Maybanke is one half of a pair of heritage listed Victorian Gothic Revival style townhouses built in 1871, overlooking Snails Bay, on the lower side of a Wharf Road which followed the escarpment of a typical Sydney Harbour sandstone rock outcrop. Alterations to Maybanke in 1938 to create a residential flat building had been so comprehensive as to fundamentally alter its form and completely degrade its cultural significance as a pair with the adjacent Normanton.
The reconstruction of Maybanke restored the Gothic Revival detailing, the original gambrel roof form, the entry to its original position and through site glimpses to Snails Bay for the public from Wharf Road.
To the Harbour frontage we constructed a modern addition with exposed concrete framing, visually distinct from the restored Maybanke, utilizing traditional materials of zinc, timber louvres and micaceous oxide painted steel with frameless aluminium glazed walls to deliver panoramic views, daylight, and energy efficiency.
Maybanke occupies five levels of living so the daily process of moving between levels had to be a wonderful experience. We created a top lit vertical space into which has been inserted an open steel and timber stair with a suspended tensioned brass mesh screen, conceived as much as piece of sculpture to be viewed from both above and below as one uses the stairs.