The building also sits at the fringe of two distinct urban conditions: the Sydney Warehouse district, and the CBD Western Corridor. The site is surrounded by a number of heritage listed buildings, one of them, The Foley Bros Warehouse building adjoins the subject site and is integrated as part of the site experience. The bulk of the podium is broken down into smaller volumes that respond to the proportions of the historic warehouse. This provides a visual and physical relationship between the Heritage and the Contemporary, while reinforcing the fine grain pedestrian scale of the area. The design of the podium and lobby, and its siting in relation with the Foley Bros warehouse seeks a respectful approach that helps enhance the quality of the existing building and its spaces, especially the central heritage courtyard.
The ground plane becomes a porous entity that links the existing warehouse and the new podium, providing an interesting set of connections and spaces that attract the pedestrian to the heart of the design. The fine grain of the ground plane reveals a vertically expressed, highly activated central space. The Hotel Lobby is the heart of the design: its relationship to the Heritage Courtyard enhances the activation of the latter. Its spatial configuration, as a four storey volume, is enhanced by bringing light into the center of the podium.
Different amenities for hotel guests surround this central space across the four levels, ensuring its activation. A feature stair connects all public areas and facilities, becoming a beacon with views onto the Lobby and the Heritage Courtyard.
In between the Heritage buildings, the tower presents a patterned skin, responding to the materiality and language of its context; while providing additional privacy for the residents exposed to nearby buildings and incorporating high level glass wind buffers.
From the Harbour side, the tower is seen within a commercial context. Its facade is perceived as more glassy and commercial in character, opening up the views to the key city landmarks surrounding the site. The ‘boxes’ that conform the overall tower volume start to push as they ascend up the tower, achieving a better orientation towards the northern sun and the views towards the harbour. The tower is perceived by the pedestrian as a more slender volume through a further push on the north-east.
The materiality on the façade reflects the character of the area, and articulates a contemporary approach that reinterprets the proportions of the heritage. The materiality of the lobby, more neutral, seeks to enhance the character and quality of the materials on the heritage courtyard and building.