The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust has launched an expressions of interest (EOI) campaign for the former HMAS Platypus site in North Sydney, one of Sydney Harbour’s “last remaining secrets”. The campaign follows Lahznimmo Architects’ appointment to lead the re-design of the 1.8-hectare site, which has been closed to the public for more than 150 years.

The Harbour Trust is currently seeking suitable tenants to occupy a cluster of former workshops. This forms part of their plan to relaunch the site as a cultural, community and commercial hub, called Sub Base Platypus.

Retained spaces up for grabs include the Fleet Workshops, Submarine School, Torpedo Factory, The Gatehouse, Retort House, Coal Stores, Exhauster House and Submarine Wharf. They will be adapted to suit a diverse range of recreational, community, and commercial activities including events, exhibitions, visitor accommodation, education and training, restaurants and cafes, art spaces and business tenancies.

In its former life, the HMAS Platypus site functioned as a gasworks factory, which was partially resumed by the Commonwealth Government as a torpedo manufacturing facility during WWII. In 1967, it became the base for the Royal Australian Navy’s Oberon-class submarines and was renamed HMAS Platypus.

“Once completed, we will see Sub Base Platypus become a special destination for Sydney-siders and visitors alike, providing a range of facilities and  venues for cultural performances, function areas, cafes and restaurants, as well as offices and commercial   spaces,” says Mary Darwell, Harbour Trust CEO.

“By establishing commercial uses on our sites in ways that complement heritage, the Harbour Trust derives revenue for reinvestment into sites. This means, we will ensure the cultural, community and commercial applications at Sub Base Platypus will be in keeping with the historical and heritage values of the site.” 

Parts of the site will be opened to the public from mid-2018, with the majority of the work on the buildings expected to occur over the next two years.

Expressions of interest are open until 31 October. More information here.