This project to conserve and upgrade the 1920s headquarters of the former Bank of New South Wales head office building in Sydney’s CBD involved a complete overhaul of the building. A steel framed structure, it incorporates a remarkable concealed truss system, enabling a largely column-free ground floor – a marble-lined banking chamber emulating various American prototypes.
Work involved cleaning and conservation of all external stonework and metalwork, the provision of lead cappings to all major cornices, and the rearrangement of the main entry and building lobby to Barrack Street, leaving the banking functions accessed from George Street. Two new lifts were sympathetically introduced into the centre of the building, and special lobbies and boardrooms carefully preserved.
The ten upper levels of the building have been significantly upgraded, with new services, enabling their use as contemporary open plan office space – yet with the interface between new and old purposefully announced. The building now faces a viable existence well into the 21st century.