What Makes an Iconic Urban Building?



When you think of the world’s most iconic works of urban architecture, they all have something in common: they push – and defy – boundaries through their innovative design, daring to go beyond what is considered the norm.

We know our clients appreciate inspiring architecture and the prestige and pride that comes with residing in a building that is a city icon. That’s why we employ some of the world’s best architects to work on our developments, creating constructions that will dominate their surrounding urban landscape for decades to come.

How do the world’s most iconic urban buildings inspire our architects to push the boundaries of modern architecture?

1. Blend in to the urban landscape while also being a landmark

An iconic urban building obviously needs to be located in one of the world’s most incredible cities. There’s little surprise you’ll find many of the world’s most innovative and unique works of architecture in cities such as New York, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Paris and Sydney. The bright lights and vibrant atmosphere of these cities makes them ideal locations for buildings that inspire.

New York is home to some of the world's most inspiring urban architecture.New York is home to some of the world’s most inspiring urban architecture.

It’s important for any iconic work of architecture to integrate into its surroundings. When a building is situated in an urban environment, this requires using materials, shapes, colours and textures that reflect the streets below.

An iconic urban building should be a landmark, yet retain elements of its immediate environs.

An iconic urban building should be a landmark, yet retain elements of its immediate environs. In other words – stand out while blending in. This is a difficult artistic feat to achieve.

“With each new project, Crown Group aims to raise the bar a bit further. We travel the world and we get inspiration for each new development, which is designed to suit its surrounds,” Crown Group’s global head of sales and marketing, Julian Sedgwick, said to Domain.

Sometimes, we don’t need to look far; a perfect example of a building that is ideally suited to its surrounds is the Sydney Opera House. Its unique design was inspired by the sails of ships in the harbour. The design integrates the building seamlessly into the harbour environment, yet is unique enough to make the Opera House stand out as one of Australia’s most recognisable man-made landmarks.

2. ‘Wow’ factor

“The whole Crown Group ethos is: ‘If it doesn’t have a certain wow factor we are not building it’,” Mr Sedgwick said to Domain.

That’s why, with every single one of our apartment complexes, we endeavour to incorporate features that delight and amaze our clients – and everyone who walks past.

An iconic piece of urban architecture needs to have that 'wow' factor.An iconic piece of urban architecture needs to have that ‘wow’ factor.

Skye by Crown Group in North Sydney has a rooftop infinity pool that holds 168,000 litres of water. As our CEO Iwan Sunito acknowledges, “it is rare to find a wet-edge ‘infinity’ pool like this in a residential apartment building. Roof-top pools of this calibre are usually only found in top international hotels”.

“The whole Crown Group ethos is: ‘If it doesn’t have a certain wow factor we are not building it’.

Part of creating wow factor is constructing not just a building that people can live in, but a true artistic masterpiece: “We wanted to create something equally as beautiful as it was functional, like a sculpture you can live in,” Mr Sunito says of Skye.

Wow factor also applies to our most recent development to be offered to the market: Waterfall by Crown Group, in the Waterloo district.

“With this design, we are breaking with tradition,” noted Mr Sunito. The green spaces and natural elements bring this to a whole new level and creates a luxurious, balanced environment for residents to relax and recharge.”

The wow factor comes from the inclusion of what will be Australia’s tallest man-made waterfall cascading down the side of one of the building facades, a rooftop infinity pool and other innovative features, including a floating cantilevered gym and bamboo-covered walkway.

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3. Bigger is better

Think of the 828-metre high Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world – shooting like an arrow into the sky above a desert oasis. How about the Petronus Towers in Kuala Lumpur and Taipei 101? Then there’s New York City’s Empire State Building, surely one of the most iconic buildings in the world, which rises up above Central Park and the busy streets of one of the most quintessential modern cities.

All these buildings encapsulate the idea that bigger is better.

Our luxury apartment complexes tower above the cityscapes they overlook. Waterfall’s twenty-storey signature tower will be a sophisticated piece of architecture that rises above the streets of Waterloo below. The other developments we have around Sydney were also constructed with the idea in mind that they should offer residents unparalleled views of the city from their living quarters.

bla bla We want our residents to have the very best views of the Sydney cityscape, which is why we build our luxury apartment developments high above the streets.

Our developments take their inspiration from the world’s most iconic urban landmarks. Talk to us to find out more about how you could start living in one.

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