By Barry Hyland
A curvaceous new architectural era of complex shapes and fluid geometrics spells an end to the box-like apartments of the past.
Spearheading a design revolution is a 17-level building destined for the heart of Sydney’s CBD. Called Eliza, this will be a building unlike any other, where every floor is a different shape and each apartment is bespoke. Located next door to the five-star Sheraton on the Park, Eliza will establish a new benchmark for Sydney architecture.
Eliza is the creation of Ceerose, the developer that spent much time studying Sydney’s classical buildings and found they were quite flamboyant for their era, just as Eliza will be. Eschewing the amorphous approach of most Sydney apartment buildings, Ceerose engaged avant-garde architect Tony Owen, whose digital designs are better known in the Middle East and Asia than in his home city. That should change, with Eliza destined to become a contemporary classic that shakes up prevailing design standards.
The form and fluidity of the building’s design has been linked directly to important environmental factors, including at the rear a living “green screen” — a five-storey-high wall of evergreen climbing plants.
“There is uniformity to Sydney apartment developments which we wanted to avoid,” said Edward Doueihi, managing director of Ceerose. “We are creating a building with an architectural point of difference that does justice to our landmark site in arguably Sydney’s most beautiful street, and we have no doubt that Eliza will be the finest residential development in the CBD. We hope it inspires others to think outside the box.”
The lobby will make a grand entry statement with its curved sandstone wall, limestone floors, laser-cut timber screens and onyx-clad lifts. In another departure from traditional apartment buildings, Eliza will have a business centre, library, lounge area, meeting room and a concierge — facilities more in keeping with a boutique hotel.
All apartments are palatial, with sinuous floor-to-ceiling windows optimising light, airflow and views over emerald-green Hyde Park. Apartments on upper levels also gain excellent harbour views.
“Eliza will be a world-class apartment building unlike anything ever built in Sydney,” said Mr Doueihi. “It is in a culturally significant heritage precinct so we are using traditional, precious materials — but in a progressive way.”
Jean-Paul Markopoulos of CBRE Residential, who is marketing the development, agrees, adding, “Eliza will have a unique external character that will turn heads, yet its interiors will be timeless, capturing the spirit and sophistication of those grand New York buildings fronting Central Park,” he said. “Every apartment — even the half-floor ones — will be finished to the highest level of detail. Kitchens will have limestone floors, Calacatta marble benchtops, stainless-steel and marble splashbacks, an island bench and a walk-in pantry. The appliances are the finest money can buy, including a hand-crafted stove, oven, rangehood, dishwasher and microwave from Gaggenau. The fully integrated fridge will be from Liebherr, the double-bowl sinks from Abey Quadrato, and the tapware from Gessi Rettangolo.”
Levels two to six will house 10 half-floor apartments with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study and one car space. On the upper levels will be eight four-bedroom apartments, each taking up an entire floor and including two car spaces each. Bathroom designs offer a choice of two schemes — dark or light — with such sumptuous materials as honed travertine, bluestone, mosaics, and fittings and fixtures from Gessi Rettangolo and Villeroy and Boch.
The two-level penthouse features four bedrooms, six bathrooms and a home cinema room, with three car spaces. Levels 15 and 16 will be devoted to living, dining and sleeping areas, with the rooftop level an entertainer’s haven. It will have a landscaped terrace, an outdoor kitchen and a transparent infinity-edge swimming pool so swimmers will still be able to see the exhilarating views while underwater!
The grandness of the penthouse is accentuated by ceilings that are 3.8-metres high — 50 per cent higher than conventional Sydney apartments — and classically proportioned rooms with expansive walls to accommodate major works of art.
The master bedroom alone is a massive 60sqm and even has its own private study, while the walk-in dressing chamber is so large it would be more aptly described as a drive-in!
The kitchen will have limestone floors, Calacatta marble benchtops, stainless-steel and marble splashbacks, walnut joinery, an island bench, a walk-in pantry and a separate preparation area for catering purposes and butler services.
The appliances are the finest on the market, including a hand-crafted stove, oven, rangehood, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, climate-controlled wine cabinet, microwave and espresso coffee machine from Gaggenau; double-bowl sinks from Abey Quadrato; and tapware from Gessi Rettangolo. The fully integrated refrigerator alone is worth a cool $50,000!
The six ensuites and bathrooms will boast such sumptuous materials as honed travertine, bluestone, coloured glass mosaics, and fittings and fixtures from Gessi Rettangolo and Villeroy and Boch.
The penthouse comes with additional basement storage space and three secure car parking spots, accessed through a discreet private driveway … perfect for those who prefer to keep a low profile.
Edward Doueihi says he would be prepared to make changes to the penthouse interiors and finishes — and even the layout — to meet the purchaser’s requirements. “Provided the purchaser is prepared to pay for the changes, we will do all in our power to oblige, however once construction reaches a certain stage, only cosmetic changes will be possible,” he said.
The price has not yet been established, but it is sure to be one of Sydney’s most prized properties. Exclusive selling agent CBRE Residential anticipates the penthouse will be worth more than $16 million.
A feature of many apartments will be wintergardens, which can open for ventilation or sealed to retain heat, providing a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living areas.
It is expected that interested purchasers will include expats and international jet-setters who appreciate that Eliza offers a rare chance to live in one of the best neighbourhoods in one of the world’s great cities.
“People will be excited by the prospect of living on the edge of Hyde Park, surrounded by internationally renowned restaurants, world-class fashion boutiques, shopping and facilities, and enjoying all the convenience of a prestigious CBD lifestyle — all the while knowing that capital growth of ‘blue chip’ buildings in exclusive locations is more pronounced than for any other form of residential property,” said Markopoulos. “It offers an unmatched lifestyle in what is one of Sydney’s most culturally significant precincts.
The penthouse uses the world’s finest materials and finishes in a technologically brilliant way, and everything in the building is over-specified, including double glazing and acoustic innovations to ensure whisper-quiet interiors.”
27 Wyndham Street, Alexandria NSW 2015
Tel 02 8399 0633
Architect: Tony Owen