Judith Neilson unveils her sculptural $14.75 million residential warehouse wonderland to enliven Chippendale
Judith Neilson, the founder of the White Rabbit Collection, one of the world's most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art, has lodged a $6.78 million residential dwelling development application for her recently acquired $7,975,000 Chippendale warehouse.
The $14.75 million O’Connor Street warehouse project was formerly the Simona fashion headquarters now set directly opposite the upcoming Central Park precinct.
The warehouse last sold in 1988 for $1.32 million when bought by the family company headed then by designer Inge Fonagy and her late husband, George, who founded Simona in 1963.
The three-storey building has 1,375 square metres of warehouse space, plus the adjoining Dick Street 220-square-metre car park holding.
Neilson’s renovation seeks to replace the dowdy warehouse façade with a walled sculptural display “alive to the changes wrought by light, shade, sun and cloud”.
It seeks to add a “unique backdrop” to the Frasers-Sekusui House Central Park residential precinct under construction across the road.
The William Smart design – currently before Sydney City Council – has been dubbed Indigo Slam.
The application to Sydney City Council says the warehouse will be instilled with a sculptural quality of its public streetside facade to “actively participate in the reinvigoration of Chippendale as an urban environment”.
William Smart’s submission to the council says the intention was to provide the new urban park with a piece of interesting architecture on its southern flank, as a unique backdrop to public life.
To be environmentally sustainable the building will have thick masonry walls and recessed windows to provide natural light without excessive heat gain.
Arrays of photovoltaic cells will be placed on the roof, allowing the building to generate much of its own power independently and sustainably.Click to enlarge
It comes with four bedrooms with ensuites, second-floor living and entertainment area, plus courtyard garden, lift, ground floor studio and guest quarters above the garage.
It’s currently mostly open plan with soaring high ceiling and minimal pillars with a glass façade across its 26-metre frontage.
Her White Rabbit Gallery is just 50 metres away, a converted former knitting factory on Balfour Street, which has four floors of exhibition space as well as a theatrette, a library and a teahouse. It cost her $4.6 million in 2007.
Now spanning three generations, Simona will continue the tradition of creating classic garments for women of all ages at a nearby Ultimo.
Shortly after Neilson bought the warehouse, her daughter Beau bought her own 310-square-metre warehouse nearby for $3.1 million.
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