The Lifestyle Guide 2018

Sydney’s Sirius Matter 90-year-old Myra Demitriou was the last one to leave. She fought to the very end, crying foul at the state government’s refusal to save Sirius – the iconic Harbourside social housing building she had occupied for over 40 years. In December 2017, despite ardent protests, NSW Heritage Council advice, and widespread community umbrage, the social housing block at 44 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, was put on the market with a price tag of over $100 million. By then, all 79 units had been vacated – with some residents fighting longer than others. Myra turned the lights off when she left. Located on 3,647sqm, the 11-storey building nestled beside the iconic Harbour Bridge has unobstructed views of the water and the bridge. Designed in 1978 by Tao Gofers, the building is widely regarded as a Brutalist masterpiece – aesthetically rare for the area. While it was originally built to house displaced public tenants, the evolution of Sydney Harbour from workers’ dock to playground for the rich saw the building become a bull’s-eye for international investors. The NSW Government had rejected the bid for Heritage Listing in July 2016, and, since then, Sirius residents and local supporters have campaigned via the ‘Save Our Sirius’ movement. Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, tried to appease the protests with the announcement that the maximum height of the new build would be restricted to the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge deck. Sirius is exclusively listed through Savills Australia, and, at the time of writing, is open to Expressions of Interest – due to close in 2018. LIFESTYLE GUIDE 42