Typically, Sydney’s southern Sussex Street precinct is the home of historic masonry warehouse buildings. But a new apartment building by Tony Owen Partners seeks to fit in by making a colourful statement. Mosaic, just completed, is a 14 Storey mixed use residential/commercial building. It consists of a 4 storey retail/commercial podium with 37 units above.
The façade is dominated by a mosaic of angled window bays in a palette of bright colours to liven up the quiet street. This façade has an environmental purpose. The window bays are angled to maximise the light to units. The site is surrounded by tall buildings and has limited northerly aspect. TOP used parametric modelling to calculate the angles and direction of the sun at different times of the day, and directed the angle of the windows accordingly. In this way the technology makes possible a residential building which, otherwise would not have been possible on this site.
The Mosaic effect is reinforced by the use of coloured side panels which frame the windows and enhance the facets. The masonry podium is similarly uses parametric geometry to reinforce the historic streetscape. The main incorporates large areas of off-form concrete which compliments the masonry entry portals and the ceiling is made of back-lit glass to dramatically bring additional light to the space. A feature wall reinterprets the faceted geometry in illuminated sandstone. The lobby includes a café/bar which further enlivens the space. The result is a highly sculptural yet contextual in-fill building.