Press Release: Flourmill Studios Shortlisted for Heritage and Adaptive Reuse Award
Allen Jack+Cottier’s conversion of Francis Crago’s disused, landmark 19th century flourmill into strata office studios in Sydney’s Newtown was one of just four projects shortlisted for a prestigious Property Council of Australia Award for Innovation and Excellence – the S4B Award for Best Heritage and Adaptive Reuse. The building’s history is kept alive with the preservation of original timber columns and beams, loading-bay doors, historic fire-doors and the remnants of the drive shafts, wheels and belts that once powered the mill. In some of the studios, the warehouse-style soaring double-height spaces with concrete ceilings, steel beams and soda hoppers, which were used at the time to make flour, can still be found. The entrance courtyard is topped by a framework of original steel columns and beams, and is overlooked by balconies adapted from the Mill’s loading bays. The Studios’ café, located beside the entrance, provides a vibrant meeting place, with seating extending into the courtyard. Fitted out with carpets made from recycled PET plastic bottles, incorporating secure bicycle lock-up facilities and a changing room, and offering an internet car booking system, the studios also satisfy a growing demand for environmentally-aware workplaces. Most importantly, the project retained an existing building and recycled it for a new use, capitalising on the embodied energy of existing materials and structure. Allen Jack+Cottier was also responsible for the design of all signage, including a series of historically evocative enamel signs, which interpret the heritage significance of the building. Flourmill Studios was awarded the Marrickville Medal in recognition of the conservation of the cultural heritage of Marrickville in 2008.