Kengo & Yuki
He’s one of the most highly regarded and acclaimed architects of our time, responsible for some of the most exceptional buildings around the word, including the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo, Bamboo Wall House in China, the Besançon Art Centre in France and now, The Exchange in Darling Square, Sydney.
Kengo Kuma’s design philosophy balances the historical and the contemporary, is centred in continuity, and as Kuma himself explains, is about “finding new ways forward while understanding past values.”
In keeping with our vision for Darling Square, our need to honour the past, and look ahead to the future, Kuma and his firm was the perfect fit to dream up and manifest The Exchange.
Partner in charge of The Exchange, Yuki Ikeguchi described their approach to The Exchange project: “Our aim in architecture is to find a firm link to place, nature, culture and history. The Exchange, in its dynamic form and mix of uses, will call on the history of the site as a centre for exchange and a vibrant hub of Sydney’s urban life. The architectural response ensures the building embraces the past, captures the present, and links to the future of Darling Square and beyond.”
When it’s complete, The Exchange will be a civic space for all, a place that brings people and ideas together, and offers a different experience from each level to the next. It will include a brand new City of Sydney Library, an Innovation Exchange with a program to support start-ups in creative and technology sectors, a permanent bustling ground floor market hall, a childcare centre, and a rooftop bar and restaurant with sweeping views over Tumbalong Park, The Chinese Garden of Friendship and Cockle Bay.
This bold, six-storey marvel will be instantly recognisable with its circular façade wrapped in 20 kilometres of curved timber. To some it may even resemble a ‘hive’ - a subtle nod to Darling Harbour as a previous hotspot for business activity. Either way, we’re confident that in the city of Sydney, there’s nothing quite like it.