The City of Newcastle in Australia has announced the selection of Plus Architecture’s design for redeveloping the previous Spotlight and Anaconda building, which will completely reimagine the West End site.

An independent jury comprising three members unanimously selected the design following an architectural design competition.

The proposed redevelopment of 711 Hunter Street, Newcastle West extends to King Street from Hunter Street and along the National Park Street’s northern side.

With an overall height of 90m, Plus Architecture’s design features 267 dwellings across two towers, with an estimated $100m construction cost.

It also includes a commercial floor space of 1400m² and 322 parking spaces.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said: “The City of Newcastle congratulates Plus Architecture on their winning design and commends the joint venture (JV) partners, St Hilliers and The Spotlight Group, for their commitment to the ongoing revitalisation of Newcastle’s West End.

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“The construction associated with a redevelopment of this size will generate jobs and help buoy Newcastle’s economy, which is a positive as we come up against the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 and look to the future.”

The jury members supported design elements that include the ‘meeting place’ concept and the visual link between National Park Street to the Army Drill Hall.

They also supported the warm tonal palette of the design and horizontal staked layers.

The independent jury process conducted the architectural design competition under the governance of the City of Newcastle and the NSW Government Architect’s Office.

On behalf of St Hilliers and The Spotlight Group, consultant Urbis administered the competition.

St Hilliers Property project director Paul Smith said: “With a development of this significance, we will work closely with Plus Architecture to set sustainability targets and quality design outcomes during the more detailed development application phase, including a focus on thermal comfort, energy, waste and water.”

St Hilliers and The Spotlight Group expect to lodge a development application for the site in the first half of this year.