Sculpted Into Place – 8 Loftus Street by Studio Bright

Words by Kate Donaldson
Architecture by Studio Bright
Photography by Rory Gardiner
Styling by Megan Morton
Development by AMP Capital
Landscape by ASPECT Studios
Design Engineering by Arup
Civil Engineering by SCP Consulting
Joinery by Woodworx

Sympathetically woven into an historic Sydney thoroughfare, 8 Loftus Street distinguishes itself within the ongoing Quay Quarter Lanes precinct redevelopment. By uniting the ambition for a pedestrian oriented streetscape with the refined intimacy of private retreat, Studio Bright delivers a sophisticated multi-residential experience in the heart of the city.

The Quay Quarter Lanes development project is rejuvenating the iconic Sydney neighbourhood through a collection of mixed-used constructions. 8 Loftus Street sits within this broader scheme as a multi-residential building with two base levels of retail space and six upper levels of 31 apartments. The building folds itself gently between Customs House and the Gallipoli Memorial Club, maintaining a building line that is responsive to the heights of these adjoining properties. With rounded corners and sweeping setbacks, the project appears almost carved rather than constructed, stitching light and space through the exterior massing as if to encourage refuge down the arterial laneways.

These vertical and horizontal façade elements weave together to create a fabric-like exterior quality, elevating the building’s textural contribution to the Sydney cityscape.

A projected awning extends above the ground level and flows around the building’s perimeter, unifying the project’s threshold with a delicate gesture of shelter. The awning swells upwards ceremoniously at the centre of the Loftus Street façade to reveal an arcade through to Loftus Lane. It features an integrated sound and light artwork across the ceiling entitled ‘Weerong’ by Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones and offers a vibrant addition to the public domain.

8 Loftus Street’s upper façade is defined by a series of alternating panels of steel grey bricks, anodised bronze screens and ribbons of black steel ledging that delineate the visual grid of each floor.

The lush, twisting pinnacle is a final gesture of softness, creating a sense that the building is firmly rooted within its surrounding context.

Moving internally to the residential spaces, crisp detailing and affectionate timber tones produce a soothing material experience. Light radiates from every surface, assisted by the floor-to-ceiling window systems and operable perforated screens. The ongoing dance of sliding and adjusting the screens alters the façade across time, casting an endless rhythm along the building’s surface and inviting passers-by to imagine the sanctuary within.

At the upper levels of 8 Loftus Street, the floors begin to recede inwards, allowing for better outlooks from surrounding buildings and greater solar access to Macquarie Park Place below. Tiered private outdoor terraces etch themselves into the reduced external form and the shrinking building terminates with a recreational roofscape accessible to all residents.