Koichi Takada Architects

Arc is a mixed-use residential tower in Sydney’s CBD designed by Koichi Takada Architects. The building spans the width of a city block in the CBD’s historic precinct. It combines a handcrafted brick podium and an organic roof feature designed to add character to the skyline. The 26-storey tower is a true mix of functions, containing 135 apartments, 86 ‘Skye Suites’, a boutique hotel, and eight retail and food-and-beverage outlets. Included in the design is a retail precinct below an eight-storey-high publicly accessible through-site link.

The design has two very distinct parts with contrasting material aesthetics. Both the heritage-inspired base and architectural tower uses the ‘arch’ motif to work together to create an integrated aesthetic. The duality of the design is what makes this building unique and special. Informed by the curvilinear nature of Sydney Harbour and the brickwork in neighbouring buildings, the materials and details have a level of intricacy and authenticity that relates to Sydney’s past.

The site is connected at a pedestrian level on three sides with entries from Clarence Street, Kent Street and a secondary entry along Skittle Lane. The permeable ground floor is a unique aspect of the building design and contributes to the pedestrian and public network. The roof feature celebrates the outdoor lifestyle that Sydney is famous for. The organic crown feature instantly distinguishes Arc from the surrounding context. The rooftop opens up a new dialogue with what is possible in our future cities, as Arc activates not only the ground plane but also the sky plane.

Photography: Martin Siegner and Tom Ferguson.