Paddington Central was built on land that was previously owned by Sydney Water and housed part of the Sydney’s early water supply system The site is set behind the remains of a nineteenth century water reservoir in Oxford Street Paddington. The project accommodates 47 one, two and three bedroom apartments.
The project was designed whilst the reservoir was derelict and collapsing and was part of a municipal plan to form the southern edge of a new public space. The new square was to be defined by Paddington Town Hall to the west and Juniper Hall to the North. At the time of design the future use of the reservoir was still being canvassed.
The site presented sensitive urban design issues; integration of a large new building into a highly valued and well preserved nineteenth century district; significant challenges maintaining the amenity of a vocal and articulate constituency accommodated in dense and tightly packed terrace housing and the capacity to accommodate a new but as yet undefined city square.
There was also the broader issue of preserving the sense that the site had formed part of Sydney’s early infrastructure. The operation of the reservoir had initially involved citing a water plume in Botany Bay, which appeared when the reservoir had been pumped to capacity. The view corridor from the reservoir to Botany Bay has been preserved with a significant break in the building, creating a view corridor which would allow future visitors to the city square the opportunity to interpret the reservoir.
Crossover unit plans ideally suited the site.
Living spaces were located on the northern frontage where they benefited from good light; outlook to the city in the distance and avoided compromising the amenity of the dense housing on the southern boundary of the site.
Bedrooms were located on the southern edge of the site where they look out over distant views of the southern suburbs of Sydney .
Paddington Central addresses its architectural context in the abstract – matching parapet lines and the rhythm and proportions of surrounding Victorian and more contemporary buildings, while simultaneously utilising contemporary materials and geometry. The project pioneered the implementation of electronic , security, computer and entertainment systems which all came as standard inclusions.
Preservation and adaptive re-use of the reservoir was undertaken after the construction of the project and the precinct is now complete.