The Old Tannery School by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

Project description from Tonkin Zulaikha Greer: The Old Tannery, a stout brick factory-style edifice built for the training of tanners in the 1930s, enjoys no official heritage status. Our clients, however, viewed it differently. Kane Constructions are a building company that pursues unusual and inventive building projects and they wanted their Sydney office building to reflect this.


The original two-storey main building is a robust ironbark trabiated structure with exposed bearers, joists and timber cross bracing, and handsome oregon trusses.

The brief required the use of the original building for offices, print room and reception, which we located on the ground and first floors, and meeting rooms, two of which we housed on a new mezzanine floor. The building also needed WCs, kitchen, impressive foyer area, adequate car/bicycle parking, disabled access and some means of identifying the company from the street without using overt street signage.

The new addition takes the form of a contemporary ‘landmark’ shape, aligned with the original building, at the same scale and in strongly industrial-looking materials. It was conceived as a striking interlocking double wedge form, cantilevered above the remnant front brick wall, and connected to the old building via a glazed slot serving as a passageway.

client : Kane Constructions
location : John St, Waterloo, NSW
completed : 2009
team : Tim Greer, Linley Hindmarsh

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