We were tasked with bringing an old derelict commercial warehouse back to life, creating a new cultural and creative precinct for the emerging inner-city hub of Chippendale, Sydney. It was an exciting project, the building had to house commercial and hospitality tenants in a harmonious space but the dark damp walls were literally falling down around us. The building hadn’t been touched since the 70’s and was even used as a TV set to replicate old 70's offices in Australian Crime TV series 'Underbelly'.

The solution required a re-imagining of what the space could be. Additional openings where created to bring light into the deep and dark floor-plates. New circulation paths were introduced including a double height entrance lobby. Paths to amenities and the stairs to the upper level are arranged so as to pass the shared courtyard, creating activated and social spaces.

The history of the building is celebrated in the design, we left new steel raw to patina with their exposed tool marks, bar-codes and builders notes. Industrial relics are left in in-situ. Dismantled floor joists are re-assembled into glass partition walls, old structural steel is re-furbished and arranged as new lintels. French oak floor boards, crisp white plaster ceilings and fine light fittings offer refinement and contradistinction with the crudeness of the existing masonry.

The building is now a go to place in Chippendale home to one of the cities hottest cafes, a large creative agency and a wine bar. 

Project Type: Adaptive re-use

Size: 2,200sqm

Project Architect: Andy Carson

Head Contractor: TPD Projects

Structural: Partridge

Services: Donnelly Simpson Cleary

Lighting Design : Light Practice

Landscape Architects: Amber Road Design

Signage + Wayfinding: Urbanite 

Photography: Tom Ferguson

"bespoke design elements occur at a range of scales, from the folded steel cabinet pulls, to the feature stairs, balustrade, glass lift tower and feature lighting " 

- Architecture and Design

Using Format