St Marys apartment development, NSW

Shiro Architects has been approached to work on the feasibility of a residential development at the town centre of St Marys, NSW, close to its railway station.

The proposed site allows for ground and first floor commercial use, and the client wishes for both West Lane and Queen Street ground and first floors to be used commercially.

The proposed building introduces an upper ground floor and lower ground floor along Queen Street for commercial use.

Our aim is to introduce the commercial use that is disallowed in West Lane to the Queen Street end at the lower ground floor.

In the City of Sydney, a “non-FSR bonus” may be awarded to developers if a lower ground (basement) space is used as either a PoPE (place of public entertainment), or by a convenience store.

Because this particular site is very close to St Marys station, we have included this space as non-FSR in this scheme on the basis that it makes sense to contribute it to the community and that in dealings with Penrith City Council, this might therefore be presented as a bonus.

A significant challenge is that the site must have a substantial site boundary setback, and if it has to be set back 6 or 9 metres at each side boundary, it could effectively mean there is only at best half a site.

To counter this, our proposed building has two wings, taking advantage of the two-street site, to improve internal building amenity and achieve cross-ventilation, obtaining a source of daylight.

The whole principle of this design is to maximise FSR, subject to effective negotiation with the council.