Iris Capital launch final stages in Newcastle East End apartment project

Cited as one of the country’s first large-scale urban regeneration projects, East End is focused on delivering a blend of residential, retail, entertainment and dining to Newcastle, in a collaboration between three practices, SJB, Durbach Block Jaggers (DBJ) and Curious Practice, following the group’s design competition win. 
Iris Capital launch final stages in Newcastle East End apartment project
Render of the East End project
Alison Warters September 29, 2022

Having initially focussed on Sydney’s fast growing south-west corridor, Iris Capital has more recently taken a leap up the coast, dipping into the prospers of the Newcastle region to deliver the masterplan set to transform the suburb.

Encompassing a 1.66-hectare site, from Perkins Street to Newcomen Street, the East End precinct has been delivered across four stages, with the entire project slated for completion by 2027.

Iris Capital launch final stages in Newcastle East End apartment project

SJB Director, Adam Haddow said that since 2013, the group had been investigating the unique community of Newcastle, having worked on the original masterplan for East End as architect and collaborator for the stage one development. 

“We are over the moon to have the opportunity to again collaborate with our peers – this time Sydney based Durbach Block Jaggers and Novocastrian's Curious Practice, to deliver the final stage of this once-in-a-lifetime project,” said Haddow.

In a bid to realise the City of Newcastle’s Harbour to Cathedral Park ambition, the site has been divided based on experience, expertise and scale. 

Iris Capital launch final stages in Newcastle East End apartment project

“Our vision for the East End is rooted in a fine grain response that reimagines the retail offering and pedestrian activity of Hunter Street. The new public ‘market square’ has great potential to connect into Council land creating the link withNewcastle Christ Church Cathedral and the harbour – to become the centre of theEast End,” Haddow said. 

“We truly hope that this new connection will enable Indigenous planting to thrive along the north-facing slope of East End, once again cradling the silhouette of the cathedral in a green skirt when seen from the harbour."

Iris Capital’s Chief Executive Officer spoke to the prominence of the site in Newcastle, saying it is a critically important and significant development for the city that will create a long desired public domain connecting the Harbour to the Cathedral. 

“The winning SJB, DBJ, and Curious Practice design unquestionably delivered in its purpose to achieve design excellence and has maintained the Cathedral as the city’s prominent landmark structure with a family of beautiful buildings that follow the topography and mesh with the built form of the hill,” Arnaout said. 

“The winning design also was considered as the best outcome to incorporate the numerous heritage elements and considerable level changes across the site,” he said. 

Like stage one which has been embraced by the community, achieving a sold out status, the final stages of the project will similarly be instantly recognisable through the adaptation of designs that draw inspiration from existing Newcastle architecture and retention of key heritage buildings. 

Iris Capital launch final stages in Newcastle East End apartment project

“We will continue to work closely with the winning architect's impressive design during the development application phase and refine the scheme by incorporating recommendations made by the competition jury,” Arnaout added. 

Stage three and four of East End sees three buildings establish the marketplace, each following an archetypal form. 

The ‘block’ of the heritage Municipal building, the ‘tower’ behind it and the ‘stoa’ forming the western edge, with the architectural gestures designed to provide companions to the Cathedral. 

The composition forms an Uffizilike public square which allows for both pause and transition, encouraging passage through and connection to the green space beyond the Cathedral and its garden.

“We love the city and people of Newcastle. With the support of Sam Arnout and Iris Capital, and in collaboration with Newcastle City Council, we’re confident that as a design team will be able to renew this part of the East End for the entire community to be proud of,” Haddow concluded.

Alison Warters

Alison Warters is a property journalist for Urban, based in Sydney. Alison is especially interested in the evolution of the New Build/Development space, when it comes to design innovation and sustainability.

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