Until now, a former spirits distillery and its bordering electrical substation at 183-185 Clarence Street have both sat unused for decades, deemed too difficult to restore by a host of developers. Now known as Sub Station No.164, the adjacent buildings imprint the streetscape juxtaposed with futurism and old-world architecture.

Purchased by Built in 2017, the construction company enlisted FJMT to breathe new life into the two buildings. With sustainability at the core of the brief, the now connected buildings hold a 6 Star Green Star Rating. By using ventilated green walls, sustainable garden settings, a throng of recycled materials and furniture, along with a high quality selection of architectural LED lighting, the level of sustainability was achieved.

Artfully combining new and old, modern expressions are woven through both heritage buildings. With the most impressive addition being a sculptural structure, reminiscent of a hand-blown glass balloon, floating above the two original dwellings. Wrapped in uninterrupted glass, the cloud-like structure provides 7 extra stories of workspace.

While still maintaining the original charm, concrete finishes mixed with chunky steel beams enhance the large open space that connects the two dwellings. With their high performance and efficiency, black ERCO 48W track Parscans teamed with ERCO Optec Zoom Spots illuminate the void. XERO extrusion neatly sits between each spotlight providing additional general illumination. On street-level, ERCO 12W track Parscans illuminate the common lobby and café, grazing the original brickwork at the same time.

Photography by John Gollings Photography.