We are all aware of 223 North Terrace, which is one of the newer apartment buildings in our city.
However, like other buildings, the final design is not like the original design.
This building has a long history. In fact the lower levels, which are a 1400 space carpark, was actually built in 1967. The carpark was designed by the now defunct local architectural firm of Berry, Gilbert & Polomka. The structure of the carpark was designed to support the weight of a further 8 levels. Back in the 1960's the developers behind the carpark had actually intended to also build a hotel above the carpark as stage 2 of this development. However, the developers encountered problems with the ACC, as they wanted to have the carpark entrance/exit fronting onto North Terrace, whereas the ACC wanted the entrance/exit to front onto Charles Street. After much debate and discussion, the developers won out, however, the develoeprs had lost enough money at this stage that they pulled out, leaving only the carpark.
This situation remained until 1999, when this proposal was proposed by local develop DTL Investments. This design by Woodhead International was to include 2 'towers' above the carpark. The northern tower (pictured) was 8 levels and the southern tower was 4 levels. The development was to have had a total of 89 apartments and cost $35 million.
Although this proposal was approved by the council in october 2000, it experienced harsh criticism, with the then director of the Art Gallery describing it as "architecturall dismal, not to say appallingly ugly". Then director of the Museum of SA, Tim Flannery stated "the sense of proportion, grandeur and scenic beauty of the entire precinct is threatened". Similar objections were lodged by the State Library and the university of Adelaide.
Such criticisms must have impacted upon sales, because this propsoal was abandoned. The air-space above the John Martins carpark was then sold to local developer Buchan-Lee who commissioned TECTVS to come up with a new design. This development is the one which came to fruition. The new proposal, contains 94 apartments, and costed $50 million.
Although the origianl critics of the proposal were still not happy, and acknoledged that in an ideal world, no new high-rise buildigns should be built on North Terrace, their criticism of the architecture was less severe this time round. Furthermroe with the improving economy, this proposal began construction in late 2003, to be completed in early 2007.