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Quay Quarter Tower: Sydney's Sustainable Skyscraper

The B1M | 5:53

Quay Quarter Tower: Sydney's Sustainable Skyscraper

Dan Cortese

5 June 2019

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WITH an increasing number of people living in urban areas, growing awareness of the impact of construction on the environment and the importance of better integrating a human scale into large projects, developers and architects are increasingly blurring the lines between the natural and built environments.

Sydney’s emerging Quay Quarter Tower takes this model to the extreme; readapting a 1970s skyscraper into one of the city’s largest and greenest new office buildings.

Above: Quay Quarter precinct is currently under construction, with Quay Quarter Tower at its heart (image courtesy of 3XN Architects).

Quay Quarter Tower is the centrepiece of the wider Quay Quarter precinct.

Located on Sydney’s front door, the redevelopment being undertaken by AMP Capital on behalf of its investors will create new apartments, retail, commercial and public space across two city blocks adjacent to Sydney Harbour.

With its unique design and innovative construction method, Quay Quarter Tower is being hailed as one of the most exciting foreshore reinventions since the construction of the Sydney Opera House over 40 years ago and is setting a new benchmark in office design, innovation and construction delivery.

Designed by Danish architect 3XN and under construction by Multiplex, the tower will rise to a height of 216 metres.

Above: Quay Quarter Tower's unique form will rise 216 metres above Sydney (image courtesy of 3XN Architects). 

The new tower makes extensive use of the existing 188-metre tall AMP Centre, retaining 68% of the original structure and expanding the building's footprint to create a modern and flexible commercial facility.

In April 2018, scaffolding was erected around the existing structure to protect nearby properties as workers removed the entire north face of the tower and installed a new facade.

By reusing significant portions of the original structure, the overall carbon footprint of the building's construction is being significantly reduced as compared to a complete rebuild scheme.

By consuming less concrete, steel and other materials the project will save the equivalent emissions of 10,000 flights between Sydney and Melbourne.

Above: The scaffolding rising around the original AMP Centre prior to the facade being removed (image courtesy of Con Dongas).

Additionally, while many new premium-grade office towers are now costing well in excess of a billion US dollars to construct, Quay Quarter Tower is expected to cost just half that – at USD $510 million.

Conceived as a series of stacked volumes, the tower’s unique profile is a response to its context that helps to maximise light and views for occupants.

Rising behind the much shorter AMP Building, designing Quay Quarter Tower with a simple, flat facade would have significantly reduced the outlook for tenants and, in turn, the overall design aesthetic of the development.

Above: Quay Quarter Tower's unique shape is a response to its surroundings (image courtesy of 3XN Architects).

By rotating each volume as the structure rises, the tower maximises views across the harbour and increases daylight penetration into the building for the benefit of occupants, while creating space for a series of landscaped sky terraces throughout its height.

This smart design has the added benefit of increasing the building’s energy efficiency.

With the lower levels of the building oriented to the west overlooking the forecourt, the tower shifts east as it rises, reducing the impact of direct solar gain and acting as a shading system, providing thermal comfort for occupants without compromising views.

Internally, in order to maximise floor area and therefore value from the development, double-decker elevators will be installed within the building, reducing the number of shafts required by eight and freeing up floor space.

SYDNEY’S VERTICAL VILLAGE

Quay Quarter Tower has been designed as a workplace of the future with a strong emphasis on community, people, wellbeing and technology.

The stacked volumes that make up the tower are in fact arranged as a series of “vertical villages” positioned around central atria that extend up through the structure.

Above: The Tower is broken down into a series of "vertical villages" which foster interaction and give the development a more human scale ( image courtesy of 3XN Architects).

These spaces help to maximise light and views while creating areas that foster interaction amongst the building's occupants, giving the overall structure a more human scale.

In addition to the atria and sky terraces, the tower offers a landscaped rooftop, onsite dining and wellbeing amenities along with the latest wireless technology and extensive retail, lifestyle and dining opportunities so that occupants can remain engaged and connected.

Above: Quay Quarter Tower will reshape Sydney's famous skyline (image courtesy of 3XN Architects). 

When it completes in 2022, Quay Quarter Tower will reshape Sydney’s skyline and stand as a powerful demonstration of how to transform two city blocks to develop greener, more connected city neighbourhoods.

Footage and images courtesy of AMP Capital, 3XN Architects, Google Earth and Con Dongas.

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