Design/Completion 2003-2004


Grocon International

25,000 m 2 56 levels 212 apartments

Concrete structure with pre-stressed floors

  • IES Lighting Design, Award of Commendation, 2005
  • RAIA Urban Design Award – Commendation, 2004
  • RAIA (NSW) Multiple Housing Award, 2004
  • International High Rise Award, 2004

The Available Land
The site for this residential building is located in the northern precinct of the city’s central business district. The area was formally part of the adjacent St Patrick’s Church extending to Lang Park on the south. The available land for development is narrow, between Harrington and Gloucester Streets and contains the historic Church Hall. To the north it is hemmed in by the nine-storey high heritage listed ‘Bushells’ building, which just as the Church Hall on the site, is protected. The authorities required a pedestrian through-link between the two parallel streets, which further reduced the narrow-width of the available site. The resulting public Galleria space with its stair is top lit from a glass roof.

The Podium
The constriction of available land made it virtually impossible to plan apartments with adequate outlook, light and air, within the nine-storey base area abutting existing buildings which have to remain. The podium areas were therefore designed to accommodate function spaces, such as health club, meeting rooms and a 25 m suspended swimming pool. The areas are spatially opened vertically into each other, to share available daylight from above.

The 27 m high dramatic entrance space allows glimpses up into these areas. The residential apartments are housed in a tall structure, raised above the base so as to admit daylight into the long podium which otherwise receives daylight only from the two narrow street frontages.

The Tower
To plan a tall building on a constricted area meant that the footprint was allowed by the authorities to oversail the existing Church Hall without penetrating it with supports. This necessitated parts of the tower structure to be supported on cantilevered deep beams over setback steel columns. It is expected that apartments with dramatic (even if partially limited) views toward the harbour, have adequate size balconies. These were shaped so as to allow adequate wide space for outdoor eating with tables and chairs. These considerations resulted in the curved tower plan, which turns away from the adjacent buildings at all four corners and bulges out over the southern Church Hall (now turned into a restaurant) without penetrating it. The roof of the Hall became an outdoor recreation area for residents, connected to the tower core.

The Apartments
There is a variety of size in the 220 apartments; from two three-storey high units with open internal spaces and private pools on the roof, to half-floor, four and five units per level, etc. This mixture of apartments results in variegated expressions on the facades of the tower.

Balconies and windows change, depending on the size of units. This variety enhances the exterior of the building even further with sunshading downturns of the balcony fronts being made of sparkling metal (recalling the metal sunshades on the adjacent large Grosvenor Place tower) contrasted by the warm coloured finish applied to the concrete structure.

Street Architecture
To relate the new development to the existing podium-height buildings, the new facades not only adopt a sympathetic light sandstone colour but also utilise a vertical system of glass areas which predominate on adjacent structures.

The balcony fronts on the tower above are recalled on the podium fenestrationĂ­s horizontally inserted metal sun protection blades. The dramatic view of the project from street level is of the high, translucent internally illuminated Onyx slab stone walls.