If an old tyre factory doesn’t conjure up images of sophistication, you’ve probably never seen Rushcutters Bay’s Advanx building.

Few sites in Sydney are as steeped in history or as contemporary as 50 McLachlan Avenue, but it’s the blend of old and new that makes this development one of the east’s most sought-after.

Here’s what you might not know about this iconic Sydney building.

The history: from a water mill to a tyre factory

According to a limited edition book by Lindsay Bennelong Developments, entitled Advanx Rushcutters Bay, the site’s history can be traced back to just a few decades after Australia was settled. In 1810, a convict named Thomas West was given permission to set up a water mill on a rugged 40-acre estate east of Woolloomooloo. The West family stayed on the land until the late nineteenth century when it was subdivided into over 80 lots, many of which were leased on 99-year terms.

The site was the ideal location for a rapidly growing tyre manufacturing company, who moved into space in 1923 and set about building up its factory. The company was Advanx Tyre and Rubber, founded in 1921 by a Canadian tyre salesman, Russell Taylor, and an Australian Olympic swimmer and businessman, Francis Beaurepaire. That last name might be familiar – Francis resigned from Advanx in 1923 to set up his own company in Melbourne and Beaurepaires is still one of Australia’s biggest tyre companies.

Change never stopped on the Rushcutters Bay site, as Advanx built its reputation as one of Sydney’s most important industrial producers at the time. Staff numbers grew and the company branched out from creating rubber to conducting same-day tyre servicing. But it was the contribution to the war that brought sharp growth, thanks to defence contracts that requested tyres, boots, gas masks and helmet linings, among others. If Advanx’s history as a Sydney icon was in doubt, its post-war business supplying all rubber parts for Holden cars solidified that status.

After nearly 80 years on the site, Advanx’s doors closed in October 1999.

A new lease on life: the Advanx residential development

A premium location like this doesn’t last long on the property market and Advanx was snapped up by Clarendon Residential in 2003. The original plan was for 189 apartments and 17 terraces, as well as 3000sqm of commercial space, but this changed when Lindsay Bennelong Developments bought the site in 2006.

The result is the 10,905sqm site that’s in place today, with 154 apartments, 14 terraces and 3275sqm of commercial space. Advanx is now the height of luxury in Rushcutters Bay, with stunning contemporary residences in a building that focuses on beautiful design. It’s little wonder that the development won the 2011 UDIA NSW Excellence in High-Density Award for a mixed-use development.

With a history like this, integration with the local area is as important to the site as ever. Two public access corridors were created to connect the development with its neighbourhood, encouraging a sense of community in an iconic building.

The importance of art to the Advanx development

Lindsay Bennelong Developments made the decision to engage local artists from Rushcutters Bay’s thriving art scene to create pieces to be used through the building, helping Advanx retain and build upon its decades-old character.

The site’s history was an inspiration for the four artists who contributed their visions to the building. A striking sculpture installation by Milne & Stonehouse combines tyre tread impressions and leaf patterns to remind residents of the site’s past, while seven oil paintings by Martin Campbell honours the industrial building by highlighting the factory roof structure, rusted steel and old bollards, among others.

A Korban/Flaubert sculpture on the periphery of the courtyard was inspired by the old water mill, while two other sculptures, one along the entrance wall and one hanging in an inner courtyard, refer to the movement of the site through the years.

Finally, Angela Hayson’s work brings nature and colour into the buildings through a series of artworks focusing on flowers, leaves and bark, as well as a colour palette allocated to each of the floors.

The opportunity at Advanx

A rare opportunity to experience the luxury of Advanx is here now, with this exclusive 2-bedroom home now for sale through my team. This large apartment is one of only 14 in the Advanx complex with a terrace, offering a greater connection with the outdoors. It also features many premium features that buyers have come to expect from Advanx, including high-end fittings, two sleek bathrooms and private parking.

To make the most of this opportunity to live in an iconic Sydney building, get in touch today.

Article by Jason Boon

In a real estate market that is the focus of Australian, and indeed worldwide attention, Jason Boon's results in the Sydney scene make him a highly significant figure within the industry. A long-term specialist in the Potts Point and inner eastern suburbs area, he is uniquely placed to leverage his skills and local knowledge as the area undergoes significant change and diversification. Jason ha…