40-year-old 'Sydney School' Building Heritage Listed


A two storey commercial office building in Woolloomooloo, Sydney has been heritage listed by the City of Sydney after only 40 years.

According to the city, the 1974 Calidad building is one of the only remaining intact examples of the ‘Sydney School’ architectural movement, which included it’s award winning architect Ian McKay. says the buildings of the Sydney School very often described as ‘anti-urban’ and were often built on steep slopes, or hidden out of view in bushlands.

The Sydney school is a term that was used to describe a band of architects that were against international modernism and took inspiration from the natural environment of the sites that they would work on.

The Calidad sits on top of one of Sydney’s most dramatic sandstone slopes, looking onto McElone Street below it.

“Like many in the Sydney School, Ian McKay was influenced by the ‘organic’ style of internationally-acclaimed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, but the architecture McKay produced is uniquely adapted to the dramatic rock formations and vegetation of the NSW landscape,” said Graham Jahn, the City’s Director of Planning.

Local natural building materials were used in the Calidad and help to create the bold geometric shapes and natural lighting and ventilation.

The heritage listing of the building includes both interior and exterior features, including the outside courtyard shared with other heritage listed buildings on the site.

The Calidad is an important example of early sustainable architecture in Sydney, and I’m pleased the City is leading the charge to conserve significant local buildings for everyone,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Despite growing awareness about the value of protecting modern architecture, it is still uncommon to heritage list recent buildings like the Calidad building in Woolloomooloo.”

According to the City of Sydney has recently completed an Industrial and Warehouse Buildings Heritage Study, which recommended 63 industrial places for heritage listing, as well as two precinct of industrial and warehouse buildings.

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