Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects

Lawson Place

Phillip 165 presented an ideal opportunity for restorative development, bringing life to an uninspired stretch of an otherwise lively and significant part of Sydney’s CBD. Previously the site, located between Phillip and Elizabeth Streets, incurred a detrimental break in both the built form and vibrancy of the area. The upgrade by Smart Design Studio has created a desirable home for a variety of commercial tenancies at ground level. The hotel refurbishment and sleek office fit out above further activates the buildings and their surrounds.


The site contains two buildings, dated from early and mid 20th century respectively. They were dilapidated and featured a variety of architectural styles, materials and signage. The external work respected and enhanced the existing character to create two distinct buildings, each with their own unique identity but coherent as a whole. Brickwork was left raw, while a similar style of steel windows replaced what was there, with a double height version adding drama to the facade.

In addition to the upgrade of the facade, the main purpose of the project was to amalgamate the two buildings into one larger floorplate.  The interior design echoes the contemporary, elegant proportions in new lobby spaces with natural stone, timber panelled walls and metallic highlights. Common kitchen, bathroom and circulation spaces have been redesigned to accommodate new tenants, using a neutral but elegant palette of materials.  Office spaces have fresh, crisp palettes with exposed concrete ceilings, panelled timbers, champagne coloured partitions and bespoke lightboxes that subtly differentiate each level of office space.


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