Project Name: The Ivy
Project Type: Entertainment precinct/night spot
Principal Designers: Woods Bagot, Hecker Guthrie
Location of site: 330 George st, Sydney
Features: Nine boutique retail spaces, Six bars (two of which offer extensive outdoor spaces), Three specialist restaurants, live music venue, 1000 person function room, two level office facility, two penthouses, pool and day spa.
The Ivy offers an escape from reality in the middle of the Sydney CBD. It was designed as being a giant house where the youth of the city could meet and feel as if they are at a private house party. A central courtyard and void allows guests to see and be seen as they move through the surrounding bars and restaurants. To offset its size, the space is broken into a string of discrete, domestically scaled pods. The pods are designed to create the illusion of a domestic environment through a series of interconnecting rooms, each with its own character and function.
I choose The Ivy as a precedent to my project as it shows how a single building can work as a precinct. In this case it is an entertainment precinct, and through my project I will be looking at a health/beauty precinct but the premise is the same. The location, combination of amenities and functions allow the building to act as a self perpetuating machine. It houses everything the youth of the city desire, entertainment, fashion, meeting places, yet through the architecture and interior design it is made to feel approachable and warm. Im sure there are “Gruen transfer” like elements involved here as customers enter and are lost in the maze of rooms pulling them deeper into this exotic wonderland.
Cities require a diversity of use among their buildings that respond to a new work-life balance. Inspired by the heady spirit of the 1950s, an age which led to significant innovation and lifestyle experimentation, Ivy creates a new hospitality model based on an enticing ability to de-construct and re-assess work, play and pretty much anything else you want to experience.
– Nik Karalis