Surrounded by a rapid growth in development within a large industrial suburb this 5,710sqm site is central to the an urban renewal in Sydney. The subject site is bounded by a street to the north, a stormwater channel to the east and south and various industrial/commercial buildings to the west. The existing site contained two large warehouses with a bitumen hardstand towards the street
The project brief was to retain as much of the original structure as possible and re fabricate it in a careful and considerate manner that ensured a sustainable development. The proposal was an adaptive re-use and additions to the existing warehouses with an adjoining new building to the street front including new basement car parking. The main focus of the project was to create suitable premises for the new headquarters of Max Brenner Australia with facilities for production, warehousing, ancillary administration and staff amenities, as well as a cafe. The project was planned in four buildings.
Building A is set along the street frontage. The L-shaped 4-storey building joins onto Building B with the same building depth, creating a continuous facade. The new structure adapts the same floor levels and materials as the rear warehouses to create a coherent building complex. Building A accommodates the main reception area and administration functions as well as a cafe accessible from Doody Street. On the upper floors it provides staff recreation facilities. In Building B the aim was to retain as much as possible of the existing warehouse structure. This building now houses various tenants throughout the adjustable warehouse space. The units are flexible in size and are suitable for a range of uses from high technology to light industries, warehouse, showroom and offices. The existing rear warehouse building C, retained all external brick walls to maintain the character of the building. A new slab was built to create a clean open space for the production kitchen at ground floor level. The first floor accommodates staff amenities and administration offices. A new brick facade to the east closes off the courtyard and connects buildings B and D. Setback from all sides an open plan hall sits above the production kitchen surrounded by a roof terrace. The tall new structure is clad in Corten steel to separate it from the existing brick structures while at the same time emphasising the industrial style of the site. Building D serves as a two level warehouse including cool and freezer rooms with a loading platform on the eastern end. While retaining the existing roof structure the rest of the building is built from new brick facades and concrete and steel structure floors to form 2 levels plus a mezzanine. Part of the old warehouse roof was removed to create the internal courtyard, visually hidden from the public realm. The roof beams were retained alluding to the historical and structural elements of the site. Aligning to all the buildings, external covered walkways link the buildings on different levels by providing visual connection as well cantilevering over the facades below, providing shading.
The external materials and finishes were selected to complement the surrounding area and enhance the industrial look. To visually tie all buildings together a robust facing brick of dark red colour, in a Roman brick format has been chosen as the dominant material for nearly all new facades. Only two top floor building parts are contrasted with a rusty Corten steel facade cladding. The development has transformed the old style storage warehouses and hardstand into a modern work environment around an inner courtyard. The design presents a clear undertaking to maintain and reinforce the character of the existing buildings and local area. The new additions provide good amenities in a modern work atmosphere with improved solar access throughout.
Client: Max Brenner Australia Project Management & Construction Management: Amitran Pty Ltd Structural Engineers: Norther Beaches Consulting Engineers