Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) architects have submitted a stage 2 DA with the City of Sydney for a 100-metre high golden hotel to be developed next door to Harry Seidler’s Australia Square.

280 George Street Sydney is bound by George Street, Hunter Street and Curtin Place and is across the road from Seidler’s icon of post-war International Modernism as well as the heritage listed NSW Sports Club. JPW’s 26-storey hotel concept was selected as part of a design competition which included submissions from Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Bates Smart, Fitzpatrick + Partners, CHROFI and Woods Bagot.

JPW’s scheme was selected by the competition jury because it was judged to be the most architecturally appropriate of the competition entries and provided the most contextually appropriate design response to the site.

On the matter of context, JPW broke the exterior of their building into three major sections to address its neighbouring buildings and to stimulate pedestrian activation through the site. This includes a ground and level one retail facility, a 12-storey ‘base’ structure defined by exposed horizontal slab edges and vertical masonry blade elements, and a seven-storey golden tower.


The ground floor will have a triple height colonnade to Hunter Street, double height shop fronts to George St and Curtin Place and pedestrian entries on all of its three street frontages. It is designed to reactivate Curtin Place’s western end and to become a link for pedestrians to the Australian Square precinct.


The base element of the tower begins at the soffit level of the Australia Square street awnings and rises to the 45 metre street wall datum controls for George Street and Martin Place. It also follows the historic plot pattern of the street by building to the street alignment and abuts the NSW Sports Club. The proposed streetwall facade is of vertical elements in a mixture of sandstone hues, horizontal elements in a warm, off-white colour with a bronze glass, and are selected for harmony with the neighbouring buildings with particular concern to compliment Australia Square.


The tower element will get its bronze or golden look from a highperformance glazing incorporating integrated micro-shading in metallic coated synthetic mesh. It will house a large chunk of the hotel’s amenity and rooms as well as the building’s most unique element, its 16-metre rooftop ‘crown’ which will be a multi-level mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces, mostly enclosed by an architectural glass hat.

The hotel lobby, pool, terrace, bar and gym will be collocated in these levels to create an active vibrant and unique sky-top space and to encourage guests to choose to relax in the hotel’s common spaces as opposed to their rooms.

6.JPGInterestingly, the curtain walling will be prefabricated and shipped to site for quick instalment and, combined with the consistent jump core and simple column and flat slab structure, is expected to contribute to a fast construction period.


  • 2 basement levels to be used for a loading dock, building plant, equipment, services, an electrical substation, switch room, hotel storage, linen and garbage store rooms, staff amenities, bicycle parking, and end of journey facilities
  • 719sqm of retail floor space on the lower ground, ground and level 1 of the podium
  • 194 hotel rooms from levels 2 - 20
  • hotel lobby, gym, pool and deck on level 21
  • 2 storeys of rooftop plant and an architectural roof feature

Images: JPW