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Irving Street Brewery wins Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage at 2015 National Architecture Awards

The adaptive reuse of a century-old brewery at Sydney’s Central Park precinct has won the coveted Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage at the 2015 National Architecture Awards. The project involved the repurposing of the heritage-listed Kent Brewery into a new commercial, retail and residential building to complement the surrounding developments at the Central Park precinct.

Jury Citation: The Irving Street Brewery is an outstanding example of the retention and adaptive re-use of a significant heritage building. It acts as the generating focus of an entire new urban precinct, whose masterplan is by the same architect. Tzannes Associates has created a landmark of almost futurist-inspired forms at the level of the skyline and people-scaled urban spaces at ground level. On top of the historic brick brewery, part of a trigeneration plant for the entire surrounding development has been imaginatively integrated. The project thus combines new technology, sustainability, urban design and heritage.

The rooftop additions, clad in expanded metal mesh fabric, are exciting and dynamic, with a clear definition between old and new. These elegantly detailed forms stand in memorable contradistinction to the relatively uniform fabric of the surrounding highrise apartment towers and slabs. In short, Tzannes Associates has provided the precinct with its first ‘monument’ and given identity to the series of substantial urban spaces and interconnections at ground level. The historic shell has been retained and awaits a new public function but all of the structure’s industrial parts, including the original hoppers, have been faithfully revealed. The Irving Street Brewery is one of the only remnants of a much larger complex of industrial buildings that originally occupied this inner Sydney site.

The Irving Street Brewery delivers significant community benefits through a highly energy-efficient method of supplying power and hot and cold water to a major inner urban mixed-use development. It provides a model of how new sustainable technologies can be integrated and celebrated with the reinvention and adaptive re-use of an important historic structure.