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Woods Bagot’s new precinct design responds to neighbourhood’s character

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Mason & Main, a vibrant new residential precinct located in the western Sydney suburb of Merrylands, captures the essence of the neighbourhood by connecting with the area’s history, heritage and culture in its built form. Designed by global design studio Woods Bagot for Coronation Property, the project emphasises the importance of creating buildings that are integrated with their suburbs, while also giving due consideration to the local community as well as the area’s economic and cultural potential.

Liveability is the primary focus of Woods Bagot’s design with Mason & Main taking convenience to the next level by providing residents and locals with an ‘eat street’ of speciality grocers, cafes and restaurants. The centrally located precinct, which is only 350 metres away from the Merrylands Train Station, also offers residents access to key health and education amenities.

Mason & Main residents will also have access to private amenities such as an outdoor dining area, pool, gym and rooftop gardens. Carefully considered planning ensures that each apartment has maximum access to natural light and air while shared walls between homes are eliminated.

Woods Bagot director and global design leader, Domenic Alvaro explained that the precinct’s design aims to give back to Merrylands by opening up space for comfort and convenience.

“As Western Sydney continues its rise, it’s important to consider how developments can stitch into a suburb’s existing grain. In the case of Mason & Main, we’ve repositioned the ground level café and retail spaces to face outwards into the paths that run throughout the site – creating an activated laneway culture for residents and pedestrians to explore and relax in.”

The suburb’s history has been generously referenced in the development by drawing on the area’s rich built environment heritage and reimagining striking elements of local sites with historical value.

“Mason & Main takes inspiration from the Goodlet and Smith Brickworks, the Boothtown Aqueduct and the eclectic and colourful nature of the suburb at large. Its distinctive brickwork includes different kinds of brick and bricklaying techniques – such as the breezy, semi permeable ‘hit and miss’ brickwork on the balconies and podium – and picks up on the rich textures and tones of the wider neighbourhood,” said Alvaro.

According to Alvaro, these details help integrate the building within Merrylands’ timeline by marrying its past and present.

Woods Bagot principal and regional interior design leader (A&NZ) Tracey Wiles defines liveability as something that goes beyond comfort to deliver flexibility over time.

“Our research into the future trends of living and working led us to design a flexible apartment with a multipurpose room, which can easily shift from a bedroom to a workspace, a creative space, or any space you need thanks to built-in joinery. Well-designed spaces change along with your needs, facilitating growth and adapting to change over time.

“The philosophy behind this multipurpose room runs through every part of the residences: intelligent, purposeful, and designed to last for years to come,” Wiles added.

“As one of the most celebrated areas in Sydney’s West, Mason & Main is surrounded by a melting pot of culture, and Woods Bagot have created a precinct that pays homage to this great community’s story while helping to shape its next chapter,” Aras Labutis, Coronation’s urban transformation director, said.

“The team at Coronation have a long-established presence in this neighbourhood – we have lived, worked and breathed Merrylands for over many years. We know its people, we know its potential and we’re passionate about delivering a project that residents and the community will be proud of now, and well into the future,” Labutis concluded.

Phase 1 of the Mason & Main precinct development is due to complete in 2022.

This article was originally published by Architecture and Design on 12th January 2021. 

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