• 2023

  • Architectural
    Architectual Design

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Vatera Developments

Designed In:


Drawing thoughtfully upon its historical context whilst catering to the tastes and requirements of today, Traces is a generously appointed, mixed-use warehouse block of twenty units in the heart of Sydney’s Surry Hills.

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Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
Image: Martin Mischkulnig
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  • The project faced challenges in terms of the preservation of the building’s heritage components and mitigating the acoustic impact on residential amenity due to the proximity of the Sydney Light Rail project. Additionally, more typical concerns relating to apartment amenity, height, urban design and floor space controls also impacted the process.

  • In order to maximise yield whilst also enhancing individual unit amenity, we arranged the building around an open-air atrium which brought light and air into the centre of the plan. The site steps down Devonshire Street, so a split-level design was conceived to achieve the desired yield within height controls, whilst the units were arranged to maximise opportunity for access to sunlight. An innovative acoustically treated stack ventilation system was adopted to supply fresh air to each unit without requiring windows to be opened via an acoustically treated plenum and chimney.

  • By adding twenty high-quality apartments and outward-facing retail spaces along Devonshire and Nickson Streets, the building revitalises an area that was previously inactive due to the presence of a mechanic garage and hardware store. Thoughtfully designed to integrate seamlessly within the historic context, the building does not compete aesthetically with its surroundings. Instead, it complements neighbouring structures and contributes to a cohesive local character. Traces’ design has received both local and international recognition, having been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival awards and the NSW Institute awards in the Multiple Housing category.

  • -Traces is a mixed-use warehouse block comprising of twenty units located in the heart of Surry Hills, Sydney. It has been thoughtfully designed to honour its historical context while meeting today’s contemporary tastes and requirements. -Taking cues from the former hardware store that stood on the property in the early 20th century, as well as the contemporary architectural styles that surround the site, we have devised a unique combination of a traditional brick warehouse and inner-city terrace, infused with modern architectural elements. -The building features a generously proportioned entry located off Nickson ßStreet, with the main entry doors recessed from the street to create an external room equipped with bike parking facilities. -The entrance is distinctly marked using contrasting materials, setting it apart from the rest of the building. -Simple internal finishes have been chosen to emphasise the expansive views towards Edgeley Reserve. -The lobby is seamlessly interconnected through the main building stairway, promoting an open and cohesive atmosphere. -Natural lighting and ventilation from the east enhance the lobby's ambiance, while views towards Edgeley Reserve create an inviting environment.