This project involved extensive renovations and adaptation of a prominent, former Government Education Department Building to deliver a 6-Star luxury hotel.

Originally constructed between c1912-1930 the sandstone building is in Sydney’s “Sandstone Precinct” on Bridge Street. The building is one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete in Australia and its historic complexities necessitated critical input from TTW’s heritage engineering specialists, contributing their in-depth knowledge and understanding of historical construction and materials conservation.

Adaptation involved the addition of four levels above the existing seven storeys, and the excavation of three levels of basement to provide 195 hotel rooms, bars and function rooms.

A feature of this building is a new 25m pool at level 5, which presented challenges to ensure that the existing structure was isolated from the pool to reduce vibration, the pool’s weight was supported, and to prevent any damage to the heritage fabric of the structure. TTW carried out a lateral analysis of the building incorporating the existing Sandstone and masonry Façade, and its interaction with the new structure, which included reinforced concrete, structural steelwork, and lateral stability walls to demonstrate that the building had adequate earthquake performance without having to interfere with the existing heritage facade or the requirement to strengthen the existing heritage façade.

Our Heritage and Façade teams collaborated on providing full documentation for the conservation of external building fabric, including sandstone, trachyte and brick masonry, lead, slate and copper roofs, stuccowork, clinker concrete, seismic strengthening, cast iron, steel and timber windows, and glazed pavement lights.

Included in the Sandstones Precinct is the adjacent Lands Building constructed c1876-1892. Both the Lands and Education building are listed on the State Heritage Register. The Lands Building features four main levels with clock tower and roof dome above. A new tunnel links both buildings below street level.

The refurbishment has significantly extended the life of the landmark Education building while maintaining its connection to the past.

Client: Pontiac Land Group

Architect: Make - Architecture, BAR Studios - Interior Design

Builder: Built

Value: $330M

Completion: 2023

Images: Timothy Kaye

Sector: Hotels & Resorts

Services: Heritage, Construction Engineering, Structural, Facade