The Griffiths Teas Building is a Sydney landmark, a symbol of the vigorous industrial past of inner-city Surry Hills. Built by Kent, Budden & Greenwell architects in 1915, the seven-storey warehouse lay dormant for some three decades but is now being resuscitated by PopovBass architects. A mixed use residential and hospitality hub, in its new incarnation the Griffiths Teas Building is set to become a linchpin of the neighbourhood's urban renewal.
The existing warehouse structure is simple, efficient and robust, and PopovBass have chosen to work within this same ethos, nudging the building into the 21st century while respecting its glorious past. The façade, with its intricate corbels, recesses and elaborate brick work will be enhanced by a canopy and roof screens to reference the grid of the windowpanes below. The new penthouse extension at the top of the building will continue the theme, reiterating the rhythms of window, brick and timber work of the historical structure.
The 31 apartments have been designed to work with, rather than against the building's heritage assets. Exposed brickwork, original timber beams, joists and columns, large wooden sash windows - each dwelling has been configured to reveal as much of the building's structure as possible. A central, lacquered pod groups and conceals all utilities, at the same time creating a sculptural core which serves to separate dining and entertaining from sleeping and bathing activities. New timber floors add warmth throughout.
Each of the seven two-storey penthouses straddles the top floor of the original building and includes an expansive additional level that extends and enhances the pre-existing structure. Generous heritage windows and exposed brick walls segue into the airy, contemporary extension that is flooded with light via massive windows and private landscaped terraces.
Completion due Summer 2016-2017