280 George Street, Sydney - Design Competition

The building we simply call Adina.

And like the name, our design solution achieves its intent: to be delicate, slender, refined and gentle.

We simply create a singular object based form that sits comfortably and neighbourly within the surrounding context. It produces a modulation and richness from taking and replicating from that which surrounds the site, with only the form itself being new.

The building follows the classical principles of base middle and top:

a retail and lobby activated double height base

an elegantly proportioned and detailed middle, truncated to align with the dominant street wall height, continuing as a receding element to the...

top beacon/bar or, as we call it, "Silver".

Our proposal creates a point of difference, its own expression, yet it is a good neighbour, sitting comfortably in the streetscape.

It bridges the surrounding commercial and public hubs of Sydney, interlinking the myriad of cross site links and spaces with a new through lobby link. It creates an important amenity for the users of the city and building. It allows filtering and movement through and around the building, providing for and continuously activating the streetscapes on all three sides.

The innovative approach and careful proportioning of the podium elements add a new active character to the streetscape, providing amenity for the people of Sydney.

It provides engaging front address points to Curtin Place and Hunter Street - revealing an interior rich in colour and material, appropriate in scale and detail.

The form of the tower maximises the opportunity offered by the site, creating a positive contribution to this city precinct.


The surrounding buildings use different combinations of vertical and horizontal elements to define their overall vertical volumes, with finer layers of detail to explain their horizontal subdivision. Australia Square is the master of this balance, appearing as an overall vertically accentuated volume, with a carefully modulated horizontal stacking of finer detail.

We similarly achieve this balance by the use of a mesh of horizontal and vertical fine projecting fins overlayed to all facades - the grid. This modulates the overall building mass with a vertical framed pattern. The horizontal lines replicate the cornices, the projections, the shelves, or the finer repetitive details of the surrounding context. The negative space, or the rectangle of the grid repeats the vertical window objects, the columns and the pilasters of the neighbours.

The grid horizontals are doubled in two locations to subtely accentuate the main cornice projection of the NSW Sports Club Building and the Australia Square mid recess level - a finer layer of detail again enriching the overall object.

The screen wall sits within this grid, and is composed of vertical frosted glass panels or slats. This frosted glass wall provides the desired level of internal privacy to the rooms, but also creates another finer layering of detail, through the fixings and edges of the slats, and the shadows and play of light from within the building.

The screen and grid terminate at the building crown, tracing the ramped floor edge of the restaurant and roof bar, circling the building and creating a termination at the top of the building.

Within the screen wall are framed, vertically formated opening windows or "juliet" balconies. The "juliet" balconies project forward of the glass line, enclosed with a fine steel handrail. These create another layering of detail and an explanation of the internal function of the building. These bays are fitted with double opening doors alternating with opening windows. allowing the occupants to visually, acoustically and thermally experience the cityscape that surrounds them.

The glazed lift core sits to the east of the building mass, peeling away from the tower as it increases in height - projecting mental images of home, fireplace, hearth and chimney. The activation and illumination of this element at night allows for another appliqué of subtle detail and visual delight.