Oxford Corner is a mixed use development consisting of 8 units above a ground floor cafe. It is located in Oxford Street in Sydney’s historic Paddington area. Paddington is a suburb famous for its traditional terrace houses and rich streetscape. Oxford Street is the cultural high-street of Paddington. The site is very prominent as it sits on a plaza next to Paddington Uniting Church; the site of famous weekly Paddington Markets. Also, the site housed a café which is a local institution. In recent times, the traditional retail centre of Oxford Street has been in decline in the face of competition from new shopping malls, with many vacant shops, and is in need of revitalisation and destination developments to draw people back to the area. We conceived this development to be such a destination; an iconic architectural statement which will re-energise the community and economy.

The site presented many streetscape challenges. There is a traditional of prominent buildings which celebrate the corner sites. We sought a building which would continue this tradition. At the same time, it adjoins a church with a very ornate façade with sandstone buttresses and the vertical glass windows. We set out to design a building using traditional materials and with a rich geometry which was also totally contemporary. The strong geometric façade reflects the proportions and rhythms of the church opposite.

Our analysis of Oxford Street reveals a vertical rhythm created by the terrace houses. The proposed massing echoes this vertical rhythm by alternating between recessed balcony screen zones and more solid zones. The building is clad in sandstone to match the church. The patterning of the metal screening on the balconies echoes the rhythmic and repetitive filigree of the tracery of the stained glass windows. The 3rd level is pitched back. This reflects the expression is typical of the area where the first 2 storeys are expressed strongly whilst there is a more distinct roof expression of the 3rd level. The result is a striking contemporary building which reinforces its traditional historic context and creates a new destination to revitalise the area. 

source: Tony Owen Partners