One of Australia’s most original fashion labels, an architect behind the new-look Museum of Contemporary Art and a music start-up are among the tenants setting up shop in the City’s new William Street creative hub.
Following the success of the City’s creative spaces program on Oxford Street, launched in 2012, two Council-owned properties at 101-111 and 113-115 William Street have been turned into affordable live-work and work spaces.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Darlinghurst had long been one of Sydney’s most iconic and colourful precincts.
“Opening up affordable spaces like this gives local entrepreneurs the space to try out their ideas and take creative risks,” the Lord Mayor said.
“These exceptional creative talents working side-by-side across art, architecture, fashion and music will attract visitors to Williams Street and give it a real creative and economic boost.”
The 500-square metre top floor of 101-111 William Street – which has been completely redesigned and fitted out by construction firm Lochbuild – is now home to a diverse group of creative organisations:
- Romance Was Born – one of Australia’s most original young fashion labels, whose celebrity fans include Cate Blanchett, Lily Allen and Nicki Minaj;
- Andrew Donaldson Architect & Design – an architecture practice specialising in museum and gallery design, whose director helped lead the transformation of the Museum of Contemporary Art;
- OPJAM – a new online radio platform, built collaboratively by artists and fans, which gives budding musicians a space to launch their work and helps music lovers discover new sounds;
- *asterix – a multidisciplinary design office led by architect Alanna Baudinet, which works across everything from object and set design to art installations and architecture;
- Aileen Sage Architects – a collaborative design studio with experience working on projects both large and small, run by award-winning young architects Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday; and
- Archrival – a non-profit experimental design and architecture practice specialising in collaborative projects, whose co-founders Claire McCaughan and Lucy Humphrey will be the hub’s first artists-in-residence.
The space will serve as an open plan studio and office to be shared by the tenants, and will also host events including a creative lecture series, pop-up art exhibitions and fashion runway shows.
“We’re really excited to be a part of the new creative hub on William Street – it’s almost impossible to find an affordable and professional blank space in the inner city,” Luke Sales, co-founder of Romance Was Born, said.
“This initiative is really fundamental to supporting local small creative enterprises. Being in the inner city allows us to walk to work and easily accommodate our makers and production as we make everything locally.”
Andrew Donaldson, director at Andrew Donaldson Architect & Design said his practice have been searching for flexible creative space in the city to support a cross-disciplinary design process. “The new creative hub on William Street is the perfect site for such a space,” Andrew said.
“We’re particularly looking forward to drawing inspiration from outside the field of architecture – from the fashion and art worlds, for example – and think the ability to critique and expand our creative output in-house will be hugely beneficial to our practice.”
The two William Street buildings are also home to a range of other exciting creative enterprises:
- Two ground-floor showrooms at 101-111 currently feature a pop-up exhibition by Stills Gallery, a Paddington-based gallery specialising in contemporary photography and new media art;
- Cloth Fabric, a local creative firm that designs and makes eco-friendly fabric, furniture, rugs, buttons and blankets, has operated out of the ground-floor showroom at 113-115 since late 2012;
- HUB Sydney, an innovative international co-working community with chapters in Melbourne, London, San Francisco and Singapore, opened on level 2 of 101-111 in May this year;
- Six one-bedroom apartments offering affordable live/work spaces for local artists and other creative people are under construction on levels 1, 2 and 3 of 113-115; and
- A new small bar run by the team behind popular city watering hole Grasshopper is set to open in the basement of 113-115 later this year.
For more information, visit cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/arts-and-culture/creative-hubs
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