The Sirius Apartments



The National Trust has listed the Sirius Apartments in the Rocks, noting their architectural and high social significance. Their entire social fabric is being taken apart as quickly as the Relocation Officers can move the residents out, and once it is empty, it is likely the building fabric will disappear just as quickly.

The State Government is determined to relocate all the current residents, including some of the most vulnerable members of the Millers Point community. On this website there are already stories of a few residents, including Myra, Cherie and Ron. Soon there will be links at the bottom of this post to their stories.

Soon on this site there will be an entry for Sirius, similar to the entries for each of the streets in the area [link to Sirius]. Meanwhile, Tao Gofers, the architect for Sirius, has written a little about how the framework for the design:

‘The brief that Jack Burke (Chairman of the NSW Housing Commission) and I prepared  for the design of Sirius was quite simple:
‘The Building was to provide for a range of units from Pensioner one-bedroom Units, accessible two-bedroom Units, two, three and four-bedroom split level units with balconies, roof gardens or terraces.
‘The complex was to encompass community facility area and a special pensioners community space.
‘The complex was to include undercover parking.
‘The design were to based on the three-storey prototype built at Sans Souci although all accessible and pensioner unit were serviced by the lifts.
‘One special feature of the accessible /  pensioners units were  emergency call buttons and special electronic locks on the unit doors in case of accidents or medical emergencies.
‘There are a lot of ideas that were developed with the general framework as the design development and construction documents were being prepared.’
Here is some history about how the Sirius Apartments came to be built by the Housing Commission…
In 1970 the properties within the Rocks were transferred to the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority. The Maritime Services Board continued to manage the residential properties in Millers and Dawes Point. The proposal to demolish buildings in the Rocks and build high-rise buildings resulted in a Green Ban being imposed by the BLF in December 1971. Local residents did not want to leave the area. A compromise was eventually negotiated and resulted in the construction of a large block of the Sirius Apartments for public housing tenants. It was designed by architect Tao Gofers and built by the NSW Housing Commission. The lease on the building runs until October 2030. In March 2014, the State Government announced Sirius was another of the buildings in which all tenants would be relocated out of the area within two years and the building sold. It would be an attractive proposition for developers if the existing buildings were demolished.
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