A new community of 99 apartments set around a central garden, breathes new life into a 100-year-old factory. The Burcham in Rosebery balances industrial strength and scale with intelligent apartment design and super-charged sustainability.
Adaptation of the former Wrigley’s chewing gum factory in Sydney’s inner west catalysed a benchmark redevelopment in an area once hailed as a model manufacturing district. AJC won the project through a City of Sydney design excellence competition, with the only submitted scheme to reuse the 1918 factory, which is now heritage-listed.
Located on Crewe Place in Rosebery, The Burcham’s 100-year-old building (originally by architect Burcham Clamp) was saved from potential demolition, and today lives on as 43 lofty warehouse apartments. Their interiors make the most of the factory’s exceptional clear-span floor plates with generous spatial volumes and exposed concrete floors. Original features are celebrated including exposed concrete columns with ‘mushroom’ capitals in open-plan living spaces, and steel-framed window suites custom-made to the large existing openings.
Two new buildings in pre-cast concrete flank the factory to 4 and 5 storeys high. They house a further 55 apartments designed to a full breezeway layout for excellent natural light and ventilation, and generous outdoor connections. The site’s total of 99 homes share an embedded energy network powered by a 53kW rooftop solar array, plus a slew of other sustainability smarts, including: high-performance lighting, electric car charging, ceiling fans, hydronic heating, smart energy meters, biometric security, rainwater harvesting and naturally ventilated common areas.
Adapting the factory not only saved a piece of our industrial heritage, it’s resulted in a healthier, greener environment for nearly 100 new homes.
Lee Collard, Studio Lead
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|Eora Country, Rosebery, NSW
|Architecture, Interior Design
|Nic Bailey, Tom Ferguson
2018, Sustainability Awards, Interiors Design, Winner
2019, UDIA Awards for Excellence, Medium-Density Development (+75 Dwellings), Winner
2019, NSW Architecture Awards, Heritage Architecture, Commendation
2020, NSW Architecture Awards, Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing, Commendation
Studio Lead View profile