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DESIGN & STYLE

Sydney's Best New Spaces of 2018

Six of the most stunning and thought provoking new buildings and venues to arrive in Sydney this year.
By Concrete Playground
November 22, 2018
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Sydney's Best New Spaces of 2018

Six of the most stunning and thought provoking new buildings and venues to arrive in Sydney this year.
By Concrete Playground
November 22, 2018
  shares

SYDNEY'S BEST NEW SPACES OF 2018

Six of the most stunning and thought provoking new buildings and venues to arrive in Sydney this year.

Our city is constantly changing and evolving, with taller skyscrapers being erected, new 'Opera Houses' being built and construction on the light rail seemingly never ending. And amongst all these big infrastructure changes, small, carefully designed spaces popping up. The backstreets of Zetland has a shiny new six-storey library — complete with underground garden and piano room; Paddington is now home to Australia's first fish butchery; and in the CBD, a laneway filled with top eateries and stores has arrived. These are the spaces that are really catching our attention, the ones that are quietly evolving the community — through innovation and sustainability — and are accessible to you.

At Concrete Playground we encourage exploration and showcase innovation in our city every day, so we thought it fitting to reward those most talented whippersnappers pushing Sydney to be a better, braver city. And so, these six new spaces were nominated for Best New Space in Concrete Playground's Best of 2018 Awards.

  • 6

    Saint Peter, Paddington’s much-adored seafood restaurant, has expanded. But instead of opening a second eatery, owners Josh and Julie Niland founded Fish Butchery, a swish retail space devoted to premium-quality Australian fish. Forget all about your stock-standard seafood shops — with their mountains of ice, predictable species and tiny selection of cuts, Fish Butchery is a beautifully designed adventure, without an ice cube in sight. And, rather than merely choosing from the fillets on display, you can ask the butcher to prepare the exact cut you need, just as you would at a traditional meat butchery. Every fish is dry-scaled, filleted, pin-boned and presented in a fan-free cool room, kept at 0-2 degrees celsius. There’s also a waste-free policy and a focus on under-represented species, which, Josh says, “is part of our ongoing dream to encourage people to eat a wider variety of fish.” The Nilands source these and others from a variety of suppliers, including the Sydney Fish Market, Nicholas Seafoods and independent fisherpeople, such as Bruce Collis, Neil Perry’s go-to. And, should you not feel like cooking, you can grab takeaway fish and chips.

    Words: Jasmine Crittenden.

    Vote for the Fish Butchery

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  • 5

    Situated within Darling Square’s new 8000-square-metre retail space, Steam Mill Lane boasts top-notch restaurants, as well as a throng of emerging fashion and lifestyle retailers. It’s ripe for exploration and offers everything, from cheap eats to long lunches to late-night noodle fixes. There’s a chance you’ll recognise more than a few vendors, too; Melbourne’s famed burger joint 8bit, brought to you by hatted chef Shayne McCallum and Alan Sam, slings mega burgers, loaded hot dogs and over-the-top shakes via its 130-seat diner — while Belles Hot Chicken, its third Sydney outpost, doles out finger-lickin’ fried chicken. Other big names include The Sandwich Shop, Edition Coffee Roasters, Marrickville Pork Roll, poke joint Fishbowl, Sichuan eatery Ricefields, modern Italian restaurant Il Bacio and bubble tea cafe Gong Cha. If that’s not enough excitement, check out the permanent light installation by Adelaide-based artist Peta Kruger — the neon-lit artworks take inspiration from ‘nightlife cityscapes’ and illuminate the lane at night.

    Words: Marissa Ciampi.

    Vote for Steam Mill Lane

    READ MORE VOTE NOW
  • 4

    Hurrah, Bannisters has opened its much-anticipated third NSW hotel in Port Stephens. With two already in Mollymook, the chain’s latest outpost is perched on absolute beachfront in Soldiers Point. The brand spanking new luxury digs includes 50 rooms with stunning views, four super-luxe suites and, for very special occasions, a penthouse. Depending on where you choose to stay, you’ll be looking out at either the tranquil waters of Nelson Bay or dense forest – or both. Wherever you sleep, you can look forward to light-filled spaces, Hamptons-inspired whites, king-sized beds and decadent touches. Among the common facilities is an infinity pool — looking out across the river — and the Terrace Bar. If you’re keen to indulge, be sure to book a table at Rick Stein at Bannisters, also on the water. Stein, together with head chef Mitchell Turner, has come up with a menu big on premium seafood.

    Words: Jasmine Crittenden.

    Vote for Bannisters Port Stephens

    READ MORE VOTE NOW
  • 3
    Paramount House Hotel

    When it was announced back in August, Paramount House Hotel promised it wouldn’t be a hotel in the traditional sense of the word  — a promise which it most certainly kept. It’s not a glitzy chain where everything looks and feels the same no matter which country you’re visiting. It’s more of an immersive local experience which gives visitors a genuine slice of life in Surry Hills. The hotel is part of Paramount House, which currently houses Paramount Coffee, a co-working space and Golden Age Cinema. The downstairs cafe acts as the entrance to the new hotel lobby, and a two-storey extension houses the 29 suites. The hotel also contains a rooftop gym and outdoor cafe — dubbed Paramount Recreation Club — and a brand new restaurant from Ester named Poly. (Yes, it does room service.) The vision for the hotel has been realised by Melbourne architecture firm, Breathe. It’s connected two buildings on Commonwealth Street, added a copper-clad extension to the roof and decked it out with little luxuries like private terraces and generous spots of greenery. Rooms start at $225 a night, and have a mini bar stocked with snacks from LP’s Quality Meats and Tom Shobbrook wines, and Aesop products in all the bathrooms — of course.

    Words: Imogen Baker. Images: Tom Ross and Sharon Cairns.

    Vote for Paramount House Hotel

    READ MORE VOTE NOW
  • 2

    Welcome to the future of libraries, where it’s about more than just books. Green Square Library has upped the ante and moved beyond the standard collection of pageturners. Within the swish new space, you’ll find a high-tech lab, underground reading garden, amphitheatre, music room, cafe and meeting rooms. The building, which is located in Zetland is hard to miss, thanks to its six-storey glass tower, which emerges from a tree-dotted plaza. Behind the partially-subterranean architecture is Alexandria-based studio Stewart Hollenstein, whose design topped a 167-strong international competition held back in 2013. While books — and underground gardens in which to read said books — are still the central focus of the library, it also features many spaces dedicated to music. The sprawling music room has a baby grand piano, which can be hired out by Beethoven hopefuls stuck in tiny Sydney apartments, and the open air amphitheatre plays host to public gigs.

    Words: Kasmine Crittenden. Images: Katherine Griffiths.

    Vote for Green Square Library

    READ MORE VOTE NOW
  • 1

    For three and a half months, Sydney’s fine dining scene has sported a Quay-shaped hole, as the legendary restaurant temporary closed up shop and underwent some pretty hefty renovations. But the harbourside restaurant is back in action, showing off a complete, head-to-toe transformation — of the design, food menu and drinks, no less. While the dining room has lost 20 seats, the whole space has gained an impressive fit-out by acclaimed architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. Referencing Executive Chef Peter Gilmore’s nature-driven cooking, the space embraces the organic, with elements including ocean-like blue carpets, tabletops crafted from sustainable solid spotted gum, and stone detailing that conjures images of cracked bark. Above, bespoke timber work complements the existing ceiling by original designer George Freedman. As always, the Quay experience extends beyond the food to the design beneath. This time around, Gilmore has worked closely with local ceramicists on a stunning new range of bespoke tableware, with each piece carefully designed to best showcase a particular dish.

    Words: Libby Curran. Images: Nikki To.

    Vote for Quay Restaurant

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE VOTE NOW

Top image: Green Square Library by Katherine Griffiths.

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