Frank Gehry’s University of Technology Sydney tree house may have dominated the headlines, but neighbouring buildings in Sydney’s Haymarket precinct have done well to set themselves apart.

Bates Smart, for instance, have contrasted the undulating brick façade of the Dr Chau Chak Wing building with a cantilevered nine-storey addition to an existing brick plinth on the nearby 180 Thomas Street.

Featuring six mega trusses that were pre-fabricated in China, the building’s façade consists of randomly stacked boxes, each with a different shaped solar shading element.

Facing Gehry’s UTS building on 61-79 Quay Street, a $300 million residential and retail complex by WMK Architecture called The Quay also distinguishes itself from UTS’ paper bag design with two metallic towers sitting atop a warehouse façade.

“The geometric glass, aluminium and louvre facades embrace strong vertical and horizontal planes, and the subtly different architectural expression of each tower reflects the diversity of the inner city Haymarket precinct,” said Greg Barnett, managing director at WMK.

The site was previously the poultry section of Paddy’s Market from 1912 to the 1950s, before it was turned into a retail warehouse. Although the building burnt down in 1985, a corner section of the façade was saved and preserved, propped up by steel supports. This remnant profile has been incorporated into the new block.

Interiors of the 270 apartments are designed by Smart Design Studio, with limestone floors used in all living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms and balconies. LED lighting, chamfered ceilings, and ‘floating’ joinery complement floor-to-ceiling operable louvres, which enhance the layered appearance of the façade.

The building’s two foyers are created by specialist hotel design firm, CHADA, and have cavernous spaces, internally-lit panels, reflective surfaces and oversized feature lights.