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    Harry Seidler’s modernist principles seen in new vision for Sydney’s Grosvenor Place

    Geraldine Chua

    Approved plans to revitalise the public precincts of Harry Seidler’s iconic Sydney building, Grosvenor Place, by Harry Seidler and Associates architects have been revealed.

    Paying homage to the original building designs, the announcement was revealed by Grosvenor Place Management, together with co-owners DEXUS Property Group, Investa Office and Arcadia, on Thursday evening, and will be executed in tandem with the City of Sydney’s plans to reinvigorate George Street.

    The new vision will retain the original Harry Seidler architectural elements and use their geometry to locate and inform the new built forms, at the same time activating the street, improving the use of the forecourt, and ensuring vitality in the public domain with the tower plaza.

    “The design of the new works may surprise some, but for us it is grounded in the architectural direction of some of Harry’s last unbuilt works,” says Greg Holman, project architect at Harry Seidler and Associates.

    Overlooking the food precinct from the roof terrace

     

    Above: Birds eye view of proposed works

    Left: Proposed façade of the forecourt addition

     

     

    Seidler’s own signature has been incorporated into the building brand, and his original modernist principles have informed the new design, as well as the marketing of the precinct:

    • Good design is simply a better investment
    • Architectural design must avoid fads
    • Open public spaces are assets for the City
    • Art adds a sense of identity
    • Planning for flexibility adds lasting value
    • Energy conservation must be maximised

    “The new vision will do more than just revitalise one of Sydney’s significant landmark buildings,” added Grosvenor Place executive director, John Derrick.

    “It will actively enhance Grosvenor Place’s connection with the cultural aspects of this part of the city, reflecting the artistic and design merit of the building and its own art collections.”

     

     

     

     

    Left: Proposed north court building and forecourt addition. Right: North plaza surrounded by new food precinct

    Grosvenor Place opened in 1988, and went on to pick up the Australian Institute of Architects’ Lustig & Moar National Prize, and the Sir John Sulman Medal in 1991.

    The first phase will be completed as soon as mid-2015, delivering new end-of-trip facilities including showers, lockers and bicycle parking, along with the start of new retail offerings in the forecourt.

    The second stage is scheduled for early 2016, including a new indoor and outdoor food and beverage emporium operating day and night.

    Proposed retail tenancy on George St

    Grosvenor Place is the second Seidler revival project to be announced this year, and follows from news of the $150 million redevelopment of the MLC Centre precinct in Sydney. 

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