Heritage meets sustainability: Built partnership 


Sydney Living Museums’ corporate partnerships provide exciting opportunities to share industry insights and exclusive events with our members and audiences. 

In 2020, for our first ever digital Sydney Open, SLM was delighted to partner with Built, one of Australia’s largest private construction groups. Over the past few years, Built has undertaken restoration projects on significant historic buildings, including The Sandstone Precinct – the extensive adaptive restoration and renovation of the heritage-listed former Department of Education and Department of Lands buildings on Bridge Street to become a major six-star hotel, projected to open in 2022. 

Judy Tanna, SLM’s Head of Development & Fundraising, says:

SLM properties are places of historic importance and Built is a leader in incorporating bold new visions into their projects while retaining and understanding the value and significance of heritage in an everchanging Sydney landscape. This has been a special partnership in that our audiences have benefited from access to Built’s unique approach to heritage restoration and conservation. 

SubStation No. 164 

Built seeks to tackle the challenge of restoring heritage buildings to meet high sustainability targets and reducing the environmental impact of redevelopments, including during construction. An example of how Built is meeting this challenge is the innovative SubStation No. 164 at 183–185 Clarence Street in Sydney’s CBD. In this project, two historic buildings that have been unused for decades are being revitalised through careful adaptive restoration and re-use to create a unique boutique office tower. The heritage buildings – a former 1909 spirit warehouse and the adjoining 1930s electrical substation – will underpin a striking seven-storey sculptural glass extension designed by fjmt architects. 

The project has retained the substation’s original 12-metre-high Machine Hall extending the length of the ground level. The re-use of the heritage buildings, including much of the internal building fabric, not only preserves elements of exceptional heritage value but also contributes to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the redevelopment. 

Exclusive tours 

In early March, SLM members and special guests were invited to hard-hat tours of SubStation No. 164. Led by Jono Cottee, Built’s Development Director, the exclusive tours provided a rare opportunity for guests to see how the heritage fabric of the building has been retained and to learn how Built has achieved construction targets of 100% Green Power during the building phase. 

Corporate partnerships are vital to SLM’s work, assisting us to care for our portfolio of 12 museums and historic houses and offer audiences a dynamic and diverse range of exhibitions, programs and events. We look forward to bringing our members and audiences exciting new collaborations and partnerships in the architecture and design space. 


To discuss partnership opportunities, please call Judy Tanna, Head of Development & Fundraising, on 0408 232 962 or email judy.tanna@slm.com.au

This story originally appeared in Unlocked: The Sydney Living Museums’ Gazette, our quarterly members’ magazine.

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