Sirius Redevelopment by JDH Capital in collaboration with BVN

Sirius is the story of survival & adaption. BVN & the client’s vision aligned with retaining the original building & understanding the building’s architectural & cultural
importance to Sydney’s community.

The design proposal for the adaptive reuse of the Sirius building is consistent with the principle of retaining the existing building with integrity. The site has a significant history before the Sirius building was constructed & in recent years where it has been at a pivotal very public crossroads determining its future. Key to ‘retaining with integrity’ is maintaining legibility of the original building. This includes its materiality, modulating roof line, proportions, construction & modular conceptual composition. The design of new building additions is both informed by the original & clearly distinguished from it. The new design, expected to be completed in mid-2023, demonstrates the legibility between the old & new, with additions to the building representing a modern interpretation of the original design.

After the developer’s successful bid to purchase Sirius, the project was required to undergo a design competition with the original building being retained as part of the brief. BVN later went on to win this competition. The original ground plane was visually harsh with a carpark ramp & basement parking visible along most edges of the
building & along the front entry. By concealing the parking within a new built structure, and activating street frontages with courtyard access to the ground floor apartments & new commercial spaces, the ground plane is significantly improved. ‘Retaining with integrity,’ requires the restoration of the entire existing concrete facade, which has been complemented with the addition of copper boxes, a modern interpretation of the original concrete boxes.

Reinstating the fifth elevation, the roofscape with landscaped garden, has restored the original concept of a green roof. Through the collaboration of the client and BVN, Sirius will be saved & retained with integrity.

 

Judges Comments

The judges wish to commend the Sirius Redevelopment team for their unwavering commitment to the task of achieving design excellence. Labouring to arrive at a minimal, respectful, and elegant solution, in the face of a set of significant challenges. These challenges were not only apparent in the physical constraints of the building’s own fabric and history but also in the emotionally charged cultural and social sentiment surrounding the buildings future and redevelopment. With a long history that has divided opinion as one of the more controversial buildings in the circular quay precinct, The Sirius building has nevertheless etched itself into our collective history and is worthy of preservation and reinterpretation. The design team have succeeded in making subtle but material interventions that will ensure the Sirius story continues and is celebrated as a place and a design that pushes our collective aspirations forward.