By Murray Donaldson | 25 Oct 2019

Competitive design processes foster creativity and innovation that can add value to a high profile or significant new development. 

Architectural design competitions are mandated in planning instruments where the scale of development warrants consideration of design alternatives before the selection of an architectural concept and a development approval process.

Blacktown City Council and Willoughby City Council are the latest local Councils in New South Wales seeking to incentivise development by promoting the use of architectural design competitions to improve design quality.

Willoughby City Council recently exhibited the Willoughby Design Excellence Policy and Draft Design Excellence Guidelines outlining the processes to achieve design excellence for private developments in Chatswood CBD.  The introduction of design excellence processes were included as one of the recommendations of the Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy to 2036.

Blacktown City Council has prepared a Planning Proposal to rezone land in the Blacktown and Mount Druitt CBDs, increase building heights, remove floor space ratio controls and introduce incentive building heights for certain key and gateway sites where additional building height can be considered if design excellence is achieved through an architectural design competition.

Urbis have written a submission to Councils on the Planning Proposal and Draft Guidelines for Architectural Design Guidelines. We recommended that Councils take a more balanced approach to design excellence processes to bring landowners and Proponents along with Council and garner industry support towards the aim of achieving design excellence.

We have prepared a report that provides an overview of the proposed amendments to the planning controls, compares the proposed triggers and incentives for undertaking architectural design competitions. Based on our experience as design competition coordinators, we also discuss our recommendations to improve both Councils’ Draft Guidelines for Design Competitions.

To read the full report, click on the below thumbnail to download. 








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