The Lumiere Apartments are designed as models of sustainable, high-density urban form, combining home, work, commerce and leisure in the heart of Sydney's central business district. The development occupies a prominent position on George Street, the principal north-south artery through this dense part of the city, which is lined with some of Sydney's most significant civic buildings, including the Town Hall and St Andrew's Cathedral. The scheme comprises two towers: the forty-eight-storey Lumière, which has private apartments arranged in eight slender volumes around a central core; and the thirty-three-storey Frasers Suites, which provides a luxurious apartment hotel.
In a predominantly commercial area, the city planners discouraged the use of balconies, with their tendency to accumulate domestic clutter. Instead, the apartments have winter gardens with opening window sections and full-height folding glass doors separating them from the living spaces. These internal-external spaces are designed to maintain a clean facade while providing attractive, temperate spaces that can be opened up in all seasons. Deep recesses in both towers separate the apartments on each floor from one another to provide acoustic privacy and to allow all rooms to be naturally lit and ventilated.
The towers rise above a five-storey, sandstone-faced podium that knits into the surrounding block and responds to the scale and materials of the adjacent buildings, which are of varying size, character and function. The towers are set back to create a generous terrace on the roof of the podium; and upper floor provides recreational facilities for residents, including a 50-metre swimming pool, which is suspended dramatically over a triple-height entrance lobby. The lower levels offer a wide variety of shops, galleries and cafés that line a series of full-height, glazed routes or 'lanes', which are entered from the surrounding streets. These connections resonate with Sydney's distinctive Victorian arcades, which were an earlier response to the high density of the historic city quarter.