Sirius building can be improved with a new layer of balconies rather than being frozen as heritage

28 July 2015

The Sirius building in The Rocks, Sydney can be improved while respecting its original design says, the Urban Taskforce.


“The proposed heritage listing of the Sirius building at the Rocks could freeze the brutalist form of the building and therefore limit the amenity of future residents,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “There is a better way to ensure the building relates to its setting while lifting resident amenity by adding balconies.”

“The Urban Taskforce has asked Sydney architect Chris Bosse of the award winning firm LAVA to develop a new layer for Sirius that respects the original design while improving amenity. The result is to ‘clip’ onto each of the box like shapes a curved balcony that provides residents with views towards the Opera House while reinforcing the pattern of the building.”

“The original building is designed in the ‘brutalist’ style which was a popular style at the time with a small group of architects. The style is deliberately raw, heavy and utilised rugged concrete as its primary material. While still popular with a few architects interested in history the style has been rejected by most in the community as unfriendly.”

“Many Sydneysiders have seen the Sirius building as being unsympathetic to its historic neighbours and not having a character that celebrates its amazing setting overlooking Circular Quay. The Urban Taskforce believes the Chris Bosse scheme demonstrates that the building can become more friendly in its appearance while respecting the original design intention. The Bosse design addition of clipped on balconies also gives the building a more Sydney- style appearance and relates the building to Sydney Harbour.”

“Our concern is that State Heritage listing will simply freeze the current raw, brutal look of the building and minimise the amenity for future residents. Heritage listing is not needed as this will not encourage a rethinking of the building to increase its amenity and improve its appearance. The simple clipped on balconies proposed by Chris Bosse is only one approach to how Sirius could evolve. There are other options but these would have little chance of success if the building is heritage listed.

Below are images of the Sirius building as it is and the building with Chris Bosse’s added balconies:

Sirius Before edit

cb sirius montage after with balconies- edit

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