Modern Luxury Boasts Futuristic Architecture
Crown International Holdings Group
20th Annual Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW Awards for excellence
Mathew Freeman, Glen Mitchell
Infinity by Crown is a landmark multi-use apartment building designed to be a centerpiece of the Green Square precinct revitalization. The development contains 401 apartments, mixed-use retail, a convention center, pool gymnasium, theatre, music room and lounge, all built atop a multi-storey basement carpark and a subterranean pedestrian link to Green Square train station. The striking design features two intertwined loops representing a connection between public and residential space.
Holmes Fire became involved with the project at the concept development stage where we provided Building Code Australia (BCA) compliance advice and identified where fire engineering could assist in maximizing design flexibility and adding value to the project. The design has been pushed far beyond the limits of the BCA Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions, with the Fire Engineering forming an integral part of the design from the outset.
Holmes Fire’s well established relationship with both Crown Group and Koichi Takada Architects, across multiple projects, formed a solid platform for the development of the conceptual design, and the ongoing design development. Holmes Fire’s early involvement provided the architect with the confidence to apply significant architectural freedom which was necessary to enable such an ambitious design to be realized. Holmes Fire’s understanding of the key drivers and aspirations for Crown Group and Koichi Takada Architects has resulted in a fire safety design which is cohesive with the architectural intent.
Through collaboration with a large design team including the client, architect, structural engineer, mechanical engineer and fire services engineer, Holmes Fire developed an intimate understanding of the building, and as a result was able to provide a thorough BCA Assessment at the completion of the Development Application phase, which formed the foundation for the evolution of the design going forward.
Holmes Fire has since documented a significant number Fire Engineering Alternative Solutions to justify deviations from the building code including:
- Reduction of fire resistance levels (FRLs) to retail portions of the development – providing construction time and cost savings ;
- Justification of extended travel distances in residential and carpark areas – enabling one of the fire-isolated stairs that was in the original design to be deleted;
- Provision of fire dampers in lieu of sub-ducts in the stair pressurisation relief air shafts – minimizing the space requirements for the shafts and maximizing the saleable area of the apartments;
- Justification of discharge of fire-isolated stairs to the central open space where the path of travel to the street requires occupants to pass within 6 m of unprotected openings and back beneath the building – minimizing the area required for fire-isolated passageways and enabling the exterior façade of the building to remain clean and maximizing retail street frontage;
- Validation of residential public corridors exceeding 40 m in length – omitting smoke doors in the middle of corridors that would have compromised the architectural objectives of the interior design;
- Omission of sprinklers on the underside of the high level building overhang, over the swimming pool, and within selected areas within the residential apartments – deleting sprinkler heads required by the code, but which would be unlikely to activate or be ineffective in a fire;
- Provision of jet fans within the basement carparks – enabling a more cost effective and efficient design of the ventilation system; and
- Removal of the need for compliance for speech intelligibility of the occupant warning system within the basement carparks – providing a pragmatic approach to a frequently occurring issue.