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04 Journal

Crone Architects chosen for elegant brick tower in Mid-Town Sydney hotel development

With a Stage 1 development application already secured, Joint Venture leaders Rebel Property and Everest Property have announced Crone Architects was unanimously chosen by the Design Excellence Review Panel to design their new four star hotel and hospitality building at 375 Pitt Street in Sydney’s booming mid-town. The tightly contested design excellence process managed by Urbis sees Crone’s scheme emerge as preferred from the six architects who competed.

The 35-storey recycled brick tower sits proud above the thriving precinct in Sydney’s Mid-CBD. The transparent, multi-storey podium features a new City private laneway, creating a new urban precinct with the lobby for the hotel above in which hospitality, retail and workplace are all highly visible, immediately connecting the building to the street, the future hotel guests and thousands of passers-by.

Visual and wayfinding connections will be reinforced by the imposing presence of a new public art proposal from Studio Chris Fox whose massive Interloop installation at Sydney’s Wynyard Station delights thousands of commuters every day.

Paul Brace, Principal of Crone and Design Team leader said: “This design will deliver so much more than just a vibrant addition to Sydney’s hotel scene, it will provide a new City lane and extensive street activation in one of the most lively precincts in Mid-Town. The building is refined and contemporary, yet uses recycled brick to connect to history. Unique in character, our design creates an elegant tower that responds to both the human and civic scale of Sydney.”

Crone has crafted a new 35-storey hotel with over 300 rooms, on a mixed use podium with a private laneway creation and activation. The hotel will immediately resonate with those seeking true experiential connections with the City in which they are staying as well as the opportunity to be at one with local scene. The recycled brick materiality of the podium and tower reference the historic Brickfield Hill brickworks of the Pitt Street area which provided the construction materials for Old Sydney Town for decades. Some industrial brick structures still exist in the Southern Sydney CBD, however there are many important examples of outstanding Art Deco architecture which features brick, notably the Primus Hotel (Water Board Building). The podium and private laneway of 375 Pitt Street negotiates the scale of the tower above to a more human and intimate scale – the design emphasises verticality and transparency through brick framed glazing on three levels and strategic use of mezzanines to flood the interior spaces with light. Versatile areas for retail, hospitality and seamless connection with the new enlarged laneway is a feature of the ground floor – and above there is an artful delineation of the public and hotel spaces in the upper floors of the podium, providing lobby, lounges and co-working space for the hotel. All of this is visible from every vantage point, merging the experience of the hotel with the experience of the City.

Speaking on behalf of the joint venture, Warren Duncan said: “The design excellence process has given us an outstanding result that we wouldn’t have achieved with just one architectural approach. Anyone looking to build an outstanding project in Sydney’s CBD should have confidence in the outcomes of a design process.”

375 Pitt Street is centred in an area of unprecedented planned new development, taking advantage of the vastly improved transport links present and future. Adjacent developments of residential, hotel and commercial projects will continue to develop the vitality of mid-town Sydney, while urban renewal in adjacent precincts such as Darling Square have already proven to draw thousands of citizens and tourists to the hospitality and recreation attractions on offer.

Sydney’s mid-town is the focus of unprecedented vitality in the CBD. Sydney’s new Light Rail opens on December 14 linking a renewed George Street to easy transport for the burgeoning and youthful populations who frequent the Pitt Street mid-CBD epicentre every day and night. In the near future, Sydney Metro’s Pitt Street Station will provide outlying suburbs with direct connections to mid-town Sydney. While the night time economy of Sydney slowly restarts anticipating the lock out laws being lifting in January – Mid-Town shows no signs of having ever suffered. The thriving area boasts a youthful, vibrant culture, a magnet for the fastest-growing segments of Australia’s tourists coming from SE Asia and local young Asian Australians.

Today’s business travellers are seeking the unique hotel experiences that arise from the location of a four-star offer situated in the most interesting and often emerging precincts of our cities. 375 Pitt Street will cater to this growing demand by offering slick, streamlined and efficient room design but emphasises the out-of- room experience of co-working, dining, social and retail activities and an entire urban precinct literally on the doorstep of their accommodations.

Allen Linz of Rebel Property said: “On the basis of the strong vote of confidence in this design coming from the design excellence review, we are now looking forward to working with the City of Sydney in 2020. Sydney has an insatiable appetite for quality, interesting hotel products in the 4-star range, responding to the demand created by modern business and leisure travellers seeking out alternatives which give them a real experience of place.

Rebel Property has been involved with some of Sydney’s most remarkable hotel redevelopments including The Pier One in Walsh Bay and the newer QT in Bondi.

The Joint Venture acquired the 375 Pitt Street in 2019 after controlling the site for a number of years. The initial development application success for this site gave rise to the Urbis-led design excellence process with the City of Sydney. The $250 million development should open in early 2023.

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