The Royal Bank of Canada/Workers’ Compensation Board Building, located on Sydney’s main street in the downtown retail and banking district, was designed to herald a new financial address in the heart of Sydney’s downtown. The design team’s goal was to design a modern, functional building for a commercial banking enterprise, also being sensitive to downtown Sydney’s aesthetic, social, and historical identity.
The site presented many challenges for the Trifos Design Team, from steep grade changes on the site, to disjointed circulation and access points. Additionally, feelings of contention were expressed by members of the community, as the site once housed Sydney’s prominent Vogue Theatre movie house.
In order to pay homage to the original Vogue Theatre, and to acknowledge the community’s partiality to the downtown icon, art deco architectural detailing, typical of the early 20th century, was implemented in the new design. The large, dramatic entry portal features detailed glazing elements, presenting a curved overhang above the main entrance, to create an entry threshold reminiscent of the original theatre marquee.
The building has received a warm response from the downtown community, and has served as a bridge between an era gone by, and the hope for a new and revitalized economic future for Sydney’s downtown core.