The brief from The City of Sydney was to adapt the heritage listed Men’s Convenience building located in Hyde Park, at the rear of St. James Station. The proposal was to turn the existing introverted sandstone ‘bunker’ building to an outward looking restaurant pavilion that engages with the landscape of the park. It exploits the building’s strategic location adjacent Hyde Park’s main thoroughfare to the Archibald Memorial Fountain and addresses the outdoor chess area – one of the most intensively active spaces within Hyde Park. The transformation has been achieved by extending the existing high set window openings to the ground plane and replacing the existing windows with steel framed glazed vertical lift doors.
A finely detailed steel, zinc and timber canopy element has been added on the eastern side of the building to provide a protected outdoor dining area. The canopy floats above the existing sandstone building and echoes the rectangular proportions of the existing building below. The rhythm of slender columns responds directly to the proportions of the sandstone pavilion. Automated translucent fabric blinds concealed within the thin plane of the canopy roof can be activated to provide enclosure under the canopy. Kitchen fit out, signage and furniture selection was by others.