Australia’s New City: Bradfield Eyes Timber as Hub Takes Shape

The NSW government is building the country's most advanced manufacturing research hub in Western Sydney.

Thu 06 Jun 24


A new three-storey mass timber and concrete building will rise as part of Bradfield City Centre’s new Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility—the first of its kind anywhere in Australia – in what is a major part of NSW’s push to use prefab and modular buildings to close its 377,000 housing gap.

Dubbed “Building Two,” it comes after the NSW Government’s greenlit “Building One”—also made of timber and concrete—slated to open later this year.

Scheduled to open in line with the new Western Sydney International Airport, which revealed a mass timber visitor centre last year, the two buildings are part of Western Sydney’s master plan to create a new ecosystem for advanced manufacturing in Australia’s newest city.

According to Western Parkland City Authority Chair Jennifer Westacott AO, the latest building will serve as “a thriving, global economic hub and a place for the future of advanced manufacturing in Western Sydney.”

The Western Parkland City Authority is the NSW government agency responsible for delivering the enormous 27km metropolises located 55km west of the Sydney CBD.

Take a look at the vision for Bradfield City Centre, the new urban and employment area next to the Western Sydney International Airport that will focus on advanced manufacturing and high-skilled jobs. Footage courtesy of @westernparklandcityauthori4789.

The region covers eight government areas – stretching from the Blue Mountains to Fairfield and Hawkesbury to Wollondilly – with the Western Sydney Airport and Bradfield City Centre, the spine connecting the regions.

“It will deliver almost 300 jobs during the construction phase and more than 400 jobs for engineers, researchers, support staff and high-tech businesses once complete,” according to Professor Westacott, the current Chancellor of Western Sydney University. “The AMRF is a concept centred around collaboration, and in keeping with that principle, Second Building will be a catalyst for an innovation ecosystem at Bradfield City Centre.”

The new facility, which will span three levels and over 12,000 square metres, will be located opposite Bradfield City Centre’s First Building. It will lay the foundation of the new city as a hub of innovation and research.

According to Architecture and Design, planning documents show that the new building will house a high-bay advanced manufacturing hall, a research laboratory with two open-plan cleanrooms, and seminar and collaboration spaces. It will also contain industry-aligned commercial tenants.

The new building will focus on microelectronics and semiconductor packaging as home to the AMRF. It will support manufacturing businesses in scaling up to drive economic growth in Australia’s fastest-growing economic corridor.

Screenshot 6 6 2024 122212 .au
In February, the NSW Government released a draft master plan for the Bradfield City Centre — one of the biggest economic development projects undertaken in Australia. (Photo Credit: NSW Government)

Designed by Architectus, who, in collaboration with Aileen Sage Architects and Jacobs, consulted with First Nations spatial design practice Bangawarra on building form, spatial arrangement and material selections that make meaningful connections to Country.

For Architects Project Director Matthew Todd, “Bringing together our collective experience in design excellence, technical facility expertise, and sensitive cultural and site responses, our team will draw on a long history of collaborations and a shared vision to kick-start an innovation powerhouse of advanced manufacturing in Bradfield City Centre.”

Whilst Aileen Sage Directors Amelia Holliday and Isabelle Toland draw on key lessons from Country: “Our design process is based around multiple conversations, our collective understanding of old and new technologies, our diverse world views, and our appreciation for innovation. These values informed our collaborative design approach,” they both said.

The project will aim to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating and a Net Zero Operational Carbon rating by integrating hybrid mass timber and low-carbon concrete materials, a bio-solar roof, water conservation systems, and solar shading.

The proposed design was developed from the original Business Case Functional Design Brief by Nguluway Designinc. As the name suggests, it is the second building to be proposed for Bradfield City Centre.

The second AMRF building is expected to start construction next year and finish in 2026 to coincide with the opening of the new airport.


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