34-storey tower to ‘float’ above heritage department store

One-hundred-and-one luxury apartments will appear to float above the heritage David Jones department store building on Castlereagh Street, Sydney, under a scheme developed by FJMT.

Construction is underway for the 111 Castlereagh Street project, which will include a 34-storey tower with apartments from level 14 up and office space from levels seven to 12. The heritage podium, designed in the interwar functionalist tradition and completed in 1938, will continue to house retail space.

In a design statement, FJMT describes how the extant building’s distinctively curved form gives civic presence to the corner of Market and Castlereagh streets, while its sandstone and travertine facade appears as if it were carved from solid stone.

“The new architecture of 111 Castlereagh beautifully complements this historic sandstone context with a new bronze elliptical sculptural form that seems to hover above the heritage,” the architect states. “This curvilinear architecture appears to bear no load on the grounded heritage building – yet its impact is seen and felt through rippling layers of outdoor landscape featuring a swimming pool, social spaces and podium gardens.”

A central atrium will create a vertical flow through the core of the design, flooding the retail and commercial levels with light.

“Suspended above this atrium, the residences embrace grand living rooms alongside intimate spaces and refined detailing,” says FJMT. “The dominant elevation facing east will capture the city’s most coveted views: the lush canopies of Hyde Park and beyond to Sydney Harbour.”

The original department store was designed by Mackeller and Partridge, and was part of an ongoing tradition of centralized commercial, financial and professional dealings in the CBD with particular associations with that eminent Australian firm, according to its heritage listing.

That listing calls the building a fine example of the functionalist design tradition, “expressive of the department store use and well related to a strong townscape character at an important city corner.”

Adrian Pozzo, CEO of developer Cbus Property, said, “The Castlereagh site offers a prestigious address with rare historic character in the centre of Sydney. It provides the opportunity to offer the best of both worlds by both showcasing the heritage and also bringing it into the future, with new architecture and world-class commercial and residential assets.”

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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