Closed cavity façade and fully LED-lit 200 George Street by FJMT
3XN win major Circular Quay tower design competition

The days of Sydney’s Goldfields and Fairfax Houses appear to be few in number, after Chinese property tycoon Dalian Wanda made significant moves to have the buildings redeveloped by lodging a Stage 1 State Significant Development application, prepared by Crone Partners.

Wanda purchased 1 Alfred Street (Goldfields House), one of Sydney’s premier waterfront addresses, back in January for $425 million, prompting questions about what the developer had planned for the site that forms the western bookend of Circular Quay.

Wanda also owns the adjacent 19-31 Pitt Street (Fairfax House) and 31A Pitt Street (The Rugby Club) sites and have now officially revealed that they plan to consolidate the three properties and develop two new buildings: a 185 metre residential tower and a 110 metre hotel building.

The development is called Sydney One.

TOP: Indicative renders show the towers overlooking Circular Quay.
ABOVE:  The development area on the end of George, Pitt and Alfred Streets.

Upon purchasing the Goldfields building, Wanda signalled that they would not be delivering the apartment building, designed by Kerry Hill, which had already received Stage 2 DA approval from the City of Sydney. However, their lodgement with planning suggests that they will be using much of Kerry Hill’s proposal, and have actually “retained” Kerry Hill Architects to make minor alterations to the design.

ABOVE: Massing diagrams show the old approved towers by Mark Hurcum (Fairfax House) and Kerry Hill Architects (Goldfields) to the left and the new plans for the development on the right.

Tower A, the residential tower, actually appears as two overlapping rectangular modules that finish at different heights. The larger volume will face more directly towards Circular Quay and will rise to 185 metres while the second will appear to sit behind and will rise to 130 metres.

Tower B of Sydney One is likely to be subject to Competitive Design Alternative Process in accordance with the City of Sydney’s competitive design policy and amalgamates 19-31 and 31A Pitt Street. Mark Hurcum Design Practice Architects had previously received DA approval for a 112 metre residential tower for the Fairfax House site back in 2010 however Wanda have chosen to consolidate the Rugby House and Fairfax House site and create one 25-storey Hotel tower.


Both towers are designed to be fully integrated within the vision for the overall Alfred, Pitt, Dally & George street block (APDG), which includes articulation with Circular Quay Tower, the Public Square, 200 George Street, and the different laneways that connect these.

They towers will connect George and Alfred Street via a pedestrian through-link that will be activated with a mixture of boutique retail, café/bars and a registered club.

Wanda have also signalled that they will reinvigorate the Public Art Strategy for 1 Alfred Street that was submitted as part of the approved DA in 2010. There are plans to incorporate art on the building façade, in the network of laneways and in the nearby plaza.

 All images and planning diagrams are courtesy of Dalian Wanda, Crone Partners and the NSW Planning Depatrment.