The controversial Sirius building at The Rocks could enjoy a new lease on life with a modern makeover designed by renowned Sydney-based architect Chris Bosse of
Bosse has been a key designer on a number of large scale projects including the Beijing Watercube and Masdar, the city centre for a new sustainable eco-city in the United Arab Emirates.
There has been a long debate over whether the 1970s building should be heritage-listed or be demolished. But now Bosse has revealed plans to update the ageing building, which has garnered support from both the public and the original architects and developers.
Speaking with Domain News, Bosse has envisioned a contemporary re-adaptive re-use concept for the building, complete with clipped-on curved balconies providing residents with a more "friendly" Sydney lifestyle.
"Rather than freezing architecture for an eternity, I think it's better to adapt it to current circumstances," Mr Bosse said.
Impression of Chris Bosse's design for The Rock's Sirius building
"Lifestyles and circumstances change, and buildings should change with them. This is a way of preserving a building in a fabulous location and giving it a whole new life. The social housing issue is an emotional topic and a completely different question; this is about the building itself."CEO of Urban Taskforce Chris Johnson is pleased with Bosse's idea, believing "the 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."The original architect, Tao (Theodore) Gofers, was also enthusiastic about the proposal.
"I think adding balconies would be a very good idea," Mr Gofers said. "That's much better than demolishing it which would upset me a little bit."The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage received a nomination for the Sirius building late last year to be added on the State Heritage Register. The Heritage Council is now in the process of collecting and reviewing any public submissions.
While Bosse's plans have received much public support, The director of The National Trust of Australia, Graham Quint, does have reservations.
Speaking with Domain Mr Quint said while the public consultation needs to run its course, he questioned the practicality of such an adaption.
"It's heartening that developers aren't planning a complete demolition of the building, but this is a little premature. And if cantilevered balconies were added on, that could be a massive amount of work for every single unit and the cost could go through the roof.
"It certainly changes the whole character of the building, too."