Project Description

The Russell Hotel, The Russell Wine Bar and The Fortune of War provides a public bar (the oldest public bar in Sydney), a wine bar and a 30 bedroom, two level boutique hotel above both Wine Bar and The Fortune of War.

The core tasks of the project were to install a new front entry to the Russell Hotel and integrating a three level (12 person) passenger lift along with a new concrete main staircase serving three levels. Within the core of the building FDC created two additional superior rooms to the hotel by extending 9 metres into the existing courtyard and light shaft.

A brand new wine bar, keg room and commercial kitchen were built in the old breakfast area of the Russell Hotel. The Wine Bar is built to accommodate 70 patrons.

The rear bar at The Fortune of War was removed to make way for new amenities for both the Russell Wine Bar and The Fortune of War, and a link between the two bars was created. Two new gaming rooms, a cool room and disabled lift access were also added to the Fortune of War.

New offices were built for both Russell Hotel and The Fortune of War along with refurbishment of 11 existing rooms. There was a service upgrade required for the building to comply with current standards including the design and construction of new incoming power to meet the new demands of the building, and 12 alternate fire solutions to adapt to the age of the building and pre-existing structure.

The main challenges of the project were resolving heritage impacts, archaeological construction methodology and the building service upgrade to meet the demands of both City of Sydney Council and SHFA. Constructing all of the above within an active hotel and public bar presented numerous logistical challenges, co-coordinating daily with the operation of the hotel and public bar whilst twining construction stages simultaneously over a 21 week construction program

Project Features

  • Heritage listed building
  • New front entry, wine bar and commercial kitchen
  • Two additional superior guest rooms
  • Integration of 12 person lift and fire stairs to 3 levels
  • 4 Star Green Star rating
  • Upgrade of building services
  • Works undertaken in an occupied site

Project Size



21 weeks


Russell Hotel

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