Construction is underway for a 14-storey tower that will sit behind the facade of the Sands and McDougall building in central Adelaide, one of the earliest examples of Art Deco architecture in South Australia.
Designed by Cox Architecture, the tower at 60 King William Street will house 40,000 square metres of office space, which will make it one of the biggest office buildings in the city.
The original designs called for the complete demolition of the heritage shop building, but a campaign from heritage advocates and an intervention from environment minister David Speirs to fast-track the listing of the façade forced a redesign. The State Commission Assessment Panel approved the new design in November 2020.
Along with 14 levels of office space, the building will include a rooftop terrace, which the proponents are calling “Adelaide’s first sky lobby.”
A ground floor retail and food precinct will include cafes, restaurants, a supermarket and bar.
The tower will appear as a contemporary glass form emerging behind the heritage façade.
The Art Deco shop-front was a 1933 addition to a 19th century building, likely designed by architects Lionel Gregory Bruer and Norman Fisher in association with Philip Claridge and Russell Ellis, who was in his final year of architectural studies and articled to Bruer at the time.
Its statement heritage statement of significance describes the facade as an outstanding and early example of Art Deco architecture in South Australia.
“The facade is highly intact and demonstrates many of the key attributes of the style, including vertical form; concentration of ornamentation at the top of the building; and stylised decorations made from coloured-pressed Portland cement, copper panels, and metal grilles to the upper storey windows,” the statement reads.
The tower is expected to be completed by 2023 and Services Australia will be the anchor tenant of to the building.