Capella Sydney downsizes as ‘Sandstones Precinct’ redevelopment begins

Lands Buildings to be dedicated to amenities, services and facilities

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EXCLUSIVE: Developers of Capella Sydney have revised plans for the future luxury hotel, trimming room capacity by more than 20% and altering the “role and function in the overall hotel development”. Approved for 290 rooms, and with work already underway, the project is now scaling back its room count to 229.

As exclusively revealed by LATTE in May, Capella Sydney will take residence at the site of the historic Lands and Education Buildings on Bridge Street in the CBD, with an earmarked launch in 2021. Dubbed the Sandstone Precinct, developers Pontiac Land (Australia) have already moved in on the dual state-significant heritage structures which are separated by Loftus Street.

The Lands Building (right) and Education Building (left), separated by Loftus Street – the future home of Capella Sydney

The latest reconfiguration impacts only the Lands Building, which will now act as the “amenities, services and facilities for the hotel”. Its previously planned 61 guest rooms will be scrapped, making way for the building to be dedicated to supporting the hotel’s “day and evening experiences and inclusions”. As a result, all guest rooms of the development will be located within the Education Building.

Rendering of the Lands Buildings’ Courtyard | Image credit: Hassell

The design report prepared for Pontiac Land Group by Hassell says: “Hotels are constantly evolving to not only adapt to shifts in our culture, but they also seek to anticipate future trends in our society.

“Luxury hotels are increasingly becoming much more than merely places to sleep – they are becoming destinations that travellers, visitors and locals alike seek for the lifestyle experiences they offer.”

The revised cross section of the Lands Building

Among the flagged hotel amenities for the Lands Building include F&B outlets, new business suites, a library and lounge and event/functions spaces including a screening room “to provide an intimate cinema experience”. Highlighted benefits of the alterations include a reduced heritage impact, greater public access and the reinstatement of the historic Strong Room.

Three new function rooms on Level 2 will have a capacity of 550 guests, while a new mezzanine on the Terrace Level (level 4) will provide access to the Northern Dome and Tempietti on the rooftop. On the roof itself will be new outdoor terraces on the eastern and western sides of the northern dome, envisioned as additional function spaces to support events, and offering vistas of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House respectively.

Rendering: Lands Buildings’ North courtyard and proposed elevation | Image credit: Hassell

Inside the Lands Buildings, existing “intrusive structures” will be removed, clearing the way for an internal courtyard and recreating the heritage Carriageway on the lower ground floor, accessible to the public and offering a range of retail, food and beverage and cultural uses.

In its conclusion, Ethos Urban (on behalf of Pontiac Land) said the latest modification will achieve “the best holistic outcome for the precinct and the buildings themselves, with significant benefits now able to be realised from both a heritage and public access perspective”.

Feedback on the adjustments is open to the public until 7 August 2019.

Lead image: Rendering of the rooftop Terraces on the Lands Building


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