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2015 National Architecture Awards: Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing

Studios 54 by Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The jury found this slimmest of residential slabs on a 126-square-metre site in Surry Hills, Sydney to be an exciting prototype for creatively rethinking tight inner urban locations. The project exemplifies the potential to insert diverse dwelling typologies that might also function as commercial space. It takes a robust, almost generic approach to flexibly planned space, servicing and a maximized provision of light, air and ventilation. The project acknowledges the city as a rich fabric that can evolve and be added to with respect. The height of Studios 54 follows that of its neighbour. There’s a shop at ground level and four single-floor apartments and a communal roof terrace above. Each apartment has a long open floor space that runs from the front to the rear and includes a generous balcony overlooking the street and an outdoor terrace at the rear. The southern wall of each apartment is a thickened “wall” of services that includes the elevator and its outdoor vestibule, kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

On the street facade, each apartment has a different and boldly coloured canvas blind (red, yellow, green and blue) that can drop down and create another “room.” The framed element that signifies the lift core and the thickened wall of services has its internal panel tiled with glazed ceramic tiles. We could be in Naples, not Sydney. But this is the point. Studios 54 is a project that announces the larger and necessary project of consolidating the Australian city.

Studios 54 will be reviewed in Architecture Australia Jan/Feb 2016.


Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects Pty Ltd
Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Philip Thalis (design architect); Laura Harding
Consultant Paul Aramini
Developer and builder Trinium Group
Heritage consultant John Oultram Heritage and Design
Mechanical consultant ARIM Services Consulting
Services consultant Viscona
Structural consultant Paul Bekker Engineering Design Buro
Site details
Category Residential buildings
Type Multi-residential
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 5 Nov 2015
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2015
Images: Brett Boardman


Architecture Australia, November 2015

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