Archive | April, 2011

TONY OWEN NEW APARTMENT BUILDING AS WORK OF URBAN ART

27 Apr

The latest building by Tony Owen blurs the line between architecture and urban billboard. Work has commenced on the EDEN apartments in Sydney.

This infill project is located in a varied and complex part of the Sydney cityscape and is visible from many vantages. The office sought to explore the possibilities of adding to the tapestry as a piece of art in the urban landscape. In a unique approach, the final image was chosen from an on-line poll of various options to allow the public to decide the streetscape of their city.

Vertical louvres of varying colours and textures create a pattern on the eight-storey facade that is discernable only from a distance.
Up close it’s just a part of the colour of the city, by when viewed from afar a distinct image emerges of fabric flowing in the breeze.


Five visual concepts were trialed, including the face of a beautiful woman, and subjected to an on-line vote on architect Tony Owen’s website. Some Council officers even registered their preference, with the abstract fabric design being judged more appropriate than the graphic of the attractive blonde, the floating clouds, the cityscape and the CBD skyline.

Eden will have 24 apartments in a diverse mix of layouts, from one to three-bedrooms. The two-storey configurations may have their roots in a traditional Victorian terrace but these have evolved into modern habitats with high ceilings, dramatic voids, double-height windows and wintergardens.


The vertical louvres are there for more than just show; they function for sun control, privacy, and help to modulate temperatures within the apartments.
Interiors are bold, with colourful tiles, geometric-patterned wallpaper, exposed storage options, modular joinery, and kitchens designed as large pieces of furniture to maximise the space.

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City North Substation Sydney

27 Apr

Architect- Architects Johannsen + Associates ; KannFinch Group
Construction- RC concrete frame
Date- 2010
Location- central Sydney
Style- Mondrian Folding Slab Style
Type- Substation- HV Infrastructure


1. CNS north elevation with Grid Gallery at base:
 
CITY NORTH SUBSTATION

Efficient generation and delivery of power is a critical component of contemporary urban infrastructure, and was a prime driver in EnergyAustralia’s brief for replacement of the City North 33/11kV zone substation in order to meet electrical load requirements for the City of Sydney’s future growth.
 
The project was the subject of a design excellence competition to achieve a result that would respond to the site’s context, provide for a durable and low maintenance development, and improve the urban domain of this precinct of Sydney with effective communication of the substation’s operation building on a tradition of quality design for electrical infrastructure.
 
There were also very specific spatial and layout requirements to accommodate the electrical equipment and ensure safe and reliable operation for a zone substation, and a key objective was the achievement of an optimum environment for equipment operation and staff functions with minimum energy consumption. Passive design principles were to be adopted wherever possible and this required the use of natural ventilation with louvres and vents in strategic locations. Security and access provisions were also critical elements in the design resolution.

2. Grid Gallery and sculptural plinth at base of CNS

 


3. CNS east elevation to Sussex Street showing access doors to transformer bays

 


4. CNS from corner Sussex and Erskine Streets (day shot)

 


5. CNS from corner Sussex and Erskine Streets (evening shot)


   
On this highly visible site in the public domain of Darling Harbour and the periphery of the Western Distributor there was an opportunity for a contemporary and enduring design that could interpret the building’s function with references to the sources and impact of energy supply while complementing the urban context. A further opportunity was the potential for an outdoor gallery that could activate the pedestrian environment at ground level and contribute to the cultural layers of the city in this precinct.

With the substation envelope presenting a considerable bulk and visible presence in this location, it was considered necessary to break down the façade with a hierarchy of forms, materials, layers and details that would be both robust and appropriate in this context, while providing a suitable palette for the intended design concept.
 
Utilising a façade modulation and matrix configured around the functional elements of the substation, a ‘Mondrian’ inspired abstract aesthetic was the source of an architectural expression for a dynamic and flexible design envelope that could be site responsive, portray a sense of the building’s function and convey an impression of the transformation of energy within and the transmission of power beyond. This façade system also provided a rationale for future commercial development on the existing substation site to the south, and references to the materials, details and varying scales of buildings surrounding the site.
 
”A Mondrian abstract is the most compact imaginable pictorial harmony…. At the same time it stretches far beyond its borders so that it seems a fragment of a larger cosmos”
David Sylvester, About Modern Art: Critical Essays, 1948 – 1997

In the CNS project, the Mondrian aesthetic has been employed to express the idea of an energy source continually transmitting outwards through a distribution grid. The coloured and illuminated glass panels integrated into the building’s gridded façade create a subtle representation of an ‘energy pulse’, provide an abstract reference to the transmission of energy to the Sydney grid implying the electric current flowing into and out of the CNS.
 
The design seeks to maintain the client’s corporate objective of ensuring that the substation does not seek or compete for attention in its urban setting, but is however consistent with the intention to provide a substation expressive of its function on a prime CBD site. The outcome is both contemporary and enduring in providing a visual transition between the varying forms, scales and colours of the surrounding CBD, residential and entertainment zones.
 
On both street frontages provision has been made for display of static and digital art. Grid Gallery has recently opened as part of Sydney’s VIVID festival and is Sydney’s first public and media-based gallery space dedicated solely to the exhibition of digital art. This project is unique because there is both a physical and virtual exhibition space. This website is a key component, allowing visitors to view the online gallery and artists to submit work.
 
Photos : Michael Nicholson Photograph

City North Substation photos / information from Architects Johannsen + Associates

World Architecture Festival Awards – Shortlisted Building

SYDNEY'S FIRST SKYSCRAPER

17 Apr

Sydney’s skyline changed in 1912 when its tallest building to date, Culwulla Chambers, was built on the corner of King Street and Castlereagh Street to a height of 50 metres (165 feet). Designed by Spain, Cosh and Minnett the building consisted of 14 floors and cost a record £100,000 to build.

Culwulla Chambers was hailed a skyscraper by the press, however in being a masonry construction rather than a metal frame, it was simply a tall building.

The construction of Culwulla Chambers resulted in much controversy. People feared Sydney would develop a ‘New York style’ skyline and the building itself was considered a potential fire hazard, as fire ladders could not reach its maximum height.

The hulking mass over King Street circa 1914.

The same view today. Interestingly, the streetscape is still quite recognizable. The Culwulla Chambers are not so threatening as before.

As a result of this concern a subsequent amendment was made to building regulations prohibiting the erection of buildings taller than 45 metres (150 feet). This regulation remained in force until the AMP building was constructed at Circular Quay in 1961.

Sydney’s tallest buildings through history

01. St James Spire 1820, 52m
02. Sydney Town Hall 1868 Clock tower 57 m 187 ft
03. JOHN KEEP warehouse, 1883, 30 metres (100 feet) 7 floors
04. Australia Hotel 1889 44m, (Finial 62m) 9 floors
05. Societe Generale House 1896 42 metres 7 floors
06. Culwulla Chambers 1912 50 metres (165 feet) 14 floors
07. T&G Tower 1930 roof-46m, top of spire-71m demolished 1975
08. AWA Building (Wireless House) 1939 112 m 367 ft
09. AMP 1961 106m
10. State Office Block 1965, 128m
11. Australia Square Tower – 170m – 50 floors 1967
12. AMP Centre – 188m – 45 floors 1976
13. MLC Centre – 228m (Antenna 244m) 67 floors 1977
14. Sydney Tower Roof 275m (Antenna 309m) 19 floors 1981

T&G Tower 1930

SYDNEY’S FIRST SKYSCRAPER

17 Apr

Sydney’s skyline changed in 1912 when its tallest building to date, Culwulla Chambers, was built on the corner of King Street and Castlereagh Street to a height of 50 metres (165 feet). Designed by Spain, Cosh and Minnett the building consisted of 14 floors and cost a record £100,000 to build.

Culwulla Chambers was hailed a skyscraper by the press, however in being a masonry construction rather than a metal frame, it was simply a tall building.

The construction of Culwulla Chambers resulted in much controversy. People feared Sydney would develop a ‘New York style’ skyline and the building itself was considered a potential fire hazard, as fire ladders could not reach its maximum height.

The hulking mass over King Street circa 1914.

The same view today. Interestingly, the streetscape is still quite recognizable. The Culwulla Chambers are not so threatening as before.

As a result of this concern a subsequent amendment was made to building regulations prohibiting the erection of buildings taller than 45 metres (150 feet). This regulation remained in force until the AMP building was constructed at Circular Quay in 1961.

Sydney’s tallest buildings through history

01. St James Spire 1820, 52m
02. Sydney Town Hall 1868 Clock tower 57 m 187 ft
03. JOHN KEEP warehouse, 1883, 30 metres (100 feet) 7 floors
04. Australia Hotel 1889 44m, (Finial 62m) 9 floors
05. Societe Generale House 1896 42 metres 7 floors
06. Culwulla Chambers 1912 50 metres (165 feet) 14 floors
07. T&G Tower 1930 roof-46m, top of spire-71m demolished 1975
08. AWA Building (Wireless House) 1939 112 m 367 ft
09. AMP 1961 106m
10. State Office Block 1965, 128m
11. Australia Square Tower – 170m – 50 floors 1967
12. AMP Centre – 188m – 45 floors 1976
13. MLC Centre – 228m (Antenna 244m) 67 floors 1977
14. Sydney Tower Roof 275m (Antenna 309m) 19 floors 1981

Credit- with thanks to Culwulla

T&G Tower 1930

'Artists In Residence’ opens at Central Park

12 Apr

Frasers Property Australia is undertaking an $8 million public art programme at Central Park, the redevelopment of the former Carlton United Brewery site, in Chippendale.

Frasers commissioned highly acclaimed Sydney artists Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford of Turpin + Crawford Studio to develop a holistic public art strategy for Central Park in 2009. The strategy provides a cohesive long-term thematic and planning framework for the commissioning of permanent and temporary public artwork at Central Park.

Turpin + Crawford will work with other public art curators to ensure the highest calibre contemporary art is commissioned for Central Park. Renowned curator Anne Loxley is currently collaborating with Turpin + Crawford on the ‘Artists In Residence’ temporary art project for the historic Irving Street Brewery.

Turpin + Crawford have also been commissioned by Frasers to deliver the major kinetic artwork ‘Halo’, especially designed for Chippendale Green, the major new public park at the heart of the new precinct.

Importantly, Frasers’ commitment to public art and cultural at Central Park includes both temporary activations of the site and permanent installations.

Other art and cultural initiatives from Frasers include the highly regarded and awarded FraserStudios art space managed by Queen Street Studio, a supportive relationship with the UTS School of Architecture and ‘Art at Central Park’ with local gallery NG Gallery.

Upcoming art projects at Central Park include:

• Artists in Residence is an ambitious temporary public art installation that will see four major artworks installed one after the other on the heritage Irving Street Brewery building, within the Central Park construction site. Beginning this April with ‘Local Memory’ by Brook Andrew, the project will ‘grow’ as works by artists Mikala Dwyer, duo Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro and Caroline Rothwell are sequentially and cumulatively installed over the year. Responding to the concept of artists ‘taking up residence’ in the brewery building, these highly regarded Australian artists will transform the building with an arresting and dynamic suite of artworks.

• Turpin + Crawford’s major new artwork, ‘Halo’ will be installed at Central Park later this year. ‘Halo’, a kinetic wind-driven sculpture, will be a dynamic centrepiece for the Central Park precinct. A 12-metre diameter carbon fibre ring ‘floats’ off-centre around a 14-metre high pole. Gently spinning in the wind, the ring tilts and turns in a slow and mesmerizing airborne motion.

• FraserStudios is the creative transformation of three warehouses on Kensington Street, within the Central Park development site, into artists’ studios and rehearsal space.  Managed by Queen Street Studio, a not for profit local arts management company, FraserStudios opened in September 2008 and will remain open until December 2011. Free visual and performing arts residencies are offered, plus subsidised rehearsal space, events and workshops.

• ‘On Exhibition’ is a rolling program of exhibitions within the Central Park Display Pavilion, curated by managed by NG Gallery. Having commenced in October 2010 with former FraserStudios visual arts resident Mai Nguyen-Long, On Exhibition will continue to feature predominantly local artists. Frasers’ acquires a work from each exhibition, slowly building an eclectic collection.

• French artist and botanist Patrick Blanc has created 24 vertical gardens for the façades of One Central Park’s two residential towers. These living artworks will embody the green sensibility underpinning the precinct.
• One of the unique architectural features of Central Park is the dramatic lighting installation to One Central Park’s monumental cantilevered heliostat. Yann Kersale is a renowned lighting artist, based in France, whose previous collaborations with architect Jean Nouvel include Torre Agbar in Barcelona. At night the heliostat’s thousands of LED lights will theatrically and colourfully illuminate the towers, carving a shimmering firework of movement in the sky.

—————

‘Artists In Residence’ opens at Central Park
Frasers Property Australia launches $450,000 temporary public art project

Sydney – 12 April 2011 – Frasers Property Australia will tonight open the $450,000 Artists In Residence project, a major component of the developer’s $8 million public art program at its landmark Central Park mixed-use development project in Sydney’s downtown.

Artists in Residence is a temporary public art project designed to transform the iconic, heritage-listed Irving Street Brewery building and brick chimney – prominently located at the centre of the Central Park development site – with the installation of four large, vibrant and witty artworks that will attract the attention of local residents, students and passers-by commuting to the city via Broadway.

As the first artist to unveil his work, Brook Andrew will tonight ‘switch on’ his piece, ‘Local Memory’, which features 18 individual photographic portraits of locals who have been in some way associated with the brewery throughout its working history from 1908-1998.
Local Memory is situated on the Broadway-facing façade of the Irving Street Brewery, perfectly placed to surprise and captivate passers-by.

Artists In Residence curator Anne Loxley said Mr Andrew’s artwork uses the architectural remnants of two floors of the brewery to arrange the 18 large-scale photographs, which will each be framed in red neon. The artist describes the work as “as a large-scale pulsating, glowing wall of faces”.

“Brook’s work depicts not only the workers but the brewery’s broader community. In researching this work he was interested not just in the workers, but also local residents, people who visited and drank at the pubs, kids who played in the area and even people who may have delivered or made other calls for various reasons at the brewery,” Ms Loxley said.

Four artworks will be installed on the Irving Street Brewery Building from April until early 2012 and will remain in place for up to three years. The works will be installed every three months, so that gradually, a playful ‘conversation’ will develop between the four works.

Ms Loxley said that as a whole, the four Artists In Residence artworks will not just intrigue and delight passers-by, they will allow pause to consider in myriad and open-ended ways, the history, nature and future of Central Park.

Artists In Residence was conceived and developed by art consultants and acclaimed public artists Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford, whose intention was to gradually transform the much-loved building with a group of bold and imaginative ‘residents’ who take occupancy with their arresting and mostly sculptural interventions. 

Ms Crawford said each artist had been given free rein to create an artwork that will not only contribute to the creative character of the Chippendale community, but would also be inspired by “the history, fluids, processes and intoxications of the site’s brewing past.”

In June 2011, ‘Local Memory’ will be complemented by Mikala Dwyer’s work which will crown the iconic 52 metre tall chimney. Later in 2011, the collaborative duo Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro will install a major sculpture. The final installation by Caroline Rothwell will be revealed in early 2012. 

Artists In Residence showcases the work of four of Australia’s most highly regarded contemporary artists selected from a competition involving seven artists. Brook Andrew’s work has been featured in numerous prestigious exhibitions both in Australia and internationally; in 2009 Mikala Dwyer was the recipient of an Australia Council fellowship; the collaborative duo Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale; and Caroline Rothwell recently exhibited a major installation at the Contemporary Art Society, London.

Frasers Property Australia’s CEO Guy Pahor said the $450,000 public art project will engage and enthrall the local and broader public, who will be able to literally watch the transformation of the brewery from street level.

“Artists In Residence forms part of Frasers’ $8 million public art programme which includes temporary work designed to enliven the site during construction, as well as permanent works embedded within the parks, streetscapes and buildings of Central Park,” Mr Pahor said.

“Chippendale has a well-established creative community and a colourful, eclectic character. We’d like to see that creative character extend into Central Park, and our public art programme is a major commitment to this end,” added Mr Pahor.

The Central Park Display Pavilion is now open daily from 10am to 6pm, at 80 Broadway, Chippendale. Telephone 1300 857 057 for details or visit www.centralparksydney.com.

– End –

Media enquiries:
Libby Conway at The Capital Group 02 9252 3900 or 0439 076 835 lconway@capital.com.au
Lisa McCutchion at Frasers Property, tel (02) 8823 8800 or 0407 222 206, lisa.mccutchion@frasersproperty.com.au

 
About Frasers Property Australia
Frasers Property Australia (Frasers Property Management Australia Pty Ltd) is the Australasian division of Frasers Property, the international property arm of Frasers Centrepoint Limited. Frasers Property Australia is currently planning or developing residential, commercial and retail properties, including ‘Central Park’ on Broadway, ‘Lumiere Residences’, ‘Lorne Killara’ and ‘Trio’ in Sydney and residential subdivisions in Western Australia and New Zealand.

In 2009 Frasers Property Australia won the NSW Urban Development Institute of Australia Award for Concept Design for its $2billion future Central Park development, and the Property Council of Australia’s National Award for mixed-use development for Regent Place. 

Frasers Centrepoint Limited, a leading property company based in Singapore, is an integrated real estate company with a global portfolio of residential, commercial and serviced apartment properties spanning 16 countries across Asia, Australasia and the United Kingdom.

Durbach Block- Architects carve their own space

8 Apr

Robert Bevan, The Australian March 18, 2011

Above- the Roslyn Street Kings Cross bar and restaurant by Durbach Block (2008). This is a wee gem of a building. The Spanish restauranteur ran out when he saw me taking photos and enthusiastically espoused the “Spanish Gaudiesque” qualities of the building.


BY making solids, you make voids, says architect Camilla Block. When an object is built, a space is also shaped around it.
The geometric principle is simple, but some designers – in awe of creating the spectacular facade or beautiful details – put space-making too far down their list of priorities.

Not so Durbach Block Jaggers. The Sydney-based architecture practice has made its name (until recently as Durbach Block) by making the space in and around its buildings crucial to its modernism. In so doing, the firm is part of a heavy-duty alternative to the mainstream of Australian architecture. “We make the garden central to what we do,” Block says.

Sydney-based architects Neil Durbach and Camilla Block on the rooftop space they created in the city’s Kings Cross. Picture: Sam Mooy Source: The Australian

There’s a garden at the heart of the 2009 Sussan Group Headquarters in Melbourne that the practice built for Naomi Milgrom, and a roof garden with grassy knoll and frangipanis crowns its bump-and-grind Barcelona building in Sydney’s Kings Cross. The curvy white-tiled homage to Spanish expressionist Antoni Gaudi is also home to the eight-strong DBJ studio.

National award for commercial architecture … Sussan and Sportgirl’s headquarters, Cremorne, VIC, designed by Durbach Block Architects. Photo: Patrick Bingham Hall.

Commonwealth Place in Canberra, on axis with Parliament House.

Garden House in Sydney. Corbusian villa.

The slate includes domestic, commercial and public projects. At the large scale, the architects’ award-winning Commonwealth Place created an undulating part-building, part-landscape for the ceremonial parliamentary axis of Canberra. At the small scale is a residence such as Garden House in Sydney, in the running for this year’s Australian Institute of Architects Awards.

A sculpted L-shaped block, Garden House has a conventional floor plan but its verticals (its section) are scooped away or bowed in places to create complex forms where the garden invades the house and vice versa. There is a wonderful external staircase sheltered by a narrow niche that is polished to a high sheen.

“The garden is present above you, below you, beyond you, beside you,” Block says. Her business partner Neil Durbach describes the building, with its miniature edifices and squares, as “a small city with lots of distinct moments”.

Glenn Murcutt’s influential call that Australian building should follow Aboriginal advice and “touch the earth lightly” has become the generator of a national architecture: a language of timber, screens and floating platforms that, internationally, is seen as the country’s most successful contribution to quality design.

Durbach and Block’s work, however, is almost the antithesis to this celebrated national school and is instead characterised by a desire to create permanent and definite markers of human presence on a vast landscape.

“It is not about tiptoeing on the earth,” Block says. “It is about being embedded in it and loving it.”

Durbach says he is more interested in mass than weightlessness, and describes the ephemeral nature of much Australian architecture as romantic at best. “At its worse, it is incredibly exclusive. I feel like I will never really be Australian enough to get it. Overseas it is always picked up; it is seen as exotic and I suppose it is.”

Durbach came to Australia in 1983 after he had escaped conscription in South Africa and studied in the US.

“I read this huge article in Rolling Stone magazine about Australian film – the last of the Mad Max films, Breaker Morant, you know – and I thought that [creative opportunity] was very possible for architecture, too,” he says.

“I’m not a real Australian either,” says Block. Born in South Africa, she moved here aged 12.

Durbach’s first success was with architect Harry Levine, winning the job to create a new wing at Tusculum, the NSW home of the AIA. He taught Block in the final year of her studies at the University of Sydney and a decade ago they together formed Durbach Block and went on to build a series of houses: most famously the Spry House and the Holman House that won them international acclaim. The houses may inhabit clifftop eyries but there is nothing flighty about these concrete dwellings.

Spry House (image- Durbach Block)

Holman House (image- Durbach Block)

Unlike many architectural duos, Durbach and Block don’t work as a yin-yang pairing (typically one being the business force and the other the design ace) but instead share similar obsessions.

Both admire what Durbach calls “that incredible plastic quality of modernism” present in the work of architects such as Alvar Aalto, or in the post-war work of Le Corbusier and Eero Saarinen that moved away from rigid functionalism to something softer and more humane.

The Garden House is made of heavy recycled brick, used with the rough face outwards, then whitewashed. It is reminiscent of the summer house Aalto built for himself in a Finnish forest. Corbusian elements regularly find their way into Durbach and Block’s work, in the way a rap artist may sample a class hook.

It’s fitting, then, that DBJ is designing an important exhibition on Le Corbusier next year at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. As well as more than 100 original items from the Corbusier Foundation in Paris, the show will include full-scale mock-ups of an apartment from the 1940s Unite D’habitation development in Marseilles and of the arch-modernist’s cabin retreat which, Durbach and Block observe, may be an antidote to Australia’s obsession with bigness when it comes to housing. Australians build the world’s biggest, most greedy homes. “It is tiny, 4m x 4m, and he called it his palace,” says Durbach of Le Corbusier’s modest cabin. “It shows how people can live beautifully and purposefully.”

Block says that while contemporary Australian houses may have five bedrooms, a media room and an ensuite for everyone, they have lost the luxury of spaciousness: they have only the merest smear of greenery around them. Durbach and Block’s experimental scheme for an alternative, the Infinity House, won them a brick industry award last year. The 250sqm figure-of-eight glass and brick home can house up to two families, separated by the narrow waist of the “eight” (actually the infinity symbol), and is wrapped in gardens to the point that there is almost no useful separation between garden and house.

Infinity House (image- Durbach Block)

It is obvious that Durbach and Block (now joined by long-term employee David Jaggers) wildly enjoy what they do. But has their initial perception of endless possibilities for architecture in Australia been borne out?

Yes, says Durbach: “It is still true, but there are deeper problems. Australia has become so anxious,” he says, citing his suburb of Bondi Beach as an example, with its endless regulations and prohibitions: no drinking, no smoking, no dogs on the beach.

Australia has become, he says, one of the most highly governed Western countries. He quotes research that suggests Australians, more than nearly all other nations, welcome government involving itself in their daily lives.

At the beach, DBJ has found its way through the regulatory tangle with a scheme for the new North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, an inhabited sculpture with a roof garden crowning its three stories.

The ground floor will be for storage, changing rooms and nippers, the middle floor the observation deck and radio room, and the top floor the bar. Its front is cut away, as if a shark has taken a bite, to visually connect its “beautiful courtyard” with the ocean.

It is an ambitious building for the urban seaside, an environment that, strangely, Australian architects have been consistently poor at responding to.

The approvals have been given and 75 per cent of the money has been raised, so work should start soon. The aim, says Durbach, is a “genuinely public building” that users can wind their way in and out of, exploiting its different levels of entry. With a commission for a surf club that touches the earth weightily, Durbach and Block are in danger of losing their outsider status.

Source- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/architects-carve-their-own-space/story-e6frg8n6-1226023439563

The Renaissance wonders of Sydney

2 Apr

Sydney is actually home to a large amount of Renaissance-inspired architecture.

01- Image- Palazzo Strozzi, Florence.
Real Renaissance palazzo in Florence- the source of so much Western architecture.
Link- http://www.italian-architecture.info/FL/FL-005.htm

From approximately 1910 to 1940, the dominant style for Sydney commercial architecture was that of the commercial pallazo.

02- Image- Union Club (1883- 87, demolished).
Based on Barry’s great Reform Club in London, Renaissance language used here to denote dependability and connection with high culture.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/GON/GON14.htm

This was partly due to the conservative nature of Australian architecture, and partly due to the height limit set (150 ft until 1961) after the scandalously gigantic Culwulla Chambers.


03- Image- Culwulla Chambers, Warehouse style.
The more radical but domestic style of Federation Freestyle. Decidedly unsophisticated.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-014.htm

Above- the hulking mass of Culwulla Chambers shocked Sydneysiders. Anything this high was banned until 1961.

Up until 1910, high buildings in Sydney has been based on either Victorian of Federation/Queen Anne/Warehouse style. This style was, however, somewhat pedestrian for the great commercial buildings that were growing like mushrooms during the 1920s. A more impressive style was needed.

04- Image- University Club (1896- 1900), New York, by McKim, Mend & White.
Also based on the Reform.
Link- http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID048.htm

05- Image- The Goelet Building (1886-87), New York, by McKim, Mead & White.
The proportions of the palazzo suddenly spring to life on a city scale.
Link- http://www.nyc-architecture.com/CHE/CHE027-GoeletBuilding.htm

06- Image- The Flatiron Building (1903), by D H Burnham & Co.
A massive Renaissance palazzo complete with well defined base, shaft and capitol.
Link- http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GRP/GRP024.htm

In New York, McKim, Mead and White had successfully based a high-rise on a Renaissance pallazo. This was a logical thing to do, as small-scale mansions and banks had been doing this consistently through the nineteenth century. The beauty about the commercial Renaissance pallazo style was that, as the building had a well developed base and capitol, the “shaft” could be as long as required without upsetting the proportions of the building.
As this style best suited medium sized buildings without setbacks, it endured far longer in Sydney than elsewhere.

07- Image- Former Daily Telegraph Building (1912-16), King & Castlereagh Streets, Sydney, by Robertson & Marks. 155 KING STREET SYDNEY, The Trust Building.
This building, as with the Herald building below, is a superb civic jesture. As a piece of architecture it exclaims confidence in Sydney and its place in the world.
Interestingly, the Daily Telegraph was designed to house all of the newspaper’s functions, with the printing presses located in the basement and sub-basement. The greater part of the ground floor was given over to large, high, public space – the Advertising Hall – with offices on two levels grouped around it. Above it there was a complicated arrangement of low storeys, double-height storeys and mezzanines accommodating paper storage, stereo room and composing room. On the fourth floor, high-ceilinged spaces were provided for the board room, library and editorial staff, with five storeys of conventional office space above. While hardly satisfying Sullivan’s dictum about form following function, the Daily Telegraph’s facades loosely acknowledged the existence of the differing activities going on behind them, especially the bi-partite treatment of the building’s base.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-049.htm

08- Image- The former Sydney Morning Herald Building.  Quite superb.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-056.htm

09- Image- Commonwealth Bank (1913-14), Martin Place & Pitt St. Sydney, by John Fitzpatrick.
The very model of civilised dependability. The “money-box building”.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd5-04.htm

10- Image- Former Manchester Unity Oddfellows’ Building (1921-23), Elizabeth Street, by John P Tate & Young. Sydney.
Interesting building this. The Oddfellows were a quasi- secret society, whose good deeds included life insurance policies for the poor.
Interesting use of eastern temple language, especially as it is next to the Great Synagogue.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-052.htm

11- Image- Former Farmer’s Store (c 1930). George & Market Streets, by Robertson & Marks. Sydney.
Shows how department stores were viewed as important prestigious social institutions (as they were, with the mail order component tying the country together).
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-055.htm

12- Image- Gowings Bros (1912, 1929) 318 George & Market Streets, by Robertson & Marks and C H McKellar. Sydney.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-040.htm

13- Image- Former Shell House (1938), Carrington & Margaret Streets, by Spain & Cosh. Sydney.
This terracotta-clad Renaissance palazzo is very late, about the last example in Sydney. It has a strong Art-Deco influence, but is still strongly bound to the Renaissance massing conventions.
The Rural Bank of Martin Place (demolished) of 1939 was strongly Art Deco. Perhaps Shell saw this as too radical.
Link- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-048.htm

More info- http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/GALL/GALL-PALAZZO.htm