Today saw celebrations to mark the start of construction of a new office tower designed by Foster and Partners in central Sydney. The Ground Breaking ceremony for 126 Phillip Street, for which a time capsule was prepared containing documents related to the site, was marked with speeches by Sandy Calder, the CEO of Australia Principal Real Estate Investors, and The Right Honourable Bob Carr M.P, the Premier of New South Wales.
126 Phillip Street introduces an entirely new kind of office tower to Sydney. The 31-storey building will occupy one of the most prominent sites on the edge the city's central business district, overlooking the harbour. Its form is driven by the changing requirements of the modern office. Its design has a novel diagram which fulfils the need for maximum flexibility and the best possible views of the harbour from the office floors. It consists of three components a large column-free floor plate, an offset core and a transitional zone with a full-height atrium.
By housing all the buildings services and vertical circulation exclusively within the core, the main 64 x 21 metre floor plate is reserved for office accommodation. Columns have been pushed to the perimeter of the large office floors for optimum flexibility. The curtain wall facade is turned inside out providing a flush skin to the inner walls. The offset core allows the ground floor to become transparent with uninterrupted views into the lobby from Phillip and Hunter Streets and daylight penetrating the entire ground floor and the new city square beneath the building, which is bordered with cafes and shops.
The buildings distinctive stepped profile responds to the planning guidelines, ensuring daylight penetration to neighbouring public spaces. The structure continues above the stepped floor plates, soaring upwards to twin masts. Glazed lifts will animate the facade as they move through its open steel framework. The result is a carefully oriented building that will be a new landmark addition to Sydney's skyline.
The Partner in charge of the project, David Nelson, said,
At 126 Phillip Street we have turned constraints into benefits. The narrowness of the site has helped generate a design that uses a remote offset core to produce a highly efficient, flexible, uninterrupted floor plate, affording unparalleled views across Sydney. At ground level this approach has allowed us to create a very special urban space, a lofty public plaza to be named The Assembly to commemorate a historic building that once occupied the site.