Abercrombie Street Serviced Apartments


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Forming part of a larger university plan, this mixed-use, serviced apartment development proposal was prepared by Building Studio to provide approximately 1200m2 of ground level retail and commercial space, 110 serviced apartments and a top floor private residence for The University of Sydney Vice Chancellor.

Commercially, the proposal was targeted to best realise the land value of the site and to create a diversified future revenue stream for the University. Various configurations of retail, commercial and accommodation were tested, with the final proposal expected to provide superior yield as compared to other single use student accommodation buildings.

The building was designed to seamlessly integrate with the new University of Sydney Business School located adjacent to the site. This was achieved by working with other consultants to understand key ground floor levels and pedestrian access locations. Crucial to the success of integrating the two buildings was to allocate appropriate uses in the ground floor spaces. To solve this, Building Studio worked closely with the client to configure the spaces for use by medical services companies, university research teams or as start-up incubators.

With a series of two story residential homes opposite and a school nearby, the building’s design integrates and responds to Darlington’s existing urban fabric. It provides a street presence for the apartments, retail and commercial spaces and allows through-site pedestrian access to the Business School and rear laneway. This results in an urban design solution which works both for the residents and pedestrians on Abercrombie Street and also the users of the new buildings.

The brief also demanded a sensitive solution in relation to the existing residential neighbouring buildings both in terms of scale and character. These concerns were addressed by articulating the façade, breaking up the apparent size of the building and rigorously testing the shadows cast. Specifically, the SEPP 65 compliant serviced apartments were designed with a residential character and feel, incorporating balconies, large windows and appropriate materials that provide quality living spaces for the residents and fit comfortably within the suburb.