New Project: Quay Quarter Tower | Sydney | 200 meter

New Project: Quay Quarter Tower | Sydney | 200 meter

Friday afternoon around 4’ish (CET) isn’t the best of times to send out a press release, but since this one involves a 200-meter-high stack of offices and terraces in sight of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House of Sydney, I guess that beer just has to wait.

Yesterday the development for the new Quay Quarter Tower was approved and it is obvious why it was given the thumbs up. Located at 50 Bridge in Sydney’s Circular Quay precinct, the new tower, designed by 3XN Architects (Copenhagen / Stockholm), shows stacked, angled volumes that will be visible from vantage points across the city. The following press release and images are courtesy of 3XN.

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Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Creative Director of 3XN on the design: “By dividing the building into five separate volumes and placing an atrium at the base of each, the volumes become smaller, more intimate social environments where it is easier for employees to connect and interact. This pairs the positive effects of daylight and views with social connectivity. Unlike most high rises, we designed the tower from the ‘inside out’ and ‘outside in’.”

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The 200-meter-high (656 feet) tower comprises five shifting glass volumes stacked upon each other. Rather than face directly into the adjacent building, AMP’s 33 Alfred Street, the lower levels of the tower angle west to capture the energy and movement from the surrounding neighbourhood. As the building rises, the northern façade shifts to the east. This rotation enhances views over the Opera House and Harbor and helps self-shade the northern façade from intense afternoon sun. The stacked volumes also reduce the perceived scale of building in the skyline while accentuating the ‘vertical village’ concept.

Rotating the tower creates a collection of exterior terraces that link directly to the multi-level interior atria, which will contain shared amenity spaces for tenants in each block. 3XN’s research on architecture and the work environment informed the interior design: the new offices will support modern work style, with ample daylight, exceptional views of the city and fellow tenants to foster a sense of connection while promoting collaboration and interaction.

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AMP Capital is committed to enlivening this part of the city after business hours. 3XN’s design of the podium of the Quay Quarter Tower contributes to this effort by supporting a mixed use of program offerings over extended hours at a variety of architectural scales. Conceived as a horizontal village (in contrast to the ‘vertical villages’ created by each tower volume), the podium is a porous cluster of public volumes that will attract and enhance activity across the site.

The expansive atrium lobby will provide an identifiable new access point to the commercial tower, along with an expanded retail and restaurant precinct that will enliven the existing streets, new arcades and through site links.

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The designers applied urban planning principles to project, treating the entire building as an extension of the city. Expanding on the green and dynamic street life established by the podium, terraces at the base of each volume in the tower would provide outdoor space for socializing, which is rare in commercial high rises. A lush garden terrace will crown the top of the tower.

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3XN’s design incorporates two thirds of the structure of an existing building located on the site. The AMP Centre located at 50 Bridge Street which dates to 1976, was in need of a significant upgrade to meet modern market demands. In an act of radical sustainability, 3XN will incorporate the majority of the existing structure, adding four new elevator shafts to the core. Given the solar envelope and other contextual restraints, the design adds approximately 45,000m2 of new construction primarily on the north side of the building. The design optimizes the embodied energy and resources inherent in existing building and results in a remarkably efficient plan.

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And with that, we wish you a happy “happy hour”!

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  • Michael Eng

    Great, but palm trees are not ideal at podium level. They don’t offer much, if any, shade.