Foster and Partners first tower in Australia, Deutsche Bank Place at 126 Phillip Street, is a striking addition to Sydneys eastern skyline, located on a prominent site close to the harbour. With its distinctive offset core, the building is characterised by its vast, highly flexible, column-free floor plate. Thirty percent more spatially efficient than traditional commercial buildings, Deutsche Bank Place sets new standards for the premium grade office market. The thirty-one-storey tower is dramatically elevated above a vibrant public plaza, which is literally pulled underneath it. This soaring, light-filled four-storey Assembly connects the tower to the context of the city and the immediate central business district. Functioning like a busy public square, it contains shops, cafs and a restaurant.
Norman Foster said Our design for Deutsche Bank Place at 126 Phillip Street is a continuation of our work on the redefinition of the office tower. The building explores new strategies for adaptable, column-free office space, and is firmly connected at ground level to the context and the spirit of the city. We have created a building that is highly flexible and is rooted in Sydneys civic realm, providing a new public space for the city.
The buildings unusual design and distinctive profile were guided by a number of factors, including the narrow site, the need for efficient floor plates, and exacting planning regulations that protected the amount of sunlight falling on two nearby public spaces. The structure is expressed in the facades of the office floors with the triangular silver aluminium cladding of the columns, and repeated horizontally every three floors. This mega-grid is extended above the occupied floors to create a roof feature that gives the tower its unique shape and bridges the gap between two neighbouring buildings of significantly different height to complete Sydneys eastern skyline.
Daylight is drawn into the office levels via an atrium, which runs the full height of the tower between the core and the office floors. The atrium is interlaced by a series of bridges that connect the offices to the vertical circulation routes. The building has undergone an extensive life cycle analysis testing with respect to its inherent energy, and is expected to reach a SEDA energy rating of 4.5.
Deutsche Bank Australia became the first major tenant to commit to the building, which was originally designed in 1996. Construction commenced in 2002 and Law firm Ebsworth and Ebsworth, Bain and Company as well as the new client, Investa Property Group joined the list of tenants. With Australian law firm Allens Arthur Robinson signing a lease agreement shortly afterwards, the building achieved an astonishing leasing rate of 90% well before completion.
With Foster and Partners first office tower in Australia completed successfully, construction of the nearby residential development next to Sydneys town hall, Lumiere at Regent Place is well under way, with completion of the first tower expected at the end of 2006 and overall completion due in 2008.