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Coal Drops Yard

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Fraher Architects are working on a mixed use retail and restaurant fit-out project near Kings Cross. Works are continuing on site with the steel lift structure recently installed. We caught up with Gordon, the project Architect, to discuss the material palette and design approach.

The unit is set within an existing Grade II listed building over three levels. The building rises from thick brick walls and vaulted brick ceilings at the lowest level through the mid floor with brick piers and large exposed heritage timber beams floors to an airy open plan top floor with timber trussed roof structure. The restrained palette of materials has been designed to appeal to a wide range of potential tenants while also complimenting the retained heritage features and character of the existing building.

Picking up on the former industrial use of the building we chose steel for the lift and stairs structures with the steel skeletons painted a dark grey. Balustrades and treads have a matt blackened steel finish accented with unlacquered satin brass handrails and stair nosings to provide a high contrast accent against the dark staircase.

Floor finishes vary by level. At the lowest floor we have chosen a large format concrete tile which will sit between the existing brick structure with a gravel channel between the clean edge of the tile and the rough brick walls. At the upper levels generally we have an engineered oak floor board oiled and treated with UV light to achieve a hard wearing finish. Higher traffic areas have a terrazzo tile with a grey cement echoing the concrete tiles and light brown aggregate to pick up on the tones of adjacent timber flooring.

These terrazzo tiles are continued into WC’s with a matt black wall tile to contrast with the white sanitary ware and satin stainless steel brassware. Ironmongery is generally brass again harking back to the brass detailing on the stairs.