“…..as Sydney transforms itself into an important global city on the Pacific rim, new sites on the fringe of the central business district, like this, are unlocked and demonstrate a commitment to densification and a mature attitude of relating new to old building stock....."
In 2007, Sydney City Council implemented a revised Local Environmental Plan which unlocked a number of sites in the central business district. Whilst the new LEP encourages the city's expansion, controls to increase densification have been tempered with the need to maintain solar access to existing residential buildings as well as the recognition of the historic significance of the city's twentieth century industrial buildings. This site bounded by Brisbane Street, Wentworth Avenue, Goulburn Street and Wemyss Lane is adjacent to Hyde Park and Whitlam Square and straddles an important link between Oxford Street and Central Station. The redevelopment opportunity identified two city blocks arising from the fact that building heights within these blocks is inconsistent with the much taller surrounding commercial and residential towers which dwarf them. The subject sites were therefore proposed as transition sites forming a nexus between the large twentieth century towers and the finer grained nineteenth century fabric of Surry Hills. The redevelopment involves the adaptive re-use of the buildings on Wentworth Avenue with an expansion of the existing hotel in a contemporary new building above. Detailed solar studies were carried out to identify a suitable new building envelope that would protect neighbouring residential buildings from winter sun and not sterilise their amenity. Complying with the solar study, the new building is setback from the existing historic facades and carefully articulated to express the various components of the new building form - heritage base, vertical circulation, hotel rooms, roof top recreation.