8 Loftus Street, Quay Quarter Lanes

Studio Bright

Quay Quarter Lanes is the rejuvenation of a city block in the heart of Sydney City. The project comprises a collection of new and restored buildings, laneways and arcades – all by different architects working alongside each other.

Loftus Street resides between Customs House and the Gallipoli Memorial Club, maintaining continuity of the building line and massing of this historic thoroughfare.

Formally, the new building shifts and folds, fluidly responding to spatial influences and contextual constraints. The mass appears polished and “ground away” with setbacks swelling and receding, softening the transitions by gently sliding back from the line of the street façade. In reference to nearby heritage buildings, corners curve and sweep, suggestive of quieter spaces in the laneway just around the corner. Richly inhabited edges provide spaces to sit with your back to the wall.

Two levels of retail spaces form a base for 31 apartments housed over six upper levels. An arcade link marries the busy street to the inner laneway refuge. Upper level restaurants lead the eye up and the whole is capped by a roof space with a recreational roof garden for the use of all residents. The receded upper levels present a softened roofscape form and the tiered private outdoor spaces climb to the shared roof garden.

An important component of the project was the integrated public art and arcade ceiling that was designed as a canvas for a significant piece. Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones was engaged for this project via Public Art Curator Barbara Flynn. His work titled “Weeron”’ is an integrated light and sound installation that reflects on the past histories of the site. It acknowledges the traditional owners, the Gadigal people, the wider Eora or Sydney Aboriginal community and the site’s pivotal role in early colonial cross-cultural relationships.


Furniture: Grazia & Co, Tait. Lighting: Apparatus, Lambert & Fils from Living Edge, Vibia from Koda Lighting, Anchor Ceramics, Grazia & Co, Flos from Euroluce, Astro, Caribou. Finishes: Austral Bricks, Metrix, Shutterflex, Interpon, Briggs Veneer, Dulux, 2pac joinery. Fittings & Fixtures: Miele, Gaggenau, Fisher & Paykel, Blum, Astrawalker.

Photography: Rory Gardiner