Sydney Architecture Images- Central Business District

159 Clarence Street Formerly Hoffnung House (S. Hoffnung & Co Ltd), Former Red Cross House


Samuel Lipson with Robertson, Marks & McCredie (in association)
Refurb and new lobby, etc- bates smart


153-159 Clarence Street, Sydney


2015 refurbished to A-grade office 


Inter-War Art Deco Streamline
Red Cross House is one of the finest examples of Inter-war Functionalist style in Sydney, with strong references to the Bauhaus school. It compares with only a few other examples in Sydney such as the Dental Hospital  and 44 Bridge Street.


Brick and glass cladding on concrete frame. Contractor- St Hilliers.
Crawford/Turner system flat plate construction (similar to the former Wakefield and Co warehouse, later Festival Records building, Miller Street, Pyrmont). 8 storey commercial building with two basement levels which are accessed from Kent Street and accommodates up to 47 vehicles.


Office Building


For history and previous location of S Hoffnung see here 169 Pitt St, Sydney.
  Red Cross House is one of the finest and earliest examples of a functionalist style building expressive of warehouse/retail activities. Generally it is illustrative of an important period of city development during the 1920s-1930s and particularly the association of this area with warehousing; Hoffnung & Co was a well-known firm at the time and occupied the building until c.1971. It is a strong contributor to the townscape character. The column free facade, facilitated by the internal structural grid of unusual Turner system mushroom shaped columns, allows unbroken rows of windows. It represents an association with the architectural practice established by Samuel Lipson, one of the most innovative and influential practitioners in Sydney during the 1930s, and the old established firm of Kell and Rigby, builders.
  Above- original architectural renderings (copyright architect)
Below- images of the building prior to restoration. Note the colonnade added in the sixties.
Offices put beauty before age

September 3, 2011 Carolyn Cummins SMH

A MAJOR push is on in the Sydney central business district to upgrade older buildings in an effort to appease existing tenants and attract new leases on higher rents.

With the official opening on Tuesday of DEXUS Property's 1 Bligh Street - the first six-green-star-rated building in the city - the pressure is on other landlords to follow suit.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, officially opened the 28-storey building and it is understood the Commonwealth Parliament Offices, which house Ms Gillard and her cabinet when they are in Sydney, could look to rent space in the new tower.

DEXUS's chief executive, Victor Hoog Antink, who abseiled down the core, said the innovations for tenants were state-of-the-art.

He told the gathering that the property had its own tri-generation plant as well as an abundance of fresh air and natural light to make working conditions as pleasant and efficient as it possible.

Given the swag of new properties due to be built in Sydney in coming years, agents said tenants were now demanding more from their landlords.

Colliers International Project Services directors Peter Black and Mark Georgiadis said they were increasingly hearing from owners seeking advice on how to reposition their secondary-grade assets to be more attractive to the smaller tenants.

They said that as office tenants demanded more of their workplaces, the attributes that used to be the preserve of major tenants in premium-grade buildings were now being sought by smaller tenants.

Regardless of future vacancies, the smaller tenants up to 1000 square metres are already evaluating office space options that will increase collaboration, transparency, community and mentoring.

Colliers International agents Stephen Kovacs and Vince Kernahan said most buildings below an A-grade rating were unable to provide the required attributes without major capital expenditure and, typically, passive owners of secondary-grade buildings had not seen this as a risk to their ability to lease to tenants concerned only with competitive rents.

But the game is changing and most B-, C- and D-grade buildings will be in a different competitive environment as more premium-grade developments come on line. There is a window of opportunity for building owners to prepare for this situation in the next few years.

In recognition of the increasing sophistication of the small- to medium-sized tenant market, St Hilliers has just bought the Red Cross building at 153-159 Clarence Street, Sydney, with plans to fully refurbish the heritage building to A-grade office standard.

Mr Kovacs and Mr Kernahan sold the property for $31 million.

The building has been home to the Red Cross Society and Red Cross Blood Service since the 1970s and with both groups re-locating, the whole building will become vacant.

Mr Kovacs said that the developers who considered the property all recognised that a cosmetic makeover would not suit the end user market and that a full internal refurbishment and facade upgrade would be required.