Arc, Koichi Takada Architects

Winner of the City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition in 2013, Arc represents an architectural statement that combines craftsmanship and texture to create a contemporary tower that respects the historical context of its surrounding urban fabric. A pair of 26-storey towers rise from a masonry podium inspired by the heritage buildings next door. 300,000 handcrafted bricks blend seamlessly within the historic context creating a public through-site connection between two main streets. Above, 59 fins travel up the length of the building culminating in an organic crown feature, distinguishing Arc from the rest of skyline, a curved roof form that celebrates how the tower meets the sky. Arc is a true mix of accommodation, containing 135 apartments, 86 boutique hotel rooms, 8 retail and F&B outlets. Included in the design is a retail precinct below an 8-storey high public through site link, reactivating the historic Skittle Lane. Inspired by the masonry component in the significant heritage buildings next door, and drawing from their characteristic arches, a duality is introduced to the façade and represented by the varied aesthetics of the podium and tower. Informed by the curvilinear nature of Sydney Harbour and the brickwork in neighbouring buildings, the materials and details have a level of intricacy and authenticity that relates strongly to Sydney’s past. The majority of the city has flat-topped buildings. Arc explores an opportunity to open the rooftop, celebrate the great outdoor lifestyle that Sydney is famous for, and the first high-rise residential design to break the mould.