Foster and Partners has won the design competition for a mixed-use development, including two towers, on the site of the former Regent Theatre on George Street in the heart of Sydney. The site, opposite St Andrew's Cathedral and close to the Town Hall, has been vacant since the old Regent Theatre was demolished in 1989.
The design for the mixed-use development will transform this key area within the historic centre of Sydney into a lively urban quarter where people can live, work and enjoy life in the city.
The development consists of two towers floating above a 5-storey sandstone podium that contains retail, commercial and leisure spaces. Key design objectives have been to integrate the design of the developments base at street level and to simultaneously establish a successful relationship to the existing historic buildings located around the site. The two towers become increasingly transparent as they rise into the sky and provide a point of reference for the Central Sydney skyline.
The main 48-storey tower consists of a cluster of eight tall, slender smaller towers supported by a central core. This will provide high standard private residential apartments. The second 33 storey tower houses serviced apartments and recreational spaces.
Penetration of daylight right into the heart of the development has been a major influence on the configuration of the scheme. The base is divided into a series of building blocks that open up onto internal glazed routes that provide a network of through-site links that reinvent the traditional Sydney top-lit arcades. Daylight levels reaching adjoining public spaces have also been considered in order to minimise the impact of the tower upon its surroundings.