A re-tweaked 151 Clarence Street has now passed its Stage 2 DA through the City of Sydney Council and will begin construction in March 2016.

Designed by Architectus as part of a City of Sydney Design Excellence competition back in 2013, the original DA proposed the demolition of the existing ‘Barrack Place’ building which will be replaced by a 17-storey commercial tower with a detailed brick podium.

Responding to feedback from the design review panel, Architectus have since changed the podium fenestration articulation and the podium material, and have also slightly tweaked the setbacks from the podium to tower and street to podium.

The 35-metre brick podium fronting Clarence Street has changed its colour from a Gurnesy Tan brick to a Bowral Brown brick selection and the depth of its punctuated openings have been scaled back to a more continuous horizontal composition.

Small changes in the detail of the podium include a change in coloured brick (not shown) and a less defined punctuation of the façade. Top image is the Stage 1 design, below is Stage 2. Above left: the Stage 1 DA Podium façade. Right: the changed Podium.

Located on the western side of Clarence Street and backing on to Kent Street the project, dubbed “Barrack Place”, will rise 45 metres and feature 22,000sqm of mixed commercial and retail space.  The developers, Investa Office Fund, are aiming to achieve a 5-star Green Star and a 5-star NABERS Energy rating for the project and Architectus have proposed a unique tower façade that to aid that.

The tower floors rise from level nine to 18 and will feature an automated closed cavity facade system that will have integrated photovoltaic arrays.

The Architectus design also provides two double-height through site links between Clarence and Kent Streets in the form of a carriage way and a pedestrian link to be called “Barrack Arcade”.

The through site links have been designed in conjunction with Arcadia Landscape Architects who also contributed to the many landscaped terraces and significant public domain upgrades for 151 Clarence Street. The Arcadia designed pedestrian links will feature art sculptures, feature trees, in-paving fibre optic lighting and a variety of paving colours and features.

The two links, the pedestrian and ‘The Carriageway’ have been designed according to two distinct laneway experiences. The pedestrian link will provide continuity with the public domain of the CBD and welcome pedestrian flows, while The Carriageway will be imbued with finer details like those found in Sydney’s laneways of the past. The Carriageway will attract the slow mover and repeat visitor by offering food and beverage stores and ample seating to encourage an extended stay.  

The floorplates for the building are deep on the account of needing to provide a street wall and as a result, balconies and lightwells have been introduced to draw light deep within the floorplate.

Architectus managing director, Ray Brown, commented on the building’s location and said a major challenge for the development was meeting the natural lighting requirements.

“The challenge of the site was to bring natural light deep into the floorplate and also at ground level to animate the internal courtyard and arcade network,” he said.

“Our design focuses on providing a diverse retail offering over the bottom two floors with large office floorplates above.”

Demolition of the existing building has been slated for March 2016. From there excavation and footings will be laid before the building can take shape.

Images: Architectus and City of Sydney.