Australian design studio CplusC Architectural Workshop has suggested an alternative plan to save the Sirius social housing building in Sydney from demolition. The NSW Government is planning to sell off the brutalist building for redevelopment.
Resembling Moshe Safdie's iconic Habitat 67 housing complex in Montreal, the Sirius building in Sydney incorporates 79 residential units with each unit contained in a cube of concrete to give the structure a distinctive terraced outline. Designed by architect Tao Gofers in the 1970s, the Sirius building is located in the city's The Rocks area, and offers beautiful views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge across the water.
CplusC Architectural Workshop’s scheme for the demolition-threatened building envisions a Tetris-like extension, inspired by its modular form, Safdie's iconic housing complex as well as the conceptual work of Archigram and the Japanese metabolist movement. The architects have proposed a series of towers made up of staggered blocks and terraces.
CplusC Architectural Workshop explains: “Designed to incorporate the existing building and preserve the current iconic brutalist facade, the proposal expands vertically and horizontally with one, two and three bedroom apartment pods.
"Immersed not only in greenery throughout all living spaces, the pods branch off the current vertical circulation cores, providing a practical link between old and new."
CplusC's proposal to save Sirius isn't the first we've seen from leading Australian architects. In 2015, Chris Bosse, director of LAVA has released concept drawings for the renovation of the apartment block that would freeze the building’s brutalist form all the while facilitating a much needed amenity upgrade.
The Sirius building failed to get heritage listed, despite the best efforts of a rigorous preservation campaign, public protests and a ban on unionised workforces participating in the demolition. The Save our Sirius campaign has received support from eminent persons including Sydney mayor Clover Moore, comedian Tim Ross, Australian Institute of Architects president Ken Maher and UTS' head of architecture Anthony Burke.
The proposed sale of the Sirius building for redevelopment is part of the NSW Government’s wider plan to sell off public housing throughout the nearby Millers Point neighbourhood.
The building's architect Tao Gofers will be giving tours of the building from 11 to 25 March 2017 as part of Art Month Sydney.