Australia's most ecological high rise office tower stands proud in Sydney
1 Bligh office tower, designed by ingenhoven architects + architectus, was inaugurated by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week. The architects were commissioned to design this tower in the centre of Sydney, Australia in 2006 as the result of an international design competition by the client, the Dexus Property Group.
But the prominence and prestige of this 28-storey tower lies not only in its formidable size and design, but in its evident commitment to environmental sustainability. The $670 million building received the highest score in the Australian Green Star standard, a 6 Star/World Leadership certification, and is hence the first office tower in Sydney to get this rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
Its light and airy appearance is achieved by an atrium as tall as the tower itself, which offers natural daylighting and allows for natural ventilation of the offices and balconies that face in towards it.
With glass elevators running up and down the atrium, routine journeys to and from the workplace are transformed into exciting visual and spatial experiences. The shape of the building itself is derived from view corridors and solar orientation, and the transparent office building with its elliptical floor plan offers unobstructed views of the world-famous Harbour Bridge of Sydney.
A public plaza complements the opposite Farrer Place to create one of downtown Sydney's most attractive urban spaces. A large grand staircase and the first floor are open to the public and two new cafes and a Kindergarten in the building help to animate the space.
There is also an outdoor terrace with a harbour view at the transfer-level in the 15th floor as well as a large rooftop terrace at the 28th floor, providing a unique spot to enjoy the sights of Sydney.
Its environmental credentials are as impressive as its scenic views. The tower is the first in Australia to have a double skin facade and to use natural ventilation, while the energy system combines cooling, heating and electric power generation (Tri-Generation) and a vacuum tube solar collector that produces electricity on site. Because water is an especially precious resource in Australia, 1 Bligh has its own filtration plant in the basement, capable of cleansing more waste water than the building actually produces. As a result, more waste water from the public sewage system is used, cleaned and brought back to the cycle.
300 safe parking spots for bikes (complete with shower) make the environmentally-friendly commute to the building easy and complete the ecological profile of the building.
1 Bligh has been awarded the 2011 Asia Pacific Property Award and the International Architecture Award already before completion.
Amongst the most noteworthy buildings that ingenhoven architects have designed are the RWEtower in Essen, the Lufthansa Aviation Center in Frankfurt, the European Investment bank in Luxembourg and the new Headquarters of the Swarovski Corporation in Zurich. Currently they are working on a cluster of high-rise buildings in Singapore, the new Headquarters of the HDI-Gerling Insurance in Hanover and the new high-speed railway station in Stuttgart. Only recently the office was commissioned to design the new Google Headquarters in California. ingenhoven architects have won many awards for their designs including the Global Holcim Award, the European Architecture Award and the RIBA International Award.