Sydney Morning Herald
3 October 2020
by Stephen Crafti
There could only be one name given to the Arc, given the number of brick arches and the 300,000 bricks that went into making it.
A key building in Sydney’s CBD, it was designed by Koichi Takada Architects and clearly references the brick arches in a neighboring building dating from the early 20th century.
The architects’ clients, Crown Group, wanted a mixed-use residential/hotel/serviced apartments and retail, but one that also connected Clarence Street on one side and Kent Street on the other.
“We were conscious of working in a heritage precinct,” says architect Koichi Takada, principal of the practice.
Although Takada could have gone with steel and concrete, the typical combination used for many city buildings, he and his colleagues felt it was important to respond to the adjacent brick buildings, one dating from the early 20th century, the other from the 1930s.
“There’s no reason a city building shouldn’t have that handcrafted feel,” adds Takada.
However, nestled behind the brick podiums are two concrete and glass steel towers that extend over 26 levels.
Like the tiered arches, the towers are also ‘crowned’ with a series of curved steel beams at the apex of each.
“Architecture is about respecting the past, but also about creating a contrast or juxtaposition with the present,” says Takada, who has beautifully combined the two approaches in the one design, which was first revealed as a result of winning a design excellence competition held by the City of Sydney as early as 2013.
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