Retail / Interior

First Neon Headquarters

Surry Hills, Sydney, 1998

First Neon Headquarters

“…this infill building contributes to the streetscape in a way traditional commercial/retail buildings never did. In a way it’s inside out...”


This mixed use office building consists of a 200 square metres of ground floor cafe and 2 full upper floor commercial levels of 600 square metres on a busy corner site in Surry Hills. Maximum advantage of its high exposure and corner location was achieved by increasing the height of the building with an additional floor beyond Council code. Approval from departure from the code was achieved on urban planning grounds and the desirability for corner sites to act as markers in neighbourhood village block contexts like this. The building footprint covers the entire site with open space provided above the ground with private commercial terrace break-out spaces. The orientation of the building allowed for complete glazing to the southern and eastern facades. This provides excellent exposure for the retail space at ground level while the commercial space above takes advantage of natural light and ventilation. An intricate system of operable “shugg” windows to the south facade offers pleasant natural ventilation from a quiet side street while a double glazed skin to the short front facade prevents excessive traffic noise disturbing office workers. The blank north and west facade exclude undesirable heat and are constructed of solid masonry construction. The top floor roof includes raised clerestory windows which can be opened to induce air movement. The building is a striking contribution to the streetscape by day and night and achieved unprecedented retail and commercial yields on completion and continuously up to the present time. 


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