Behind The Green Curtain: Heritage-Inspired Hotel Awaiting DA Approval


The City of Sydney’s planning department is currently reviewing a development application that, if approved, could bring Sydney a sleek vertical garden hotel at 136 Hay Street Haymarket that blends modern design with the timeless heritage of the site.

Developed by Linzhu Australia and designed by BVN Architecture, Sydney’s 136 Hay Street Haymarket is already the location of an old car park, however the new hotel would see the car park removed to make way for its 16-storey structure.
Development details
The proposed building’s tower is made up of 15 levels of visitor and tourist accommodation in the form of 306 hotel rooms that make up 12,533 square metres of ground floor area.

The building also includes an additional four levels below, comprising two levels of retail use on the ground floor and lower ground level, making up 1,299 square metres of ground floor area.

There will also be a level of underground car parking, featuring 19 car parking spaces.

Level seven of the building will act as a communal entertainment and amenity level, with plans for level seven to include a restaurant and kitchen, function room, pool and a communal garden with views of the neighbourhood.

The proposed hotel is expected to be a four star rated hotel operated by InterContinental Hotel Group.

The proposed development will cater to the unmet demand for tourist and visitor accommodation as well as provide over 200 jobs in retail and hospitality services.


The proposed development has been designed with regard to its neighbour, the historically significant Manning Building (Capitol Theatre). The Manning Building is predominantly brickwork, with feature details of stone cornices, terracotta capitals, rosettes and tiled panels. The podium height of 136 Hay Street makes a strong reference to the height of the Manning Building facade datums and seeks to extend the language of the street wall along Hay Street to enhance the character of the precinct.

The hotel features a glazed tower set atop and within the masonry base. Compositionally, the tower’s smooth and curved glazed skin accentuates the more textured masonry of the podium. Its glazed surface is scored with solid panels that echo the rhythm of the podium fenestration and provide a secondary reading of scale linked to the module of the rooms beyond.

By recessing these panels they read as shadows, and lend the facade a subtle depth. The façade’s glazing has been selected to provide environmental performance and minimise reflectivity at critical street level approaches.


“The building’s podium continues the street wall of the adjacent Manning building. The considered detailing of the masonry cladding system is developed to ensure consistency,” BVN said.

“A single material covers a variety of applications – vertical and curved wall cladding, eaves linings, trims and colonnades.

“The elevations to Pitt and Campbell St are read as deep ‘punched’ windows providing solidity and privacy to the lower level rooms – the ratio of solid wall to window is similar to the adjacent Manning building. Where the podium turns to face the adjacent Ausgrid building the façade depth is minimised.

“A glazed awning unites the ground floor functions. The hotel’s ground floor lobby is marked by a curved facade at the building’s northwest corner.

“To the south of Pitt Street, a masonry-lined vertical recess in the building’s elevation houses a glazed public lift connection to the level 7 terrace. Along the length of Pitt Street masonry units articulate glazed retail entries.”

The hotels design also features a green “curtain wall” which extend up to contain a green plane of planting that slopes down to Belmore Park.

“Viewed from the public domain around Central Station it will connect the building to its setting across Belmore Park and unify the building’s architectural form,” BVN said.


136 Hay Street’s ‘vertical garden’
In order to create the green curtain, the hotel's exterior higher up on its tower will feature a series of planters with climbing vines. According to landscape designers 360 Landscape, each balcony will also have a planter bed that will allow for both climbers and stainless steel cable attachments.

“Once grown, the planting will appear to flow up and down the building, mimicking an urban waterfall and creating a green connection to Belmore Park,” the 360 Landscape said in their design proposal.

“The cable design and plant species selection will extend the ‘green’ aesthetic of Belmore Park whilst maintaining the solar access constraints. The vertical garden will provide a green veil to the building over time.

“The landscape is conceived as a holistic urban garden. It is both elevated and vertical, and being integral to the architecture, demonstrates a progressive whole-of-building approach to the urban landscape creating a cohesive, environmental and socially sustainable landscape and living community.


“A well-designed vegetated veil is a natural shield against lashing rain, or ultraviolet radiation and mitigates strong winds. In addition, the space between the facade and the greenery has a temperature regulating affect, and promotes optimum ventilation.”

The hotel will also feature an internal garden on level one and seven, giving the whole development a greater feeling of interacting with its natural environment. The level seven garden is the “confluence” at which the vertical garden commences, creating a parkland in the sky.

“Situated on level seven, the communal terrace garden provides a space for residents to retreat to and enjoy quiet passive recreation.”

The developers expressed confidence that the proposed hotel will significantly benefit the area due to its utilisation of an empty site that is within walking distance to the Capitol Theatre and Central Station.

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