Surry Hills is on the land of the Gadigal people. Despite European invasion and the depredations of illness, Gadigal people remained living within Sydney, on their own terms, often by the water where they could fish. A large camp developed at Cleveland Street, on the site of Prince Alfred Park. Gadigal families, like the Maddens, still live in Surry Hills, Redfern and Marrickville today.

The line of what is now Crown Street was a plateau of sandstone overlaid by a shale cap that weathered into a hard, blue clay which was highly suitable for brickmaking. The area where Northcott Place now stands was originally a gigantic white sandhill stabilised by blackbutts, bloodwoods, angophoras and banksias, which was known as Strawberry Hill. It was the highest hill in Surry Hills.

Design resolution:

The key objectives for the project were to improve safety, improve the aesthetic appearance of the façade, rectify the structural defects to the existing concrete balustrades and reduce rain and wind impacts on external corridors.

The main design drivers for the project were the aboriginal history and the inseparable connection of the Gadigal people with the water and the beautiful description of the untouched landscape where John Northcott Place would be erected.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.