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August Construction update

1 Aug

There are half a dozen fantastic projects going up within half a mile of Central Station.

Here are some recent update pictures (changing rapidly…)

01. Central Park

That heliport still amazes me every time I walk past it. And the greenery growing on the walls. Talk about smoke and mirrors. However, it does work to set this development apart from the other boring stuff. And the site is superb too.

More images-

01A 01B 01C

02. 163 Castlereagh Street (ANZ Tower).

Up in mid-town, the new ANZ tower by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) has turned out wonderfully. The good detailing and sense of design that FJMT usually display on their libraries (etc) is here employed to make some urbanely relaxed inner city spaces.

More images-


02A 02B 02C

03.  Construction of the new 14-storey faculty UTS ITE Building dramatically sheathed in angular aluminium on the corner of Broadway and Jones Street. A somewhat disturbingly modern (decon) facade (modern Brutalism..) facing the main entry to the city. This may turn out badly.

More images-

03A 03B 03C

04.  The UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

Just down the road from the ITE Building is the new superstar-Gehry-designed Chau Chak Wing. The facade has not started to go on but it promises to be a good one. It is also sited on an old elevated disused railway corridor that promises to become a very interesting and dynamic part of Sydney.

More images-



05. 180 Thomas Street, Haymarket. Bates Smart

Won through a City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition.
Very nice little office building, opposite the Gehry UTS building (on the old railway building. A conversion of a 10 year old plinth.




Above- a BS rendering of the completed project.


Broadway's role in city life on the rise

5 Dec

Kelsey Munro, Jen Rosenberg SMH December 3, 2011

The price of good design

IN A few years, an unloved and unlovely part of the city will have been transformed into ”a gallery of eminent architects”, with new buildings by three Pritzker Prize winners, a 6400-square-metre park and a power station.

Investments totalling $1.5 billion from the University of Technology, Sydney, along with the joint venture developing the former Carlton&United Breweries site near Central Station, are set to reshape the southern end of the city centre.

On Broadway’s south side, a 33-storey residential tower shrouded in elaborate vertical gardens is rising around a new landscaped park, remnant brewery buildings and a planned tri-generation power station to supply the new complex.

Terraced gardens at One Central Park. Artist’s impression.

A cantilevered heliostat at the top of the building will direct light into the complex and become a digital artwork at night.

One Central Park

One Central Park, Sydney. Artist’s impression.

”There’s no doubt it’s going to be a stunning transformation over the next five years,” Guy Pahor, of Frasers Property, said.

Frasers is developing the One Central Park site in a joint venture with Sekisui House. ”Broadway’s going to be transformed, not just by the nature and volume of the construction, but the quality – call it a gallery of eminent architects,” he said.

With Gehry, there are Jean Nouvel, Richard Johnson, Norman Foster and vertical-garden pioneer Patrick Blanc in the internationals.

Atelier Jean Nouvel, residential towers with the heliostat illuminated at night time. Central Park. Artist’s impression.

Australian firms include Tzannes Associates, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, Denton Corker Marshall and Durbach Block Jaggers.

Gehry, Nouvel and Foster have won the Pritzker, architecture’s highest honour.

When the first stage of One Central Park is finished in late 2013, there will be about 1900 new apartments for 2500 residents and space for 5400 workers in offices and a four-storey mall.

Richard Johnson buildings, Cental Park. Artist’s impression.

The developer has worked to sway objectors angry at the height of the towers, holding several community forums, investing in a public art program and allowing local artists to work rent-free in heritage warehouses on the site.

Atelier Jean Nouvel, residential towers, Central Park. Artist’s impression.


For UTS, the development was as much about creating an education hub for the whole area as it was expanding its footprint, the vice-chancellor, Ross Milbourne, said.

”The exciting thing about this project is that it takes an area that has been quite rundown – it’s always been the poor cousin to the rest of Sydney – and it’s really reinventing itself to be a cultural and educational precinct.”

Across the road, the base of the 27-storey brutalist concrete UTS tower will be wrapped in an undulating glass facade, and construction starts in March on a new 14-storey faculty building dramatically sheathed in angular aluminium on the corner of Broadway and Jones Street.

Off Harris Street, the university is also building Australia’s first Frank Gehry building, with its distinctive crumpled facade and treehouse-like skeleton, which caused much controversy when plans were unveiled late last year.

UTS’s Dr Chau Chak Wing building, designed by Frank Gehry, his first Australian project. The 16,030-square-meter (172,545-square-foot) business school building at the University of Technology, Sydney, will have a “treehouse” design, incorporating a core yellow brick and crinkly glass structure, with “branches” spreading away from it, Gehry says.

Significantly, the site engages with the adjacent abandoned railway line and bridge and will feed into the pedestrian zone further up.


Professor Milbourne said the university had planned its growth to benefit students and the neighbourhood. ”We have a plan for student growth on our campus but part of it is to make it a better student experience, so more space for students … increasing student housing around this area and making it a safer environment,” he said.

The Broadway redesign links two other big redevelopments – Darling Harbour and Barangaroo – but has managed much of the latter’s controversy.

Professor Milbourne and the UTS deputy vice-chancellor (resources), Patrick Woods, attribute that to strong collaboration with the neighbours. These include the ABC, the Powerhouse Museum and TAFE.

Atelier Jean Nouvel, residential towers, Central Park. Artist’s impression.

David Riordan, director of TAFE NSW-Sydney Institute, said the relationship between the two institutions was very positive.

”This is going to be the hub of education in Australia and we believe that we’re here to meet those needs and that we’ll be a key player,” Mr Riordan said.

Copyright SMH

Mirvac Harold Park revealed

12 Oct

Mirvac has finally lodged the DA plans at Sydney Council for their multi-residential redevelopment of the former Harold Park Paceway site at Forest Lodge.

The above rendering shows the Harold Park site with the thus far designed Precinct One (Mirvac Design) and Precinct Two (SJB Architects). Site masterplanning by Hassell and site landscape design by Aspect Studio.


The Site

First, let’s look at the site.

The site is divided into six precincts (to be built in phases). Each of these is effectively a single building, with a shared excavated carpark and two to four towers, and with a deep soil zone in the middle (DA requirement). Precinct Six is to be sold to another developer for student/essential service housing (DA condition). Precinct 4A to the north of the site has not been fully resolved- its traffic will be directed on to Maxwell Street and local residents are concerned.

There is also a park site (5.8 hectares (14 acres)) against the cliff. This, along with the roads, is to be ceded back to the City. It also forms the overland flow path for floods (very important on this site).

There is also the old Rozelle Tram Depot. This is to be developed as 7000sm of retail. Unfortunately, the parking for this has been placed in front of the depot (it would have been too expensive to put it under the Depot as council has asked for in the master plan).

Above- plan (Aspect) for one of the “pocket parks”. This links the existing Crescent roadway with one of the new site roadways. It allows for a significant (about 4m) level change.

Above- Hassell masterplan massing model. Note the six story buildings on the Crescent, stepping back to 8 story within the site. Sydney Council was strict about imposing building setbacks (delaying the DAs).

Above- an example of an existing recent Mirvac development at Rhodes.

Above- the site, 1948.

Above- the site, today. Quite a few more trees.

Precincts One and Two

Now, the good stuff.

Precinct One

Above- Site plan for Precinct One (Mirvac Design). There are “terrace houses” at street level, with traditional flats above (typical accross site). Four towers around a deep soil courtyard zone in the middle.

Above- P1 facade elevations.

Above- Computer rendering of Precinct One showing the pop-out windows.

Above- note that the top two levels step further in. This is part of the DCP and was insisted on by council.

Above- P1 shown in context on the site model.

Precinct Two

Above- Detail of the pocket park between the two P2 buildings as designed by Aspect. This is intended to blend seemlessly into the surrounding landscape and optimistically shows tall trees planted in very shallow beds.

Above- The P2 plans and elevations by SJB Architects.

Above- A section through one of the P2 buildings showing its relationship to the adjacent “heritage” cliff and existing house. The concept was that the top datum of the new buildings was not to rise above the roofline of the existing Victorian homes.

The Tram Depot

Above- the Tram Depot on the site will be converted to 7000m2 retail (possibly sold on to a separate developer).  It has sat empty and derlict since the 1980s. Trams ceased operating out of there in the 1950s.

Above- the entry area today.

Above- as it was in the 1950s.

Above- the interior today. There are a number of badly vandalised trams in there, some of which will be retained and restored.

Above- the proposed exterior (image- Loop Creative).

Above- the proposed interior (image- Loop Creative). Possibly to be used as a large green grocers store and/or gym.


This development will have a huge impact on the area. However, as Sydney marches towards 5 million people it is better to concentrate populations near the city.

If it can be done as sensitively as the old Children’s Hospital site up the road (on Pyrmont Bridge Road) then it will be a winner. We will wait and see.

Update on Haymarket Metro Plaza

10 Aug

This cleverly resolved residential development in the Haymarket Special Area designed by WMK Watermark achieved City of Sydney DA approval in less than a year.

WMK Watermark won the City of Sydney sanctioned Design Competition for this undeveloped site run by the Developer, Metroland.


Located in the heart of Haymarket, the $80M Metro Plaza mixed use development captures the area’s social and architectural diversity. Through design excellence this innovative design was awarded 10% bonus floor area and 10% bonus height by the City of Sydney.


WMK Watermark’s design incorporates varied architectural elements, with each of the two 14 storey towers expressing their own personality, while ingenious planning maximises sun access and views. The treatment of the remnant heritage wall enhances the urban scale of the Ultimo Rd/Quay St corner and the podium design incorporates a diagonal pedestrian link.


Quick facts:

•218 apartments

•9,000sqm of retail

•Tri-generation electricity

•33% greater sun access than SEPP65

•30% greater natural ventilation than SEPP65

•Telescoping of plant and car park ventilation

•5 Star Nabers and Greenstar Residential and Retail design

•Meets City of Sydney 2030 energy targets

‘Undeniable Beauty’ of "House in Country NSW" wins 2011 Australian House of the Year.

19 Jul

01A The exterior of the house of the year winner by Virginia Kerridge.

01B The interior of the house of the year winner by Virginia Kerridge.

Architect Virginia Kerridge’s ‘House in Country New South Wales’ has been named the Australian House of the Year during the gala presentation of the2011 Houses Awards on Friday 15 July at Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom. Presented by Houses magazine, the Houses Awards are one of the country’s most sought-after architectural accolades.

‘House in Country New South Wales’ was chosen as the year’s outstanding project by a jury ofeminent architects and designers who are themselves recognised for creating inspirational Australian homes, including Brian Zulaikha (Tonkin Zulaikha Greer), Camilla Block (Durbach Block Jaggers), Paul Owen (Owen and Vokes) and Kerry Phelan (Kerry Phelan Design Office).

Judges said that the ‘House in Country New South Wales’ demonstrates a complete commitment from an architect and client to creating a distinctively Australian residential architecture. A contemporary architectural interpretation of the Australian colonial idyll, Kerridge has intuitively embraced the legacy of history, creating an elegant yet beguiling utilitarian house that truly captures the spirit of the place.

“Its beauty is undeniable,” the jury’s comments enthused. “Set against the towering mountain ranges that define the valley site, the architectural expression of this sprawling farmhouse is simultaneously fragile and monumental.” Jury members particularly noted the project’s roof form.

“Scaled to the landscape and designed to heighten our experience of its mass and drama, this folded-plane skillion floats across, gathers together and nestles up, creating rooms, connections and spaces with engagingly ambiguous levels of enclosure and function,” read the comments. “The relaxed atmosphere of the country verandah is referenced through planning, materiality and effortless occupation.

”Each year the Houses Awards provides a unique insight into contemporary residential design and the contribution Australia’s architects and designers make to enhancing the way we live today. As winner of the Australian House of the Year Award, Virginia Kerridge receives a $5,000cash prize and industry recognition through a range of media. Winners of individual categories each receive a prize of $1,000 and all Awarded and Highly Commended projects will be presented with a certificate and use of the Houses Awards logo for promotional purposes.

“The Houses Awards program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate Australian residential architecture,” says Cameron Bruhn, Houses magazine’s Editorial Director. “The peer-judged awards recognize achievement through categories that reflect the way architects and designers are shaping Australian homes.

”Houses magazine is Australia’s leading residential architecture magazine for designers and their clients. It is endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Design Institute of Australia.

Image copyright, source-

Category winners:

WINNER: Anthony Gill Architects, Potts Point Apartment, NSW
High Commendation: Jason Gibney, Bronte Apartment, NSW

02 The Potts Point Apartment displays a cheerful atmosphere in an urban setting. The redesigning of the small apartment included the need for transforming a 38 square meter crib into a space filled with light and joy.

JOINT WINNER: Virginia Kerridge Architect, House in Country NSW, NSW
JOINT WINNER: James Jones/HBV Architects, Trial Bay House, TAS
High Commendation: Anthony Gill Architects, Paddington House, NSW
High Commendation: Preston Lane Architects, Mount Pleasant House, TAS
High Commendation: Kennedy Nolan Architects, Stockbroker Tudor House, VIC

04 James Jones/HBV Architects, Trial Bay House, TAS

WINNER: Richard Peters Associates, The Shed, NSW
High Commendation: Sam Crawford Architects, Garrett House, NSW
High Commendation: Ian Moore Architects, Strelein Warehouse, NSW
High Commendation: David Boyle Architect, Burridge Read Residence, NSW
High Commendation: Allen Jack+Cottier and Terragram, Glass Loggia House, NSW
High Commendation: Steendyk, Treehouse, QLD

03 Richard Peters Associates, The Shed, NSW

WINNER: Donovan Hill, Z House, QLD
High Commendation: Wolveridge Architects, Hill Plains House, VIC
High Commendation: Fergus Scott Architects, Southern House, NSW
High Commendation: Fiona Winzar Architects, Orange Grove House, VIC
High Commendation: Sally Draper Architects, Westernport House, VIC
High Commendation: Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects, Florida Beach House, WA
High Commendation: CODA, Norfolk Farm, WA

05 Donovan Hill, Z House, QLD

WINNER: Tribe Studio, House Shmukler, NSW
High Commendation: Domenic Alvaro, Small House Surry Hills, NSW
High Commendation: Insite, Base Camp, VIC

06 Tribe Studio, House Shmukler, NSW

WINNER: Terragram and Allen Jack+Cottier, Garden of Ghosts, NSW
High Commendation: Eckersley Garden Architecture, Mulberry Cottage, VIC
High Commendation: Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Jane’s House and Garden, SA
High Commendation: Domenic Alvaro and 360 Degrees, Small House Surry Hills, NSW

07 Terragram and Allen Jack+Cottier, Garden of Ghosts, NSW

WINNER: Tribe Studio, House Shmukler, NSW
High Commendation: Andrew Maynard Architects, Ilma Grove House, VIC

08 Domenic Alvaro’s futuristic design (Small House Surry Hills, NSW) was highly commended in the Houses Awards.

09 Elsewhere- This year’s Wilkinson award for residential buildings went to Marsh Cashman Koolloos Architects’s designed house at Darling Point.

Recent inner-city developments- CBD Low/Mid Rise (under 10 levels)

8 Jul

01- Cheese Grater (Architects- Allen Jack+Cottier)

Spunky new educational bldg DA as part of UTS (1 -3macarthur st)
cnr Macarthur st/bay sts
International Grammar School

02 15-35 chippendale student accommodation (architects- Silvester Fuller)

Here’s a render – looks better as a model. The architects (Silvester Fuller) are based in Australia, but I guess that doesn’t mean they’re not American. The owners of the building are American, however – it’s student accommodation for Boston University.
Original design from rising star TONY OWEN. Not half as good as what was finally built.

03- Belmore Park substation
The more I think about this one the more of a wasted opportunity this really is.
The 1918 Sydney hotel which was pulled down for current carpark.

04- New HQ for Google in Pyrmont- Workplace6. 6-Star Green Star-designed. (architects- Nettleton Tribe).

05- SUSSEX HAY CENTRE – 405-411 SUSSEX STREET, HAYMARKET (architects- Crone Partners Architecture Studios)

Demolition of the existing 5-6 storey buildings and construction of an 8 storey building with 2 levels of basement parking for 23 cars and lower ground supermarket, retail and restaurant at ground and first floors and 6 levels of commercial offices above.
It’s called the Sussex Hay Centre. You aren’t going to be happy with what they replaced, and what with (well I know I’m not, over 100 year old heritage lost!).

Here’s a Flickr website dedicated to what has been lost –

Here’s what the old 2 buildings looked like –

06- Dominion. 299 Forbes st, Darlinghurst. (architects- Group GSA)
At it’s highest point (about 30m down Burton Street), it’s about 29m from street level to the top of the lift overrun. At the corner of Forbes and Burton Streets it’s about 23m (7 storeys); at the corner of Burton and Bourke Streets it’s 24m (7 storeys).

A new Dominion to rise in Darlinghurst
8 July 2010

St Hilliers and Cbus Property have launched Dominion, a 110 luxury apartment development in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

The development is located on the site of the former Caritas healthcare facility, which St Hilliers acquired from St Vincent’s Hospital in 2008 with concept plan approval for a medium density residential and commercial development.

The triangular site is bounded by the famous Darlinghurst Gaol, now the National Art School, the NSW Supreme Court and the former heritage Darlinghurst Police Station.

The building was designed by Group GSA, with interiors by SJB Architects.

Architecturally, the approach has been to create three new buildings unified on a contiguous sandstone base, which wraps around the site and is in keeping with the historic surrounds. The base houses around 1,000 sqm of retail and commercial areas.

The Bourke, Burton and Forbes residences are low-rise buildings which feature an architectural profile of steel, glass and louvres and floating roofs. Four apartments housed within two adapted heritage buildings retained on the site blend heritage features and contemporary style.

Utilising the large frontages and stepped unit façade layout, over 90 per cent of the units are cross-ventilated.

The development as a whole aims to achieves a 5 star NatHERS environmental rating.

Construction of the development is expected to commence in December 2010 and will take 18 months to complete.

07- ‘Eden’ 19-31 Goold Street, Chippendale: (Architect: Tony Owen)

On a sadder note, a new DA is in for 19-31 Goold Street, Chippendale, and those terrific swooping and swaying lines of the rear of the building have been ‘rationalised’ into something much straighter and more conventional and much less interesting. What grey cardigan’s bloody idea was that?! 8 storeys 26 apt.

08- EastExchange. The extension to the old East telephone exchange at 320 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst.
Developed by Maygood Australia.
A 1923 stripped classical style public works building designed by E.H. Henderson.

09- Luxe Apartments in Woolloomooloo. The site – currently a hole – sits between Sir John Young Crescent and Crown Street.
A large hole in the ground on the site of the former Sydney Eye Hospital in Woolloomooloo is set to become twin seven-storey apartment blocks (has been gathering puddles and graffiti since the late 1990s).
Developer- Investment group FKP. The new $95 million blocks will be called Luxe and contain 77 apartments with an average price of $1 million.
The buildings were designed by architects Marchese Partners International and modified by Krikis Tayler Architects.

10- DA in for Student Housing, 1 Regent Street, Chippendale.
DA submitted 2007.

11- Glass box atop Louis Vuitton’s new flagship store, on the corner of King and George. (architects- Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp).
Formerly The Blacket Hotel. Developer- Kingvest Pty Ltd.

Circular Quay soon to put on a new face

22 Jun

Carolyn Cummins SMH, May 16, 2011

The city-wall as seen from the Cahill Expressway. This is a cool spot and an urban vista rarely appreciated.

THE state government has approved the redevelopment of Goldfields House, one of the oldest office blocks on Circular Quay.

02- Goldfields House 1966 Peddle Thorp and Walker

The wonderfully ’60s forecourt to Goldfield’s House- presumably doomed…

Also on Circular Quay, AMP Capital Investors recently appointed Mirvac to redevelop the office tower formerly occupied by Coca-Cola Amatil. The 15-storey building was completed in 1966 for Coca-Cola, but the drink manufacturer has moved to Investa Property’s Ark building at 40 Mount Street, North Sydney.

03- Coca-Cola Amatil Building 1966- seen here nestled between Mirvac’s Quay Grand and the Cahill Expressway. The limestone panels on the Coke building were recently renovated.

Mirvac owns the Quay Grand Hotel at Circular Quay.

Valad, which is the subject of a takeover offer by the US property group Blackstone, said in its March quarter update on Thursday that the Sydney Local Environment Plan 2005 (Amendment No. 2), which was previously approved by the Sydney City Council, has been gazetted by the government.

04- Quay Grand Hotel at Circular Quay

”This enables Valad to pursue development approval for the redevelopment of Goldfields House,” Valad’s acting chief executive, Clem Salwin, said last week.

Valad originally lodged plans to include a 191-metre tall apartment block and adjoining retail and office complex. The nearby Australia Square is 170 metres.

But after wrangling with City of Sydney Council, the development approval was halted.

Despite the takeover attempt by Blackstone, internal management changes and large debt levels, Valad has been targeting Asian investors over the past year in its marketing of the apartments, which will have harbour views.

Property agents say the value of apartments in and around Circular Quay is upwards of $34,000 a square metre. Apartments overlooking the Opera House have sold for as much as $10 million.

Goldfields House is one of the oldest buildings on the Quay.


Penthouse crowd taking over office space

Carolyn Cummins and Jonathan Chancellor SMH April 18, 2008

THE cream of Sydney’s office towers are under threat from developers wanting to turn harbourside skyscrapers into luxury residential abodes.

The latest, Goldfields House at Circular Quay, is set to be replaced by a $1 billion, 33-storey apartment tower. Construction on the historic harbour gateway site is scheduled for 2011 at the earliest.

Its joint developer Valad, which purchased the 30-storey office tower in 2006 for $274 million, has interim approval from the Central Sydney Planning Committee. The company now intends to hold an international architectural competition.

Several buildings, including the Scullers Arms hotel, were demolished to make way for Goldfields House, which was designed by Peddle Thorp and Walker and completed in 1966.

The proposal has provisional approval from the NSW Heritage Council, given the works are within metres of the Tank Stream.

Its views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge should ensure high prices for its proposed 124 apartments – the smallest of which, at 135 square metres, would cost at least $4 million based on current prices.

Recent sales of harbourside units have averaged $3 million, but Sydney’s record apartment price stands at $16.8 million for the 260-square-metre penthouse in the nearby Bennelong building that was sold this year. The block was built after several Macquarie Street office blocks were demolished, including the 1958 Unilever House, the building closest to the Opera House.

05- Unilever House (1958) seen here in the late sixties. Bird’s-eye view of wharves and office buildings with the Sydney Opera House and Government House in the background, Jack Hickson, 1968.

The conversion of Circular Quay could gather pace when Coca-Cola Amatil quits its longstanding headquarters in 2010 and heads to North Sydney.

The Quay apartment block on Phillip Street was the first harbourfront residential venture following the slump in the city office market in the early 1980s.

06- Quay apartment block, Phillip Street 1982

But its developer, Trustees Executors, went into liquidation during the 1983 credit squeeze and John Lewis’s Concrete Constructions took over the project.

There are now 95 residential blocks throughout the city, up from 28 in 1994. The Astor on Macquarie Street was Sydney’s most prestigious high-rise block when it was completed in 1923.

07- Astor, Macquarie Street 1923



Manly Ferry and Unilever Building, David Moore, 1958.


Mirvac upbeat as sales hit target
Carolyn Cummins SMH, May 18, 2011

Sales success … 94 per cent of the apartments in the ERA Chatswood development have already been sold.

MIRVAC is confident it can weather any housing downturn after sales at the new Chatswood ERA development broke all records for a weekend campaign.

Although the group warns the residential sector will be hit by any rise in interest rates, it has reaffirmed its 2010-11 year net profit guidance and earnings of 10.4¢-10.6¢ per stapled security.

At the property group’s March quarter update yesterday, the managing director, Nick Collishaw, told investors Mirvac remained on track to deliver strong earnings growth of ”between 12 to 14 per cent”.

Read more:


01- ERA Chatswood- A computer-generated image of an apartment at Mirvac’s ERA, Chatswood, Sydney