The Metcalfe Bond Stores, in George Street The Rocks was completed in 1913 and is located on a site that had a fifty-year lease signed by John Upward, (Upward & Co.) in August 1912. Upward & Co. occupied the building until 1972 when the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority (SCRA) took over ownership of the building.
SCRA undertook renovation and conservation works to the building from 1972 to 1975 to adapt the building with new services and stairs for new uses which included offices, galleries, shops, a night club and restaurants. Further upgrades to the building occurred in the mid-1980s to improve visibility and access. The Metcalfe Bond Stores at 80 George Street continues to form an important part in The Rocks precinct that attracts a large number of local, interstate and international visitors.
In 2016 TKD Architects were engaged to undertake the removal of tenant fitouts and alterations and undertake the base building work for the lower ground, mezzanine and ground floors of the Metcalfe Bond Stores at 80 George Street. The main design moves were to:
- Strip out the former Pancakes on the Rocks Restaurant that had been in the building since the 1970’s.and remove the ground floor retail tenancies to reveal the original steel, brick and timber structure.
- Remove a section of the 1970’s introduced mezzanine floor to restore the original ground floor height and to maximize natural light into the new two level lower ground floor and mezzanine commercial tenancy. A minimalist glass balustrade to the restored mezzanine allows that level to share the natural light from the new void.
- Upgrade the existing lower ground floor public amenities and provide new access and additional facilities for The Rocks precinct.
- Replace the existing glazing surrounding the central through-building access stair from George Street to Hickson Road for compliance and to increase visibility into the spaces on either side on all levels.
- Introduce a new intertenancy stair from the lower ground floor to the mezzanine, designed to complement the new spaces. The folded steel stair with timber treads is suspended from the mezzanine level above by steel rods and allows visibility through to the brick wall behind.