Blue collar workers in Sydney are taking a stand for brutalist architecture

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Blue collar workers in Sydney are taking a stand for brutalist architecture
Sirius building, Sydney
Blue collar workers in Sydney are taking a stand for brutalist architecture
Sirius building, Sydney

Australia’s largest construction union Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and the Unions NSW have barred their members from taking bulldozers and wrecking balls to the Sirius building, a 79-unit public housing complex with stellar views of the Sydney Opera House. The dramatic building is an icon of 1970’s brutalist architecture.

“The Sirius building is not only an important piece of architectural history—it is one of the last areas of public housing in the district,” explained Rita Mallia, president of the CFMEU in a Sept 16 statement.

Sirius was slated for demolition after the New South Wales government decided to exclude it from the register of protected sites in July. The government plans to flatten Sirius and evict its long-term tenants to make room for new commercial redevelopment.

Despite the outpouring of support from locals, architecture fans and endorsement from the local heritage council, New South Wales’ minister of environment and heritage Mark Speakman says the real estate in the Sydney suburb is just too precious to keep for outdated architecture and public housing. […]

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