The restoration and integration of Skittle Lane (known for once being used by nineteenth-century wharfies and sailors for games of ‘beer and skittles’), adds to the development’s historical integrity. Studded with an appealing array of retail and dining venues, the laneway sits within an imposing eight-storey, brick-pillared atrium, providing pedestrian links between King, Clarence and Kent Streets.
As the brick gives way to the lighter, brighter skyscraper towers above, Koichi says the rigorously defined geometry of the arch motif evolves into a more asymmetrical ellipse which lends an exquisite fluidity to the built form.
The gleaming glass towers are encircled in a series of 56 white steel arches (the largest of which weigh in at four tonnes) that curve over the building’s open rooftop garden, forming a graceful, domed crown – a distinctive addition to the city skyline. Here, high above the city, the visual reference is Sydney’s broader landscape and iconic structures of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
‘It became a conscious decision to crown the building with an architectural feature that relates to how people perceive Sydney,’ Koichi explains.
With its turquoise water features, frangipani trees and jaw-dropping city views, the rooftop garden forges a true connection to nature – something Koichi believes can have a transformative effect on inner-city living and which he strives to achieve with all his projects. ‘When you go to the rooftop, finally it opens up and you start to see what’s beyond the CBD context, and this is a wonderful way to connect with the undulating landscape of Sydney Harbour.’
Iwan Sunito adds that this emphasis on lifestyle and amenity is a core element of Arc by Crown Group’s functional design intent. Throughout the interiors, the focus is on liveability, luxury and beauty. ‘At Crown Group we believe strongly in the need to create community and a lifestyle for our residents and hotel guests, and to add elements of nature,’ he says.