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A
Z
Heritage and Restoration: Shell House
Current
2020
list Article list

Heritage and Restoration: Shell House

Wynyard Park was developed for Sydney in 1920, then dug up in 1927 to build Wynyard Station and lay the train tracks, and once they were in place, the park went back down on top and reopened in 1930. Then Shell House was built in 1938. It was the former headquarters of the Shell Corporation before becoming part of Menzies hotel, and the building underwent several changes over the years. Working with heritage specialists to carefully restore and integrate the building into Brookfield Place Sydneyour team ensured that the design could be restored from the city scale down to the detail.  

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The 10-storey building’s distinctive facade has been fully restored. The 400-tonne clock tower was retained as a centrepiece of the building’s historic character, and a new public rooftop restaurant and bar, housed in two glazed pavilions, will bring public F&B to the rooftop for the first time. Externally, over 3,000 sandstone-coloured faience tiles were replaced with new tiles hand-moulded by specialist craftsmen.  

We have restored the former grand entrance on Carrington Street to serve as National Australia Bank’s new main entrance, and it is here that it joins with the new commercial tower, with internal entrances punched through into the tower’s 10-storey atrium. Merging the two has delivered flexible floorplates of up to 3,200m2, which are among the largest in Sydney. 

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The last piece of Wynyard Place is the historical building Beneficial House, located on George Street. Built in 1922, it housed Sydney’s first menswear department store, Peapes. The building is a rare commercial example of interwar Georgian revival architecture, and our aim was to restore it as close to its original design as possible. Externally, we retained and restored the beautiful brick facade and timber windows, while interally we stripped back years of additions and interventions, refurbishing and revealing original timber flooring, panelling and windows.  

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The internal fit out is a nod to the original Peapes interiors, which had simple white ceilings with all the structure and services hidden. The building will provide boutique commercial workspace and ground floor retail. The rooftop serves as an external terrace for occupants on level 4 of the adjacent commercial tower, with views over the terracotta roof tiles and across the city. The original rooftop water tank has been restored and is now home to a Port Jackson fig tree, providing another characterful dimension to Brookfield Place Sydney 

 

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