Connection, reinvigoration and equilibrium – Harry Seidler & Associates redesign a lobby of a former building to rebalance its unique atrium. Yelena Smetannikov has the story.
December 13th, 2011
9 Castlereagh St is located along one of Sydney’s primary boulevards, and was originally designed by Harry Seidler & Associates in 1989.
The new owner, Stockland, commissioned Harry Seidler & Associates to recreate a grand lobby and re-establish the sequence of experiences in the lobby, to strengthen its status as a high quality office tower and reconnect it back to the street.
“Having worked on the building as a youngster with Harry Seidler & Associates, I have always had a special attachment to this unique building, so it was stimulating to revisit it again with a new client,” said John Curro, the project’s head designer.
Ash trees line the entrance, continuing the boulevard rhythm along Castlereagh St, creating a sense of enclosure from the street.
Upon entering, one’s attention is led upwards to the vast vertical space of the forecourt. Existing gardens were tailored to provide a greater visual connection to the lobby and provide more daylight into the unique, high ceiling space.
The forecourt leads to a gleaming 10m high glazed lobby. A focal point is the lift bank with granite wall and bright silver lift panels that reflect new transom lighting. The end of the lobby provides discreet entry to a childcare facility.
A significant Lin Utzon mural visually bonds the forecourt and lobby, beneath which is a café, offering a variety of plush banquette seating, communal tables, and lounge style settings.
Photography: Dirk Meinecke, Harry Seidler & Associates
“A fondness of the original design made it very difficult on one hand to consider alternatives [for the design], yet this familiarity also allowed a confident, strong approach to the new design,” said John Curro.
Harry Seidler & Associates
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