If you’ve ever driven over the Harbour Bridge, you’d have clocked one of Sydney‘s most iconic buildings: that very grey, very higgledy-piggledy block of concrete units in The Rocks.
y so sirius?
Public housing that was built back in 1979, the future of the Sirius building is looking iffy as the NSW Government forges ahead with controversial plans to sell it to cashed-up property developers who think luxury apartments will be far less an eyesore, thnx very much.
So it’s bittersweet that the architect of the Cumberland St block, Tao Gofers, is next month throwing open its doors for the first time in 44 years, as part of Art Month.
The tour will not only highlight the building’s significance as an example of of brutalist architecture but its social and cultural history, according to Gofers, who’s unsurprisingly staunchly against its likely demolition.
“We’re hoping to get more support from the community by opening up the apartments to the public and educating people about social housing,” he says. “We have such a problem with housing affordability and the Government should be providing social housing in all areas, not just way out in the outer suburbs. It’s not fair to segregate people.”
Most of Sirius’ long-time residents were moved out in 2015, despite their protests, but one of its last remaining tenants – 90-year-old Myra Demetriou – will sit for a portrait-drawing session at the end of the tour, which gets us right in the fkn guts.
Meanwhile, the fight to save Sirius continues: the government’s decision not to heritage-list the building, despite a unanimous recommendation by the Heritage Council, will be challenged at a hearing in April.
You can tour Sirius for the first, and maybe last, time from March 11 to 25 at 10am. For the full Art Month Sydney program, head HERE.
Photo: Flikr / Colton Whelpton.