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Griffiths Teas

  • Post completion
  • Pre-redevelopment
  • Pre-redevelopment
  • Pre-redevelopment and post completion
  • Public art awning
  • Penthouse kitchen and terrace
  • Penthouse bathroom
  • Penthouse apartment
  • Project concept
  • Apartment concept
  • Apartment concept
  • Apartment
  • Apartment
  • Chin Chin restaurant
  • Go Go bar
  • Chii town

An iconic industrial warehouse in Surry Hills converted into 31 luxury apartments and seven penthouses, plus two floors of prestige retail, home to Chin Chin.

The Griffiths Teas Building is a Sydney landmark, a symbol of the vigorous industrial past of innercity Surry Hills. Built by Kent, Budden & Greenwell architects in 1915, the seven-storey warehouse lay dormant for some three decades but has now been resuscitated by PopovBass architects. A mixed use residential and hospitality hub, in its new incarnation the Griffiths Teas Building has 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 is enhanced by a canopy and roof screens to reference the grid of the windowpanes below. The penthouse extension at the top of the building continues 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. 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.


"The best thing one can do to the outside of an old building is to leave it alone - but the inside should bear witness to one's own time in positive terms."
- Alex Popov, Principal, PopovBass
"It is an honour and a privilege to be the custodian of the restoration and the redevelopment of this extraordinary building."
- Michael Grant, Director, Cornerstone Property Group


NSW Architecture Awards, Winner, Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing, 2018

Heritage Awards, Finalist, Adaptive Re-use, 2018

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), Award for Excellence, Finalist, Mixed Use, 2018

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Award for Excellence, Commendation, Urban Renewal/ Adaptive Reuse, 2018

AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards, Highly Commended, Residential Construction, 2018

NSW Architecture Awards, Short Listed, Heritage, 2018

LsiDA Award NSW Award for Excellence, Light Sculptures & Installation Award, 2018

PCA Innovation & Excellence Awards, Finalist, Best Heritage Development, 2018

PCA Innovation & Excellence Awards, Finalist, Best Mixed Use Development, 2018

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Award for Excellence, Winner, Marketing, 2016