Published: Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Aerial View from South-West.
Words from the architect
The winning scheme in the City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition, this project explored the redevelopment of the disused, heritage-listed Scots Church in Sydney's CBD. The project involved the conversion of the former church building and its airspace into residential units with some commercial uses at the lower levels. A stratum containing the original church auditorium of 2500 seats has been retained by the Church and was restored in a separate commission.
The architectural expression is based on a series of towers, continuing the original 1926 Rosenthal, Rutledge and Beattie concept, created by the sequence of double storey apartment boxes continuing the proportions of the Perpendicular Gothic facade below, emphasizing the building's verticality and silhouette.
View from York Street, Sydney.
The tower forms of the new building utilise sandstone colours that relate to the restored stone base, as well as expanses of seamed zinc and glazing. The interplay of solid and light, zinc and glass, combined with the irregular rhythm of coloured glazing panels, blinds and shutters, creates an urban elevation that reflects both its residential use and its relationship to the heritage building below.
To achieve the maximum number of high quality apartments, a system of two-level units was developed by arranging corridors and lift access at every second floor. The whole building is within the sloping height plane, which preserves solar access to Wynyard Park, south of the site. The elevation created by the sequence of double storey apartment boxes continues the proportions of the Perpendicular Gothic facade from below, emphasising the building's verticality and silhouette.
Existing Second Assembly Hall now Heritage Apartment.
A series of sky follies - sculptural roof forms - lean over each of the rectilinear 'towers', the northernmost roof looking forward to the Harbour. The facade of the double storey apartments augments views to the city and sky from within and incorporates louvre banks for natural ventilation, operable sliding doors and shading blinds. The enclosed wintergardens act as both acoustic buffer and passive solar warming system, allowing daylight to penetrate deep into the apartments. Louvres in the ceiling plenums collect sun-warmed air rising behind the wintergarden facades and direct the air outside. This serves as a natural cooling system, reducing the air-conditioning requirements of the apartments.
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