Sydney’s endangered Brutalist icon, the Sirius building, has been added as a member property of the Historic Houses Association of Australia (HHAA). Sirius joins a list of 12 other buildings in NSW – 19 in total across the country – to be recognised by the organisation as a building of local and national significance.
The HHAA was formed in Sydney in 1988 to complement the NSW government’s Historic Houses Trust. In 2014, the association became national, with the aim of ensuring a viable future for what it deems to be the country’s most valuable heritage properties.
“Our goal is to educate and inform the public, to support private owners and to build an environment in which historic properties and places are supported, valued and enjoyed,” reads a statement on the HHAA website.
Sirius’ inclusion as a member property of HHAA comes after a drawn-out and highly contentious legal process regarding the building’s potential inclusion on the NSW state heritage register. The landmark battle to ‘Save Our Sirius’ returned to court in August, whereupon the decision of former premier Mark Speakerman not to include the building on the state heritage register was overruled.
Although the court ruling was a massive coup for the residents and community groups that had fought tooth and nail to save the Brutalist icon, it has not necessarily resulted in the building’s inclusion on the register. The court decision put an onus on the current premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to rethink her predecessor’s decision. Berejiklian has yet to announce her verdict, but the decision of the HHAA to include the Sirius building as a member property is representative of the widespread groundswell of support for its protection.