5–9 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross

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A rooftop function area.

A rooftop function area. Image: Peter Bennetts

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An exterior of curved concrete walls.

An exterior of curved concrete walls. Image: Peter Bennetts

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A sculptural quality from the street.

A sculptural quality from the street. Image: Peter Bennetts

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5–9 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross by Durbach Block Architects won the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture at the AIA's 2010 National Architecture Awards.

This is a tight, 92 square metre site, in the Sydney tradition of wedge-shaped sites that can be found dotted around the inner city. An exterior of curved concrete walls is both subtle and elegant, the exaggerated curved cornice giving the building a sculptural quality from the street and an unusual edge to the sky. Walls are punctuated by steel plate frames, which denote various opening types.

The building scale is in harmony with its surrounds, yet there is a distinctive presence in its form and its mosaic-tiled facade, whose soft colours glisten day and night. The curved building language continues internally, through elements such as the restaurant bar and ceilings.

The building is fully occupied, with restaurant, nightclub and architects’ offices. A rooftop function area adjoins a lush rooftop garden with framed views of neighbouring residential and commercial Sydney. The building has a spacious quality created by its simple, elegant palette, column-free space and good daylight penetration. The budget is considered, and devices such as curved glass are used judiciously but to maximum effect. Nothing is redundant.

The architects have carefully crafted an engaging but relaxed building that can accommodate a range of commercial uses and interior fitout characters. Each interior fitout sits comfortably within the building while expressing its individual “personality”. For the jury this gave the building a particularly human quality and a strong sense that the building would adapt gracefully to changes in commercial use over time – a mark of an exemplar commercial building.

– Jury citation


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