Recognised as one of the world’s best tall buildings, the hovering cantilever that crowns One Central Park is the focal point for an enchanting assembly of motorised and fixed mirrors that reflect sunlight throughout the site. After dark, the cantilever turns into a canvas for a public art installation ‘Sea Mirror’ that presents interpretations of Sydney’s landscape in the sky.
One Central Park was designed by French architects Ateliers Jean Nouvel and PTW Architects. It comprises two towers of 16 and 33 storeys, above a five-level retail and recreation podium.
Jean Nouvel’s design concept called for the use of reflected light to offset overshadowing and supplement solar access in the retail atrium, podium spaces and the landscaped terraces.
The primary objective for these reflections was to provide
‘dappled’ natural light into the building’s five-storey retail atrium, an experience created as the reflected light passes through running water and a glass roof above this void.
As industrial designers, our brief was to integrate the mirrors into the building, making them an urban architectural feature rather than a standalone addition with a machine aesthetic.
Large motorised mirrors reflect the sunlight up to the smaller fixed mirrors.
Tilt needed to develop a risk management strategy to ensure the mirrors would not reflect light onto unintended targets.
We could also only install the 320 mirrors on the cantilever after the installation of the steelwork.
- Embracing technology
Tilt identified existing technology in the concentrated thermal industry and successfully repurposed it into an urban environment.
- Iterative prototyping
Multiple functional and aesthetic prototypes were developed throughout the design process to assess the performance and inform design development.
- Managing complexity
The design called for mass production and complex implementation, requiring a global procurement strategy from countries including China, India, America and Europe.
The heliostat system comprises of 40 large motorised mirrors on the roof of the western tower, which track the sun throughout the day and reflect it up to the 320 smaller fixed mirrors on the cantilever.
This arrangement results in an array of reflections, uniformly distributed across the ground plane. The resulting reflected light is approximately 50-70% as intense as the available direct sunlight.
Tilt also worked alongside lighting artist Yann Kersalé to integrate an LED public art installation, described as a chandelier for the city.
Read more on the integrated art installation, ‘One Central, Sea Mirror.’80
Metres – the height of the cantilever above the ground plane.800
Watts – the maximum potential solar energy per square meter that can be delivered30,000
Aluminium rivets used in the manufacturing of the mirror elements
The One Central Park heliostat showcases how Tilt’s Industrial Design process and extensive research broadens the project’s technical horizons, achieving a unique and iconic design outcome.
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