Sydney, New South Wales
Grosvenor Place Pty Ltd
Grosvenor Place, Sydney, a 46-storey commercial tower with ground level retail and basement carparking was designed by Harry Seidler & Associates in 1982.
While the commercial tower retains its status as one of Sydney’s most desirable floor plates, the expectation of users for ground level services and amenity has changed over the building’s twenty-two year occupancy.
In 2007, the owners of Grosvenor Place commissioned architects Harry Seidler & Associates to design large areas of the ground plane to link the site’s various buildings and create internal lounge, food and beverage retail and recreation spaces within a lobby environment appropriate to the prestige status enjoyed by Grosvenor Place in the commercial market of Sydney. The scope of the design works was also to incorporate a new security and building management centre, new street frontages and property addresses at George Street, Harrington Street and Milsons Lane, and state of the art green-building environmental technologies.
The concept for the design of the interior was to build upon the established modernist design principles of the tower’s architecture. Visual tensions created between straight and curved geometries are reinforced with material and finishes selected for contrast of their naturally inherent textures, tones and patterns.
The design solution is anchored by an internally illuminated stone wall located along the line of an existing change in level through the site. This solution enlivened a dim, shaded precinct and established a new visual identity for the property. The hollow interior of the wall accommodates an accessible services spine and reticulation of fresh air supply.
To the south of the illuminated wall a new food and beverage retail atrium has been located under a clear glass clad space frame structure. At the lower level to the north of the wall, lounge areas and a coffee shop edge the main circulation and tower access areas at the core. The integrity of the different areas of the interior is maintained by exfoliated black granite paving of the active-mass thermal floor.
The design of varying floor and ceiling levels has established a variety subtly defined spaces. The circular forms of the stair, coffee lounge, security office and rugs address and resolve the disparate geometries of the tower, street alignments and heritage structures.
Visual focal points placed within the interior draw the eye to explore the space and interpret scale. These are created by singular furnishings of contrasting form, colour or illumination such as an armchair, rug or illuminated table. Lighting design reinforces this device; general illumination is warm white in colour (3000K) while spotlighting of focal points is at a higher (whiter) colour temperature.
The George Street lobby has been redesigned to function as the primary processional entrance addressed by a new street front entrance gateway. The George Street lobby retains the iconic Frank Stella artworks of the original design.
While spatially complex in geometry and scale, the interior design for Grosvenor Place aims to establish a calm and restrained environment with a unique presence that is felt as well as seen.