Case Study – Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.

25 Sep 2023


Walsh Bay Arts Precinct


Community & Cultural

Project Details

The Walsh Bay Arts Precinct delivers a public arts and cultural precinct for the community on Sydney’s famous waterfront. The redevelopment combines the existing heritage with state-of-the-art facilities, the project doubling the arts and cultural space at Walsh Bay.

The vision for the project was to transform Pier 2/3 and Wharf 4/5 into an arts destination, open and visible to the public. The internal spaces had to be tailored to the spirit and technical demands of each arts company – all with exacting acoustic control and specific technical requirements – while the exterior was to be restored without compromising its heritage significance.

The revitalised Walsh Bay Arts precinct is now home to an expanded group of prestigious companies including; Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Gondwana Choirs, The Song Company, Bell Shakespeare, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Australian Theatre for Young People. In their rejuvenated home these companies add to the vibrancy and diversity of Sydney’s night time economy, increase cultural participation and enable a range of new local jobs.

Since completion, the project has been lauded for its fine acoustics and quality architecture, winning the AIA NSW Architecture Medallion, as well as the NSW Greenway Award for Heritage Architecture, a Public Architecture Award, an Interior Design Award and the National Trust Heritage Award for Adaptive Re-use.

CAG Key Deliverables

Classic Architectural Group supplied and installed stair nosings and tactiles throughout the project, with some of the feature products selected from our solid brass range. The finish and opulence of the brass, perfectly complimenting the original timber and history of the building. Brass not only brings a naturally beautiful aesthetic, but ages gracefully, making it ideal for a heritage project such as this.

The sensitive nature of this project, working with heritage industrial structures above water, called for a highly collaborative and considered approach to all elements. The solid timber flooring of the wharf, whilst beautiful, posed a number of challenges in terms of installation. The Classic team worked within these constraints and adapted their install technique to overcome this.

Timeframes were also considerably tight, again something the Classic team was able to project manage effectively to deliver the product and complete the installation on time. This required extensive coordination with the build team and other sub-contractors such as the stair and steel suppliers.

LocationDawes Point, NSW
BuilderRichard Crookes Construction
ArchitectTonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects & Hassell Studio
Completion DateDecember 2021

Key Stats

  • The original development, constructed between 1913 and 1920, comprised 10 wharves of cargo sheds. However, post-World War II, the wharves found themselves obsolete, and the warehouses were boarded up in the 1970s.
  • The nearly 200-metre-long, predominantly timber structure survived relatively intact for a long time, despite many attempts to revitalize the precinct, which were never fully realized.
  • Considerable unseen work was done to consolidate the structure of the building. Subtle shifts in roof form and floor structure were required to facilitate the services to run the building program.
  • A series of repairs to critical building components were undertaken alongside the consolidation work. The surprisingly delicate steel strongback trusses, which form an important part of the building interior, were repaired and augmented.
  • Acoustic strategies were developed for each space in the precinct, working carefully within the constraints of heritage guidelines. Floors, ceilings and wall partitions required vibration isolation to keep ambient noise out and performance sounds in, effectively creating a ‘box-in-box’ configuration for critical spaces.

Supplied and Installed

Stair Nosings

  • Classic Tredfx INB033-H
  • Classic Tredfx PBC102
  • Classic Tredfx INB033 Brass & Aluminium
  • Classic Tredfx IKB121


  • Classic Tredefx SH60N
  • Classic Tredefx SH60 Plate
  • Classic Tredfx BH10N – Brass
  • Classic Tredfx SH10N – Natural & Black

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