Text description provided by the architects. Daramu House is an evolution of its sister building, International House Sydney. Together they complete the first stage of the Barangaroo South precinct, establishing the unique and desirable character of mass timber construction in the competitive CBD office market. Daramu House has been designed to present a cohesive and inviting public threshold to Barangaroo South, providing a transition in scale between the three towers and Sussex Street, establishing a 7 storey street wall and continuous colonnade edge to the precinct.
What distinguishes Daramu House, is its position at the intersection of the commercial and residential Barangaroo precincts. The architecture responds to this condition at the northern boundary by taking on a sculptural, folding form. This form signals the end of the street wall on Sussex Street and the turning point toward the harbour. The fluid northern form provides generous amenity on the ground plane, enhancing the connection between Sussex Street and the harbour. The distinctive architecture of this part of Daramu House differentiates the commercial precinct of Barangaroo from the residential precinct to the north, whilst reinforcing precinct and harbour vistas. The rounded corners of Daramu House encourage seamless pedestrian movement into the precinct contributing to the connectivity and legibility of the public domain.
On Sussex Street, the commercial entry is announced through a dramatic two storey space. An impressive 18m span in glulam members allows a column-free entry by utilising the bracing elements on the upper 5 storeys as a truss. On the vibrant laneway of Scotch Row, the façade intersects with the exposed CLT lift core providing views to its timber anatomy for the full height of the building, both from the public domain and from within. At the heart of the design is the warm, golden glow of the timber structure that is wrapped in a minimal glazed envelope allowing the timber to be celebrated as the hero. The expanded structural grid of 9m x 9m is currently the largest in the world for mid-rise commercial projects, allowing for generous and flexible fit-out opportunities.
Daramu House celebrates the rich industrial history of Barangaroo by reinterpreting the timber building typology that dominated the site post-European settlement. The pragmatic and expressed use of solid timber as the structural component of the building connects the history of this precinct to the present. External timber elements are made from Australian recycled hardwood selected for robustness, durability and weathering. Internally, the timber is left unadorned and uncovered providing warmth and a tactile beauty to the commercial floors, as well as contributing to a healthier, biophilic workplace for all users.