Since the design of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, the practice has continued to redefine the nature of the office tower and to explore ways in which it can respond to the context and the spirit of the city in which it stands. This thirty-one-storey building, located on a prominent site close to Sydney Harbour, explores new strategies for flexible, column-free office space and creates a new 'urban room' in the city's dense central business district.

The building's unusual design and distinctive profile were guided by number of factors, including the narrow site, the need for large open floor plates, and exacting planning regulations that protected the amount of sunlight falling on two nearby public spaces. The building's orientation exploits a number of environmental factors and maximises views across the Harbour. Daylight is drawn into the office levels and down through the building via an atrium, which runs the full height of the tower between the core and the office floors and is crossed by a series of bridges. Movement through the building is clarified and celebrated, the atrium and lobbies being both physically and psychologically removed from the workplace. The main structural core is offset to the lower, western edge of the site and consists of two towers, which provide the main stiffening elements and act as solar buffers. To permit greater flexibility in planning office layouts, curtain walling on the three glazed facades has been turned 'inside out' with mullions and transoms placed externally.

At ground level, the private world of the tower meets the public realm of the city in a four-storey covered plaza - the 'assembly'. This soaring, light-filled space functions as a busy public square. A prelude to the office lobbies, it also contains shops, cafés and a crèche. The central water feature that runs the length of the space can be controlled to enable all kinds of activities, including fashion shows and parties to take place there at any time of day.

Sketches + Drawings

Development

Quotes

Michael Ryan

“We were attracted to 126 Phillip Street as it offers the chance of working in a unique and lively environment, where we are part of the life of the building and it community. This is a direct result of the open and transparent design of the office tower and the generous public areas and amenities.”

CEO of Ebsworth and Ebsworth, Law Firm.

Michael Cook

“... what we've got is a very good product. The building is very tenant friendly and the architecture is international standard. Tenants have been prepared to pay for that.”

Investa Portfolio Manager, 26 July 2006)

Chris O'Donnell

“This is one of the most successful commercial developments in Sydney for a long time, almost 100 per cent leased on completion.”

Managing Director, Investa, September 2005

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 1997
  • Completion: 2005
  • Area: 67 370m²
  • Height: 150m
  • Capacity: 4300
  • Client: Investa Property Group
  • Collaborating Architect: Hassell Pty Ltd
  • Structural Engineer: LendLease design, Arup
  • Quantity Surveyor: Rider Hunt Australia
  • M+E Engineer: Norman Disney Young, Lincoln Scott, Roger Preston and Partners
  • Additional Consultants: Stephen Grubits and Associates Pty Ltd, Norman Disney Young, Arup Pty Ltd

Awards

  • Property Council of Australia/Rider Hunt Award – Overall Winner,
  • Australian Stone Architecture Awards – Best Commercial Interior,
  • ASI Steel Awards NSW & ACT – Architectural Industrial & Commercial Steel Design category, High Commendation,
  • ASI Steel Awards NSW & ACT - Structural Engineering Steel Design category, High Commendation,

Features:

Cladding to core and superstructure: aluminium composite panels
Glass curtain wall with floor to ceiling vision panels
16 high speed lifts up to 7 metres per second

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