The Sandstone Precinct

Circular Quay, NSW

Preserving the past for the future

TTW’s expertise in both structural and heritage engineering was a critical consideration for the developers of an exciting new luxury hotel, which involves the adaptation of two existing heritage buildings in Sydney’s “Sandstone Precinct” on Bridge Street.

The Education Building will involve the addition of 4 levels above the existing 7 storeys, and the excavation of 3 levels of basemen; to provide 195 hotel rooms, bars, function rooms, and pool. The Lands Building will feature 4 main levels with clock tower and roof dome above; offering 60 hotel rooms, dining room, gym, and various lounge spaces. The two buildings will be linked with a new tunnel below street level.

The heritage status and focus on the preservation of sandstone materials have necessitated close attention of the design team. Excavation of three levels of basement within heavily fractured sandstone while supporting the existing heritage Education Building above requires careful coordination between temporary and permanent works. A feature of this building is a new 25m pool at Level 5, which presents challenges to ensure that the existing structure is isolated from the pool to reduce vibration, the pool’s weight is supported, and to prevent any damage to the heritage fabric of the structure.

A new steel and glass domed diagrid roof is to be constructed at roof level of the Lands Building, housing a restaurant and bar area with views of the Harbour Bridge. The diagrid consists of a delicate steel shell structure, and requires shading to control temperature within the space. In response, the TTW team has developed an innovative glazing system with interstitial timber slats.

TTW recently commissioned a Drone Survey to provide data for the new hotel development in Sydney’s sandstone precinct. Specifically, the drone footage affords engineers with a birds-eye view of the existing heritage structures; delivering a condition survey as well as a basic 3D model of the clock tower. The results from this drone survey will be an invaluable tool as our engineers address the numerous challenges and constraints involved in transforming these historic buildings into exciting luxury accommodation and tourism facilities.

Client: Pontiac Land Group

Architect: Make (Design)

Builder: Ridley (Executive)

Value: $320M

Completion: 2020

Sector: Hotels & Resorts

Services: Heritage, Structural, Façade