William Smart Design Studio take on its own ambitious Alexandria warehouse office project

William Smart Design Studio take on its own ambitious Alexandria warehouse office project
William Smart Design Studio take on its own ambitious Alexandria warehouse office project

Designer William Smart has proposed $4.9 million alterations and additions to his intended Alexandria office property. 

It follows the recent purchase by Smart Studio Design.

There was a $2.65 million purchase from NID Pty Ltd of the 3360 square metre site along with $6.55 million of the adjacent warehouse space.

The warehouses of 12-18 Stokes Avenue are representative of Post-War and late twentieth century warehouses constructed during the industrial development of Alexandria during one of the peak periods of Australia's industrialisation.

The 12-18 Stokes Avenue space will accommodate the new fitout for Smart Design Studio and a caretaker's apartment.

A portion is located within the North Alexandria Industrial Heritage Conservation Area, triggering a Heritage Impact Statement.

Two buildings are located on the subject site 12-16 Stokes Avenue and both buildings have primary frontages to Stokes Avenue and rear access via Balaclava Lane.

While 18 Stokes Avenue forms part of the subject site, no works are proposed to the existing warehouse located on this lot.

The properties within the vicinity of the subject site are predominantly commercial in character, with properties surrounding consisting of a mix of warehouses and office spaces.

Buildings designs are typically simple and robust, reflecting the modular building forms, with heavy geometric massing and restrained ornament limited to the brickwork and parapet wall, as is typical for industrial buildings of the inter-war and post-war periods.

The Inter-War and Post-War characteristics of the North Alexandria Industrial HCA can clearly be seen through the stepped parapets and sawtooth roofs.

The development of Stokes Avenue was slow to begin, with subdivision only occurring from 1922. The first developments on Stokes Avenue were single storey residences, which were later replaced by industrial and warehouse buildings during the 1950s and 1960s.

The development of the subject site took place in two stages, with 18 Stokes Avenue being developed as a warehouse site from as early as 1943, followed by the development of 12-16 Stokes Avenue into a warehouse during the 1950s.

The 1951 Civic Survey of Sydney identifies the owners of 18 Stokes Avenue as J. Gadson Pty Ltd, a company which manufactured cans.

Founded in 1879 in Melbourne and begining its first plant in 1912 in Sydney.19 In November 1951, J. Gadsen Pty Ltd merged with R. Hughes Pty Ltd, continuing the use of the Alexandria factory as a can making facility. R. Hughes Pty Ltd had been founded in Sydney in 1880, developing three factories, one of which concentrated in lithographic metal printing and lacquering. 

During the 1950s, 12-16 Stokes Avenue changed uses from residential to industrial, with the construction of a new single storey warehouse building at 12-16 Stokes Avenue, for the manufacturing of confectionary machinery in 1958, owned by Hans Faerber.

Hans emigrated to Australia from Germany following the end of World War II.

Faerber's company was soon designing and building its own sugar sanding and starch moulding machines.

By 1958, Hans's business had grown and was incorporated as New Industrial Design (NID), functioning out of both the new purpose built warehouse at 12-16 Stokes Avenue and the existing warehouse, previously under the ownership of Gadsen- Hughes Pty Ltd at 18 Stokes Avenue. 

Since NID's founding in Alexandria in 1958, the business has continued at 12-18 Stokes Avenue. The property was offered with a year long lease back.

Commercial Office Alexandria

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