Alta tower will contain a mix of studios, one-bedders, two-bedders and three-bedroom apartments.SYDNEY’s entertainment precinct is abuzz with activity as work begins on a 14-storey, 114-apartment complex called Alta on the corner of Goulburn and Riley Streets, Surry Hills. Demolition of the existing building — which once housed the INXS-owned Rhinoceros Recording Studios, the Australian Institute of Music and ASIO — is underway through Richard Crookes Constructions, with completion expected by late 2011.

The tower will contain a mix of studios, one-bedders, two-bedders and three-bedroom apartments. Because of the height of the building, upper level apartments should gain some good views. Those on the building’s north face will look over Potts Point and Kings Cross, while south-facing apartments will overlook Surry Hills village.

Alta is being created by Anka Property Group, which has a 30-year track record of residential, retail and commercial developments in Australia and the United States. In Sydney its best known residential development is Liberty Grove in the eponymous suburb.

Project architect Nick Turner of Turner & Associates has given Alta a dramatic vertical profile with geometric lines that would not be out of place lining the streets of Manhattan. The east-face, overlooking Riley Street, steps down to six levels and appears to hover over an elevated, double-height podium which will contain an indoor-outdoor retail plaza.

Completing the intricate architectural picture are vertical planes of strong highlight colours which Turner says reflect the vibrant, energetic nature of the area. This active palette continues inside, with colourful glass-backed lift lobbies and corridors illuminated by fluorescent lights which create random movement.

All have European appliances, Caesarstone benchtops, frameless shower screens, and quality fittings and fixtures. There is a choice of two interior colour schemes, and most apartments have moveable aluminium shutters to enhance privacy.