For his first assignment in Australia, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed The Exchange, a multipurpose structure located at Darling Square in Sydney, and housing a library, food hall, restaurants and a day-care facility. In contrast to the high-rise buildings in the surrounding area, the exchange is a spiraling, light-filled ‘hive’ designed to be a soft and warm low-rise structure integrated with the square.
The distinguished and elaborate facade is made from bent accoya wooden threads that are wrapped around the building in an irregular pattern to form a hive shape. The spiraling facade extends into the square, morphing into a pergola that provides shade.
“This structure resulted in interior space that resembles a silkworm cocoon, and a primitive façade which looks like a bird’s nest,” said the architects, “creating an oasis in the middle of an urban jungle.”