Introducing Campbell’s Stores at Sydney Harbour

By Dockside Group, 5 September, 2019


Campbell’s Stores dating back to 1839 represents a surviving example of mid-nineteenth-century style warehouses; a building type once common around Sydney Cove, but now rare. The gabled bay form, cathead beams, hoists, goods aprons and doors are evidence of an older warehouse style. The form, bars on openings and lack of internal connections between bays evidence the security required for bond store use.

Tallawoladah Pty Ltd (a consortium of the former Tenants, Christopher, Theodore and Peter Drivas with Alfred Lai) obtained approval from the Department of Planning and Environment for the remediation, renewal and adaptive re-use of Campbell’s Stores.

The renovation transformed Campbell’s Stores into a world class waterfront dining precinct that celebrates location, destination and heritage. Uses will be predominantly for restaurants. It is proposed to offer a mix of high-quality formal dining with more informal niche small bars, cafes and tenancies. Large events will take place within Campbell’s Stores and Campbell’s Cove with capacities from 5 to 5,000.

The renovation comprised of three main components – remediation, renewal and adaptive re-use:

  • Remediation – of deteriorated elements of the existing sandstone building
  • Renewal– by removing non-heritage elements, reconfiguring the existing outdoor dining, and introducing a new contemporary structure to the north of the existing sandstone building (Bay 12), and
  • Adaptive re-use involving a mix of smaller tenancies for restaurants, cafes and bars.

This aligns with public realm upgrades completed by Place Management NSW (PMNSW) and contributes to a whole precinct revitalisation. The renovation has significantly enhanced the appearance, functionality, accessibility and amenity of the precinct.

Who was involved?

  • Tallawoladah Pty Ltd are the leaseholders representing the four former restaurants at Campbell’s Stores, namely Waterfront, Wolfies, Imperial Peking and Italian Village.
  • Tallawoladah worked closely with PMNSW to ensure the best outcomes for the precinct.
  • The project team included Richard Johnson of Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) architects, world class urban designers and architects who are also working with PMNSW on the renewal of Campbell’s Cove.

The proposal was assessed by NSW Department of Planning and Environment as a State Significant Development, who outlined key requirements for stakeholder engagement. This includes briefings with City of Sydney Council, the Heritage Council, other government agencies and services, residents and neighbouring land-users.

The Planning and Assessment Commission granted consent for State Significant Development SSD_7056 for alterations and additions to the State heritage listed Campbell’s Stores building and surrounding public domain at The Rocks in April 2017. The consent provided approval for:

  • Conservation and remediation work to the Campbell’s Stores, upgrades to the existing stormwater infrastructure, and regrading of the outdoor dining area;
  • External and internal building works to facilitate the adaptive re-use of the Campbell’s Stores;
  • Reconfiguration of the existing outdoor dining area to the east of Campbell’s Stores;
  • Construction of a new outdoor dining area to the north of Campbell’s Stores with basement storage, public amenities and plant; and
  • Public domain, landscaping and footpath works along Hickson Road.

Construction commenced on site in August 2017 and was completed in February 2019.

Campbell’s Stores now has re-opened and now able to host the more intimate dining experience of 20 guests or larger events up to 5,000 guests cocktail event in the most spectacular location in Australia.

Source: Dockside Group