If you walk away from a sandcastle it won’t be there tomorrow. At Right Angle Studio we believe the same thing will happen if a city is left untended. That is why those of us with the capacity to improve our cities should do so proactively, and why from time to time we must step back into places that have fallen to ruin, upcycling them from their original use.

For the second event in our Better Cities series we were proud to be joined by two of the most positive, interesting and downright fun people in New York: Robert Hammond (co-founder of the High Line) and Dan Barasch (co-founder of the Lowline). On a Thursday evening in April, we discussed how their city-crowning regeneration concepts were developed and perhaps more importantly, how they rallied citizens, government and business behind the cause. We were also joined by Rachel Neeson (Neeson Murcutt Architects) and Adam Haddow (SJB and The Architect’s Bookshop) for a local lens on the thrills and spills of upcycling in a city where a lot of people complain about change.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dan Barasch signed copies of his new book, Ruin and Redemption in Architecture, released March 29 by Phaidon, in what was a perfect conclusion to an evening of great thoughts and good times.




Thursday 11 April
5:30pm for 6pm start


Paramount Recreation Club
Rooftop, Paramount House
80 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills




Robert Hammond

Robert Hammond is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit conservancy that he co-founded with Joshua David in 1999. Friends of the High Line raises 98% of the High Line’s $14-million-dollar annual operating budget to maintain, operate, and program the park. To date, Friends of the High Line has raised over $300 million in public and private funding. With over 7 million visitors annually, the High Line is one of New York City’s top destinations. It offers more than 400 free public programs each year and has presented works by more than 120 artists.


Dan Barasch

Dan Barasch is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lowline, where he created and led a high profile non-profit social enterprise to build the world’s first underground park, using emerging solar technology and equitable public design. For over a decade, he has helped uncover global enthusiasm for the power of technology to improve our cities, adaptive re-use of aging urban infrastructure, and the vast potential of forgotten underground spaces. He is the author of a book on abandoned and reclaimed architecture projects around the world, Ruin and Redemption in Architecture (Phaidon, 2019).


Rachel Neeson

Rachel Neeson leads Neeson Murcutt Architects, a Sydney-based architecture firm formed in 2004. The work of Neeson Murcutt Architects has been recognized locally and internationally through awards, publications, lectures and exhibitions including representation at the 2006, 2008, 2016 and 2018 Venice Biennales. While the practice started with high-end residential it has since grown to deliver projects of public significance. It has reworked outdated spaces like the Prince Alfred Park Pool and designed new approaches to community spaces like the Kempsey-Crescent Head SLC. In 2017, their work on the Juanita Neilsen Community Centre in Wolloomooloo won the AIA Architecture Awards for both heritage and public architecture.


Adam Haddow

A director at SJB in Sydney, Adam Haddow is an architect and urban designer. Last year, he also opened The Architect’s Bookshop in Surry Hills. A new design focused bookshop devoted to architecture, interiors, landscape, and urban design, the store is envisaged as a cultural hub to help foster community within the local design industry. Adam’s creative expertise is recognised with numerous awards including  winner of the 2015 World Architecture Festival for mixed-use buildings; and Cleveland Rooftop winner of a 2018 Architizer A+ Award and a Frame Award for large residential apartment. In 2014, he was creative director of the Australian National Architecture Conference.


The Venue

Located on the rooftop of Paramount House (a building that is also home to Golden Age Cinema & Bar, another project of ours), Paramount Recreation Club brings together physical, mental and social health to provide a well-rounded experience designed with our modern lives in mind.  When classes aren’t running, the club has also been designed to host talks, workshops, screenings, dinners and markets that promote healthy living and exercise the mind with discussion around what it really means to be healthy as an individual, as a neighbourhood and as a city.