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Integrated Complex of Bars, Dining, Shopping & Leisure Reclaims Sydney Laneways.

In the heart of Sydney’s CBD, ivy is a vibrant, youthful meeting place, a “house” in the city. The complex, with architecture by Woods Bagot, consists of 12 boutique shops, 18 bars, nine restaurants, one of Sydney’s largest ballrooms, a sunken garden atrium, two penthouse suites and a rooftop pool.

The building features two lanes that run through the complex, rebuilding the site’s historical pedestrian linkages and activating Sydney’s neglected city laneways. The result is a building that is removed from the hectic bustle of the city, creating an urban oasis – a place to meet, socialise and lounge.

ivy’s built form is sensitive to context relationships in George Street. Historical mapping of the Société Générale and NAB facades influenced the materiality and scale of the design, reinterpreted as a grid facade inspired by the mid-century houses of Paul Rudolph.

With interiors that refer to domesticity and the home, the challenge for ivy was to create an interdisciplinary dialogue including diverse, yet cohesive materials, forms, detailing, lighting, scale and line of sight choices to connect the interactive indoor/outdoor spaces and define the essence of ivy as an urban playground.



A world within a world

The design philosophy for ivy was to create one of the most vibrant and energetic meeting places in the world. Effectively conceived as ‘a world within a world’, it is a ‘house’ in the big city where everyone is welcome and guests’ needs are anticipated," said Senior  Associate Jonathan Leah.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s tight urban fabric of George Street and its historic laneways, the ivy development offers a public landscaped oasis within a predominantly commercial domain. The project rebuilds the site’s former pedestrian linkages and provides multiple through-site connections and accessible routes to create a public precinct destination.





Sydney, Australia





Completion Date



Nik Karalis, Domenic Alvaro, Wade Little, Ivan Kokrhelj


The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age’s ‘Australia’s Best Houses’ – ivy Penthouse

Urbis Magazine’s Design Annual

  • Best Australian Building

IDEA09 Interior Design Excellence Awards

  • IDEA09 Overall Winner
  • Hospitality Winner
  • Multi-Residential, Highly Commended

Australian Institute of Architects National Awards 2009

  • Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture
  • National Award (Urban Design)

Interior Design Awards, Australia 2009

  • Best of State, Commercial Design, New South Wales
  • Hospitality Design Award

Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) 2009

  • Lloyd Rees Award for Outstanding Urban Design
  • Commercial Architecture Award
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