By Glenn Harper
This article was originally published on ArchitectureAU.com and is republished here with permission.
Sydney’s Brutalist Sirius building has failed to gain heritage protection and now seems destined for the wrecking ball. Glenn Harper explains how casting aside the architectural and cultural legacy of this landmark in favour of the site’s value threatens an important piece of Sydney’s heritage.
On Sunday 31 July 2016, the future of Sydney’s Brutalist Sirius apartment building became more uncertain. In a media release, NSW Minister for Heritage Mark Speakman refused to grant the building statutory protection by declining to list it on the State Heritage Register. Analysing this decision together with comments made recently in the media, it is clear that the matter of the future of this building – recognized as being of state (if not national) significance – has indeed become most serious.
The Sirius apartment building, located at 36–50 Cumberland Street, The Rocks in Sydney, was designed in 1975 by Tao Gofers for the NSW Housing Commission and completed in 1980 as a public housing complex for more than 200 residents. Under the current ownership of the Government Property NSW (GPNSW) and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), the building has had little to no maintenance and is now deteriorating through the deliberate process of “wilful neglect.”
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