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Australian Hotel to be dwarfed by new towers at Central Park

Old meets new: An artist’s impression of the proposed buildings, which will include 283 hotel rooms, 48 apartments, commercial office and retail space. Photo: Foster + Partners Glass giant: An artist’s impression of the next stage of Central Park at Chippendale. Photo: Foster + Partners


The heritage-listed art deco Australian Hotel, on Broadway, is to be dwarfed by a new hotel and apartment tower to be built on top of it.

The Department of Planning and Environment has put the plans on public exhibition, with new images showing that the 1938 building’s curved facade will be retained and restored at the base of a new glass block, which could be up to 19 storeys.

“The design makes the little hotel look like a mere toenail at the end of a tattooed, robotic leg,” said Chippendale resident, sustainability campaigner and former city councillor, Michael Mobbs. “I’m both sad and resigned to stuff like this. I love the changes here but when I’m confronted by brutishness like this I’ve learnt to look away.”

The plans are for the next stage of Central Park, on the former Carlton United Brewery site, being developed by Frasers Property Australia. The new building, dubbed Four North and designed by British-based architects Foster + Partners, will include 283 hotel rooms, 48 apartments, commercial office and retail space and a childcare centre. It will be in front of another block of new student accommodation.

The old hotel (also known as the Abercrombie Hotel) was one of only five brick hotels built in the Sydney CBD in the interwar Functionalist style, and was originally for the use of factory workers employed at the brewery and the industries nearby. It closed in January.

Frasers sales director Paul Lowe said he felt that it was important to keep the old hotel.

“It seems an interesting, innovative design concept in relation to both the old and the new,” he said.

“It’s important to create a cornerstone of integrity to the building, to encapsulate the hotel within a progressive building for the future.”

But with the plans on view until December 19, not all local residents appear likely to see it the same way. Jeanette Brokman, convenor of the local Chippendale residents group, said: “The beautiful heritage building is being absolutely dominated by the new building.

“The bottom line is that the site is being overdeveloped, which spoils the integrity of the heritage buildings. Some of the designs on the site are great, but this building would look more at home at the other end of the CBD – not on top of a heritage building and close by the beautiful St Benedict’s church.”

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