The fascinating aspects behind redeveloping heritage preservation sites are often overlooked and should encompass so much more than just the conservation of historic structures. We put a spotlight on 39 Hunter Street in Sydney to see what kind of sustainable and innovative thinking should be the norm for these types of projects…
39 Hunter Street was built in 1916 as the prestigious headquarters of Perpetual Trustees, now forming a seven storey sandstone commercial property, the site found itself being modernised three times during its life. Prior to redevelopment, the architect studio Jackson Teece along with their project partners Kador Group, ARUP, Hyder, EMS and JCK Project Management, found themselves redesigning a Sydney property with no provision for parking along with interior spaces that were rendered cramped and dark, the 6500 square metre building was in dire need of a significant upgrade to ensure the heritage building’s continued viability for years to come.
Jackson Teece said that prior to redevelopment, the light voids were largely filled in by an ornate coffered ceiling which was concealed behind a commercialised tiled ceiling, along with a maze of mechanical and electrical services. A cut through the building introduced more natural light, suspended tile ceilings were removed to reveal the heritage ceilings, a flexible contemporary work environment was created, and a new entry experience and disabled access were provided.
Sustainability features were also of high importance throughout the development. 39 Hunter Street is now equipped with onsite power generation for peak load management, along with low VOC emission materials and energy efficient services used, to sustainably manage lighting, water use and power consumption. The project team also found that indoor air quality improved thanks to these functionalities. The building also encourages self-transport by providing extensive bike and shower facilities.
The building has received various accolades since its modern redevelopment in 2010, such as Australia’s first 6-star Green- Star Heritage Commercial rating along with the Property Council of Australia’s Innovation & Excellence Awards for Best Heritage and Adaptive Re-Use award in 2012.
This building is an example of how Australia should strive to revitalise our nation’s heritage buildings through the application of innovative and environmentally sustainable design.
More information on this heritage redevelopment project can be accessed here.