Roslyn Street Bar/Restaurant by Durbach Block Jaggers Architects

Posted on Apr 01 2011

As a small boutique firm, Durbach Block Jaggers Architects prides itself on being committed to searching for the endless possibilities that architecture presents. This means constantly incorporating current trends and obsessions with old loves, taking cues from contexts, absorbing and transforming, and aiming for a final result that clearly displays intent and joyfulness of form.

Consisting of a truly dedicated team, Durbach Block Jaggers’ ultimate aim is built longevity – creating places that are memorable, purposeful and well-loved. These objectives are perfectly in line with the client brief that was received for the Roslyn Street restaurant and bar project.

Located in Sydney’s hip Potts Point, 5–9 Roslyn Street is a triangular-shaped site, less than 200 square metres in size, with a rounded end that looks directly onto a small public space. With such public presence, it was important for both the clients and the architects involved to make sure that it didn’t go to waste, and made a strong visual impact. The challenge came in achieving such an impression whilst also having the building continue to sit easily in its place, recognising the architectural traits of its neighbours. This has been successfully achieved through the inclusion of some key thematic design choices.

Overhanging cornices are typical of the area surrounding the building, and so the cornice was exaggerated, artistically suggesting a room. The fine steeled, small detailed windows of the building are slightly offset and casually misaligned, conveying a slightly eccentric and surreal look, in tune with the offbeat feel of Potts Point in general. Adding to its aesthetic appeal, the zinc awning splits, marking the different individual street points.

The outside of the building reflects and refracts off its surroundings; a surface of cracked tiles, with a mixture of gloss and matt provide for an interesting façade.

Consisting of four levels, the building houses a restaurant in the basement and ground floor, with a street-accessible bar on level 1, commercial space on level 2 and 3, and a charming roof garden to complete the attractive structure. Featuring Frangipani trees and seasonal plantings, the garden is framed in the sky through creatively buckled openings.

Inside the walls of Roslyn Street, the softly modulated interior of the restaurant accommodates the shifting geometry of the site, uses of the room and its services. Featuring an assuaging palette of timber, off-white concrete, graded textiles and delicate white furniture, the room serves as an appeasing alternative to the hustle and bustle of the outside world, offering a calm and slight reprieve from the intensity of its urban setting.

Aware of the importance of green design in today’s environmentally conscious world, sustainable design principles permeate the logic of durable design in siting, landscaping, management services and detail design. The solid masonry walls of the site provide insulation from outside temperatures, whilst recessed windows provide natural light without excessive heat gain. Opening sections in the windows reduce the reliance on air-conditioning, providing floor-by-floor choice for occupants.

Additionally, the high floor-to-ceiling heights admit plenty of solar access in winter, excluding the often scorching Sydney sun in summer, and contributing to the volume and efficiency of natural ventilation. Finally, outside, the deep street awning on the north side shades the full height glazing of the restaurant, whilst the roof garden also provides insulation, at the same time contributing to the “greening” of the Potts Point and Kings Cross areas.

It is this smart design discipline that contributed to the Roslyn Street project being recognised by the AIA in 2010, receiving both the AIA NSW Chapter Sir Arthur G Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture and the AIA Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture. These two awards are the most recent additions to Durbach Block Jaggers’ impressive collection of prestigious honours – a collection that is sure to continue to grow if the Roslyn Street Restaurant and Bar is anything to go by. +



Peter Bennetts, Anthony Browell, Neil Durbach

1. The cornices of the building overhang slightly, artistically suggesting a room, whilst the slightly offset windows convey an almost surreal look. 2. The Roslyn Street project features a restaurant, bar, commercial space and rooftop garden. 3. The softly modulated interior of the restaurant features a palette of timber, off-white concrete, graded textiles and white furniture. 4. The exotic roof garden is framed in the sky through creatively buckled openings. 5. The Roslyn Street building leaves a strong impression on its Potts Point surroundings.