Baillie Lodges is renowned for its exceptionally luxurious boutique accommodation in some of the most scenic and far-flung destinations in Australia, yet the newest addition to the collection of intimate lodges is right in Haron Robson’s own backyard. Having illuminated many of the buildings in and around The Rocks precinct in Sydney, Haron Robson was thrilled to be appointed as creative lighting designers for the third property in the Baillie Lodges portfolio, and one which will have a huge impact on the familiar Rocks streetscape. The hugely anticipated Baillies Sydney will be right in the historical heartland of the City.

Ever sensitive to the landscapes in which their lodges nestle, the Baillies work closely with their architects to ensure each property becomes an architectural destination in its own right. The Sydney lodge will be no exception, with Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects (TZG) at the helm, the intention of the design team is to honour the area’s heritage past whilst melding it with contemporary Australian design.

Alterations and additions to two Victorian era warehouses (on the corner of George, Playfair & Atherden Streets) will include a three-storey contemporary linking building, with a ‘ribbed’ screen façade, forming the main entrance, foyer and restaurant, as well as a roof terrace where visitors can soak up the sun and the views of the Harbour Bridge. The adapted heritage-listed buildings flanking the modern addition will provide the guest accommodation – nine suites with the feel of a wealthy Sydneysiders’ home, but with a convict edge. 

The lighting will be equally sympathetic to the neighborhood’s working class past, with warm lighting and simple, yet sophisticated, fittings. The Haron Robson lighting design team have created a welcoming atmosphere within, using warm white LEDs and halogen lamps to gently downlight the public areas and bespoke pendant lamps to add drama in the bar and lounge areas. Outside, the aged brass screen façade of the contemporary building is uplit with hidden luminaires, so the light ‘plays’ on the structure to create a seemingly dynamic effect. The existing heritage buildings are treated simply, with warm white in-ground LEDs creating a gentle wash of light to emphasise the original sandstone façade, which can be seen through the glass roof of the entry foyer.

The old and new buildings are linked not by time nor texture, but by light and mood, colour and scale. By respecting the past while embracing the future, the buildings will continue to be relevant and add to the rich heritage of the area.

Currently in the design stage, Baillies Sydney is set to open mid-2014.

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