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    Golden tower proposed for Sydney’s historic colonial heritage precinct

    Nathan Johnson

    A new mixed-use tower proposed for the Sydney CBD will be an inspired addition to one of the most intact colonial heritage precincts in the world.

    To be located on the corner of Elizabeth, King and Phillip Streets, the new building will be in vicinity of a number of heritage listed items including the Sydney Supreme Court, St James Church, Queen’s Square, Hyde Park Barracks and Hyde Park.

    Francis Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) was awarded the brief for the new commercial and residential tower at 148-160 King Street after edging out Candalepas Associates, Cox, Elenberg Fraser, Urban Possible and Kannfinch and Smart Design Studio in a competition design alternatives process for the site.

    FJMT have proposed a 92 metre mostly golden tower which responds to the heritage context and the urban form of the surrounding site through a modulated building form and a corresponding material palette.

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    Sandstone, terracotta, stained precast, wood and bronze will characterise the new architecture which is massed to provide access to views of the heritage buildings and maximise solar access into the public domain as well as form a backdrop to Hyde Park.

    The building is expressed as three main sections: a finely crafted colonnade element at its base, a podium form and a tower all which articulate from the surrounding heritage buildings.

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    Above Left: The residential podium facade is envisaged as a glazed or terracotta clad unitised system with external perforated screening similar to the tower facade.
    Above Right: The tower facade is envisaged as a fully glazed unitised enclosure with external perforated screening over some of the surfaces. The system comprises fixed glazing, vertically sliding frameless glass windows and sliding doors to balconies. The external perforated screening is of a ‘wave’ profile in plan taking an appearance similar to a fabric curtain.


    The colonnade has been dubbed the “Jewel Box” and is one of the primary focusses of the proposal due to its high level of engagement with the public domain. It will match the scale and rhythm of the colonnade of the old Supreme Courts across the road on the other side of King Street and is envisaged as a prefabricated sandstone-clad ribbed structure with timber soffits and frameless glass enclosure walls.

    An artwork strategy is also being considered for the Jewel Box foyer and early indications show that it will incorporate Indigenous, colonial legal and mid C20th legal motifs.

    DEVELOPMENT SNAPSHOT

    Site Area: 889.8sqm
    Building Levels: 27
    Basement Levels: 6
    Total Gross Floor Area: Residential GFA - 11,590sqm
                                                Commercial/Retail GFA 625sqm
    Max Building Height: 92.9m
    Total Apartments: 127
    Adaptable Apartments: 19
    Car Parking: 63+2+2
    Motor Bike Parking: 2
    Bicycle Parking Internal: 127+13
    Bicycle Parking External: 10

    Images: FJMT/City of Sydney

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