Press Release: ‘Secret Garden’ for studios in inner urban Sydney
The spaces were anything but inspiring when Allen Jack+Cottier’s design team first saw the small suite of commercial buildings located on Harris Street, Pyrmont in Sydney’s inner west. Harris Street Studios, as it’s called, included an existing 1880s two-storey building on Harris Street occupied by Simon Johnson Gourmet Foods, and a dilapidated single storey wing enclosing a small damp courtyard that opened to Little Mount Street to the west. Next to this, at 179 Harris Street, was another building, also with heritage aspects to consider. AJ+C’s brief was to rework the complex to provide additional Grade B commercial floor space and carparking. One year on the suite of buildings has been completely reconfigured to form a vibrant, light-filled and green ‘campus-like’ studio complex in a highly built up urban area. ‘This is a dense inner city area with layers of historical complexity, including some wonderful textures and materials which we wanted to retain,’ said Jim Koopman, Project Architect. ‘Our solution was to create a central glazed atrium space, partially open to the sky, enclosed by an arrangement of studios and workspaces in a mini campus form. This living green space at its centre is like a sunlit secret garden of moss and bamboo that is the living heart of the building. It is surrounded by the original brick walls and new walls of zinc, steel and concrete to form a light filled contemporary space.’ he adds.