Standing prominently on the corner of George and Gloucester streets, ‘Johnson’s Building’ is a superb example of a type of early-20th-century commercial building of which only a handful remain intact.
232-235 George Street, Sydney
Walter Liberty Vernon, NSW Government Architect
Designed by the office of the government architect Walter Liberty Vernon in his favoured arts-and-crafts style, the extraordinary street frontages feature extensive use of sandstone dressings to the massive brick arches and window openings as well as large projecting double-height bay windows framing the composition. The building has been strongly associated with its former tenant Mr James Johnson, who operated a tent-making and drapery business on the ground floor until 1981.
Together with the equally impressive adjacent Brooklyn Hotel, the retention of the street frontages and some rooms was a signal change in the treatment of historical city buildings in the 1980s. The architect of the adjacent Grosvenor Place tower, Harry Seidler, argued that these buildings were without merit and prevented the full realisation of his design concept for that development. But ultimately the old and new elements were successfully combined, preserving the early-20th-century streetscape character of the corner.
On Sydney Open Day, I saw the original staircase, lobby and vestibule and level 6 – currently housing the offices of the Sponge Agency.
From its imposing position facing Government House in Macquarie Street to the exquisite detail of its sandstone colonnaded facade, the Chief Secretary’s Building is, by design, a symbol of power and politics.
The tallest of the three International Towers at Barangaroo, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Tower One stands at 217 metres, and its 48 floors house a growing business community of blue-chip tenants.
Global design and engineering practice Arup opens its new offices to Sydney Open for the second year in a row, this time inviting the public in for a rare glimpse at the specialty spaces inspiring them to redefine what is possible in the built environment.
Built in 1848 by the renowned Sydney architect Henry Robertson, this sandstone building with its granite columns and marble balustrades was the site of the first Savings Bank of New South Wales, which later became the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Chris Tham is a co-founder of Visual Voyager Pty Ltd, the Principal Voigtländer Ambassador for Mainline Photographics and a Workshop Instructor for Mainline Photo Academy.
She brings over 35 years of experience as a photographer to her role, starting with a Yashica rangefinder belonging to her dad, joining the Photography Club in school, and developing her own photos.
More recently, Chris has been taking photos during her travels, and as a result has experienced some of the most interesting places in the world.
Chris focuses on nature, street, and urban architecture subjects in her photography.