Newtown, NSW


2006 Marrickville Council Medal for Conservation
2006 National Trust of Australia (NSW) Conservation & Energy Management Award
2006 National Trust of Australia (NSW) Adaptive Reuse Award

The Crago Mill in Newtown, on the western fringe of Sydney’s inner city, has landmark structures that are significant heritage survivors of a period when flour milling was dominated by large city mills alongside railway lines.

The concrete silos and a tall complex of timber storage bins were originally used for the storage of grain. The Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects  project converted these structures into residential use with associated open space. A new lower-rise structure provides additional apartments alongside the refurbished heritage buildings. All new work is clearly articulated, and the retained potions were restored in such a way that the three buildings form a coherent and functional whole.

The project  retains the industrial qualities, scale and aesthetics of the existing complex. The three buildings accommodate 59 apartments over 14 levels. The existing ground-level bases of the historic silos and bins have architecturally impressive timber and concrete structural forms, and were designed as the two main foyers for the new building. As the top of the silos, a new three-storey metal-clad ‘crown’ provides penthouse accommodation.

The Silo apartments take advantage of the circular plan forms to create unusual but rational room shapes, reconciling southern views with northern sunlight access. Throughout the development, original unfinished wall surfaces were retained, linking the past to the building’s present use.


Tim Greer, Angela Rheinlander, Kon Vourtzoumis, Julie Mackenzie, Victor Young, Roger O’Sullivan, Paul Rolfe, John Chesterman, Bettina Siegmund, Ruth Leiminer, Jo Vranistas, Marcia Morley, Liz Wearne. Photos by Patrick Bingham-Hall