in a fine grain response that reimagines the retail offering and pedestrian activity of Hunter Street. The new public Market Square has great potential to connect into Council land creating the link with Christ Church Cathedral and Newcastle Harbour – to become the centre of the East End.

“We truly hope that this new connection will enable Indigenous planting to thrive along the north-facing slope of the East End, once again cradling the silhouette of the Cathedral in a green skirt when seen from the harbour.

“We love the city and people of Newcastle. With the support of Sam Arnout and Iris Capital, and in collaboration with the City of Newcastle, we’re confident that as a design team will be able to renew this part of the East End for the entire community to be proud of.”

A development application for the site will be lodged by Iris Capital by the end of 2022.

Featured Image: A render of SJB, Durbach Block Jaggers and Curious Practice’s winning design for Iris Capitals $880 million East End development. Image: City of Newcastle.

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