Developing a concept design and Stage 1 Development Application for a prominent CBD site close to Circular Quay, 210-220 George Street represents an integrated programme of retail, a 4-star hotel and adjoining residential apartments. The building envelope needed to satisfy the solar access, ventilation and privacy requirements of the Apartment Design Guide on a site surrounded by high rise buildings whose amenity needed to be preserved whilst also meeting complex servicing requirements to multiple building cores in a constrained basement. This presented an opportunity to develop a design concept that contributed to the re-imagining of George Street as a re-activated public place for people and leisure, following the completion of the future light rail.
Through analysis of the heritage context, existing urban character and the changing precinct programme that would result from both the light rail service and adjacent developments forming part of the APDG Planning Proposal; multiple planning and envelope options were developed to explore both the commercial and tectonic opportunities, while achieving the highest level of solar access and outlook. Pushing the design concept further than initially anticipated, both commercial and architectural opportunities were realised that validated the commercial proposition and demonstrated the latent urban and place making opportunities that the site represented. The project demonstrates the increasing trend towards mixed-use developments that blend recreation and work in semi-public spaces. This is increasingly important as hotel and apartment sizes become smaller and people seek physical and emotional connections to the city outside of their home environment.
Suitable for a variety of operators, the design establishes key urban, heritage and amenity requirements whilst allowing for multiple interpretations by designers in a future design competition environment. The unique building podium contributes to a re-imagined George Street with a street façade visually activated by extruded balcony rooms that form winter gardens, bay windows and window seats to supplement the smaller hotel room sizes. Overhanging verandas at Level 1 form restaurants and lounge areas visually connected to the street below, while also providing solar shading to the west facing façade. An atrium space provides an intimate and active public space surrounded by overhanging volumes forming bars and restaurants. These spaces also serve as informal meeting spaces and work lounges for residents, hotel guests and the public.
Completion dateStage 1 Development Application
The design solution came together through exhaustive analysis and working closely with the client to arrive at the best solution.