George Street Plaza building

Sydney, Australia

  • Status
    Current
  • Size
    1,200 m² / 12,917 ft²
  • Category
    Civic, Culture
  • Design Architect
    Adjaye Associates
  • Architect of Record
    Architectus
  • Artist
    Daniel Boyd
  • Client
    Lendlease
  • Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer
    Lendlease
  • Structural Engineer
    Arup

Technical Info +

Inspired by simple unitary forms and place making in Aboriginal culture, we imagine the new community building and plaza as a ‘found place’ based around the notion of the shelter, a symbolic respite away from the busy streetscape that is discovered and dissolves through light.

Rooted in lost history, this is a project about the meaning of place, heritage and identity. An attempt to uncover, layer, and celebrate the Eora origins of this part of coastal Sydney, the project is seeks the reconciliation of cultures and defining identity in an ever changing world. This reconciliation of difference lies at the heart of the proposal and aims to articulate and establish dialogue around the complex relationship colonizers have to their indigenous communities.

Inspired by simple unitary forms and place making in Aboriginal culture, we imagine the multifunctional community hub and plaza as a ‘found place’ based around the notion of the shelter, a symbolic respite away from the busy streetscape that is discovered and dissolves through light.

To connect this profound centre with the sites heritage and origins, we have collaborated with Daniel Boyd, a renowned contemporary artist of Aboriginal descent, on the projects key feature – a 27×34 m perforated canopy that shelters and unites the building and the plaza under a poetic layer of light and darkness.

Inspired by Aboriginal dot painting, Boyd will curate a cosmic journey of light that filters and refracts through multiple, randomly scattered, circular, mirror-lined canopy openings. The circular pattern translates and is accentuated onto the plaza paving below, seamlessly defining a transition from the bustling surroundings and core artwork experience.

The  George Street Plaza building details are intentionally simple. An open plan café, gallery space and garden terrace are wrapped under a reduced utilitarian form. It is a flexible and inviting, free flow space with activated connections to the plaza and adjacent developments, where encounters with art and community are made easy.

The distinctive pitched roof of the building refers to the primary silhouette of early settlers’ houses – weaving in another layer to the narrative of place. The result is a hybrid form that merges the Aboriginal origins with the legacy of early settlers and the industrial materiality and language of the nearby harbour.

We have envisioned a highly interactive environment that connects holistically to its neighbouring buildings and public realm. Our proposal in addition to the new multifunctional building, includes the George Street public plaza and access to a proposed public cycle parking facility below.

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