New Look for Former Sydney Water Head Office

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
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Nature and technology have been combined in an organically-shaped display suite marketing the Sydney Greenland Centre on Sydney’s old Water Board site.

The new display suite was created to market Sydney Greenland Centre, a mixed-use tower that proposes an adaptive reuse of the Former Sydney Water Head Office in the CBD.

The wider former Sydney Water Head Office includes two distinct components: the 1939 building located at 339-341 Pitt Street and the 1965 Building at 115-119 Bathurst Street. While the Pitt Street site is listed on the Sydney Local Environment Plan 2012 as an item of heritage significance and on the NSW State Heritage Register, the 1965 Building is not heritage listed.

Sydney Water Head Office Building (1939 building)

Sydney Water Head Office Building (1939 building)

The 1939 building is one of the most elaborate, high-quality and well-detailed Institutional Art Deco buildings in the city, reflecting the function and growth of Sydney Water and the importance the organisation has had and continues to have.

The building has a unique design. Completed in 1939, it was built with original materials and techniques that exposure the city’s architectural growth and development at that time. Its facades exhibit elaborate use of various coloured granite and marble finishes.

An Artist’s impression of the Sydney Greenland Centre tower and on its left side, the 1939 building.

Artist’s rendition of the Sydney Greenland Centre tower and to its left, the 1939 building.

The Sydney Greenland Centre project includes a new retail, commercial and residential tower on the site of the 1965 Building and a concept for the adaptive reuse of the 1939 Building to operate as a hotel.

The project proposes to re-establish the former Pitt Street entrance as the main foyer of the hotel, reinstating a sense of the original entry to the building. In addition, the building’s identity will be strengthened as it is, once again, connected with the public realm via Pitt Street’s entrance.

Greenland Project Plan

The display suite for the Greenland project is located at the former entrance hall of the 1965 building.

 The architects – a collaborative team including Sydney based PTW Architects (formerly Peddle Thorp & Walker) and Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) – said the proposal to adapt the upper floors into hotel guest rooms is compatible with the existing floor plan and the configuration of hallways and lift lobbies.

Recently, the display suite for the Greenland project opened its doors, located at the former entrance hall of the 1965 building. The space has been transformed with free form furniture and curved walls and ceilings, merging natural materials with high-tech fabrication technologies.

Greenland Centre Lobby Interior

The space has been transformed with freeform furniture and curvy walls and ceilings.

The latest technologies include GRP, a lightweight, strong material that can be formed into fluid shapes. Parametric modelling and rapid prototyping allowed the design to go straight from a 3D computer model to the fabrication workshop, where the reception and display desks were cut and coated.

The architecture team worked together to design and develop the project, which features white terrazzo floors, illuminated timber desks and walls lined with white leather and timber battens. The objective was to create a continuous, luminous and airy environment.

Greenland Centre Lobby Interior

Natural materials are combined with high-tech fabrication technologies.

“People in the 21st century are looking for spaces that link them to nature, and the forms found in nature – waves, canyons, clouds – create beautiful, efficient and connective spaces,” said LAVA director Chris Bosse.

Greenland Centre Lobby Interior

Modern design calls for spaces that link people to nature and the forms found in the natural world.

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