Central Resurgent – A Sydney Architecture Walk Around Central

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Ultimo, Chippendale, Redfern and Surry Hills. These four suburbs are at the cultural heart of Sydney; they’re utterly inner-city, and far, far from the bustling ‘burbs where so many of us Sydneysiders live.

There’s a massive regeneration of these suburbs going on, with some really interesting buildings rearing high over the older streets and houses.  An invitation to join Sydney Architecture Walks Four-Suburb Tour was accepted in an instant… it’s always good to escape the North Shore.

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The old and new meet in almost every street.

Central Station is where all four suburbs meet, and that’s where our walk starts.

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This is very new, the Iglu Student Housing, with its rusty walls – very groovy.

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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon… now, sorry the UTS Building in Broadway

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Central Park, a wide open green space with new apartment buildings to one side.


Very modern apartment block, with mirrors up top reflecting sunlight down.

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And this old building is on the other side of Central park… ripe for renovation, I’d say.

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Our super enthusiastic guide,, himself a working architect. Love a guide who knows how to use his hands!

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This sculpture is called the ‘Halo,’ it moves slowly around, quite hypnotic.

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The White Rabbit Gallery of Contemporary Chinese Art.

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I love this cubic house, called the Price O’Reilly House, it looks quite out of place in a row of old brick houses, yet fits in too.

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This house is made of weatherboard, the Stirling House.

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The re-modelled Prince Alfred Park Pool – very appealing.

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The little playground by the pool, totally whimsical.

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My twins would love that elephant slide.

Many thanks to Mercure Central who hosted this architecture tour of Central, showing a group of travel writers how this area has rejuvenated to become a centre for the arts, architecture… and energy!  You can read my review of the Mercure Central  here.

Read more about Sydney Architecture Walks here. I know NOTHING about architecture and learned heaps on this walk – most enjoyable. This would be a great gift for a Sydneysider or visitor to the city.

And another day… I shall be taking my copy of the free map Urbanwalkabout and exploring more of the fascinating streets, galleries, cafes and galleries of these four suburbs… wonder if my teens would enjoy that too?

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 Have you had a look around Central recently?

Do you know these suburbs well?

Happy exploring 


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Posted on: December 19, 2013


  • Reply December 21, 2013


    It’s been years since I’ve walked around this area! An architectural tour sounds fabulous…so much must have changed yet there’s so much history here! I know there’s a few restaurant gems in Surry Hills that I should visit too. I can see a trip to Sydney in the future! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply December 25, 2013

      Seana Smith

      Me too, a walking tour covering lunch and dinner sounds MOST appealing!

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