Foveaux Apartments


Faveaux Apartments, Surry hills

Masterplan Phase

Suite 3.01 46a Maclay St Potts Point 2011

7 level residential apartment building

69-81 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills


Principal in Charge:
Richard Huxley

Design Principal:
Richard Huxley

Project Team:
Richard Huxley
Siem Salem
Richard Wilkinson
Vittoria Donadei


The Legion Cab site has two street frontages each circa 45 m in length to both Foveaux and Sophia Streets. The Foveaux Street frontage faces north/north west and the Sophia Street frontage faces south/southeast. The site is circa 30 m deep in a north/south direction. There are existing buildings built hard on the western and eastern boundaries and there is a large warehouse building built hard to the southern side of Sophia Street.

The site is a few hundred metres from Central Station and in the middle of a thriving residential, retail and business area. The proximity to transport combined with the “grunge factor” of Surry Hills attracts a younger generation demographic of gen X, Y + Z to the area. Surry Hills is classic Sydney CBD city fringe and the epicentre of boutique fashion and creative consultancy businesses together with private educational colleges such as AMC (Australian Music School). Foveaux Street is a long street cutting a route east west from Moore Park to Central starting on top of the hill at Bourke Street and running downhill all the way to Elizabeth Street. The built environment of Surry Hills is a mixture of warehouse buildings, small commercial buildings, apartment buildings, residential and commercial terraces. The site has no heritage issues but there is a dominance of older style buildings in the area and Surry Hills is generally thought of as a conservation area in planning and architecture terms. This being said, Surry Hills is a mix of many things and has been described as completely heterogeneous in nature combining the best and worst the built environment of Sydney has on offer. In this extremely, diverse and compelling context quality contemporary architecture is found as the exception rather than the rule.

Our design concept makes a symbolic reference to Le Corbusier’s own apartment development at 24 Nungesser and Coli Street, Paris or at its known 24 NC. Designed in 1931 by le Corbusier this project was 13 m x 26 m very similar to the 15 m x 30 m model of our 3 buildings stepping down Foveaux Street. There is a circa 1.8m cross fall along the Sophia and Foveaux frontage and with significant slope we needed this strategy of “one building” with “3 cores”, “3 built forms” and “3 entries” so that the entire building can step down the street in a character consistent with a Foveaux Street streetscape. This enables the scheme achieve compliance to the height plane controls. This stepping form gives us the opportunity to develop a rich and varied character and we believe this strategy this will be received well by the City of Sydney Planning Department.

Our proposal also splits the site into 2 built forms separated by a 12 m courtyard space creating Foveaux and Sophia Street apartment buildings and product. Perforated screen walls that enclose access walkways and the lift/stair core elements then link the buildings. Much like the 24 NC apartment building this strategy affords an enormous amount of natural light and ventilation to all the apartments. The courtyard spaces will feel separate and yet connected and once inside the development you will be able to walk throughout all the courtyard spaces. Looking up from the ground floor you will see a combination of green walls, glass and mirrored surfaces, metal screens, surfaces and louvers. We intend that this courtyard environment will be highly creative and artistic and be strong part of what sets this project apart from more standard projects. The motif of green walls will continue up and over onto the rooftop to create garden spaces for private and public use. Over the Sophia Street apartments we propose to create a communal barbeque and relaxation area and over the Foveaux Street apartments we propose creating private gardens much like Le Corbusier’s had over his own penthouse apartment on top of 24 NC, Paris.

To further activate the ground floor we have provided a small number of studio offices. This could have access from either Sophia Street or the courtyard but we feel that activation of both Sophia Street and the courtyard will create both good passive control and security and a positive energy. We believe that purchasers of the apartments could equally be purchasers of the studio offices.

The car park access has been located at the lower end of Sophia Street to minimize the impact of vehicles on the development. Cars, bikes, storage and plant will be located within 2 basement floors in a split-level car park design arrangement.

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