Quay Quarter Lanes is the rejuvenation of a city block in the heart of Sydney City at Circular Quay. The project comprises a collection of new and restored buildings and laneways. Stitching the new and old is a public domain and landscape design by ASPECT Studios.
Our building at 8 Loftus Street squeezes itself between Customs House and the Gallipoli Memorial Club, maintaining continuity of the building line and massing of this historic thoroughfare.
Two levels of retail spaces form a base for 31 apartments housed over six upper levels. An arcade link marries the busy street to the inner laneway refuge. Upper level restaurants lead the eye up to tucked-away spaces for exploration and respite. The whole is capped by a roof space brought to life with a recreational roof garden for the use of all residents.
Formally, the new building shifts and folds, fluidly responding to spatial influences and contextual constraints. Mass appears polished and ‘ground away’ with setbacks swelling and receding, softening the transitions by gently sliding back from the street facade line. In reference to nearby heritage buildings, corners gently curve and sweep, suggestive of quieter spaces in the laneway just around the corner. Richly inhabited edges provide spaces to sit with your back to the wall.
The receded upper levels present a softened roofscape form to positively contribute to the quality of the outlook of the adjoining buildings. Tiered private outdoor spaces climb to the shared roof garden. With a height reduced from the existing, it sits down below Customs House and, importantly, greatly improves solar access to Macquarie Place park.
The Loftus Street façade at footpath level is framed by a flowing awning projection that swells out at the corner where seating recesses give stopping and sitting points. The awning projection is punctuated by the popped-up opening that marks the arcade entry. This link incises the building to carve an entry point for the apartments and an alluring pathway through to Loftus Lane. Compressing down in plan and section only to expand again coming into the lane, the arcade ceiling incorporates ‘Weerong’ an integrated sound and light artwork by Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones.
Sitting against the Sydney sandstone, the choice of steel grey bricks has been made to contrast and sharpen appreciation of both materials. Solid brick panels, perforated brick screens and black steel horizontal ribbon ledge elements alternate and interweave within a vertical organizational grid to lend the façade a woven fabric-like visual quality. Perforated, bronze anodized adjustable screens provide sun shading and privacy to the apartments.
As a component of a bigger scheme and of a greater cityscape, this building attempts a worthy contribution to the continuity of Sydney’s built texture, playing its part in a healthy, vibrant pedestrian precinct.