New example of integrated infrastructure development within a historic commercial business area
33 Bligh Street is a new building type - integrated infrastructure - combining a major new city zone electricity substation with a commercial office tower. Located in the heart of the city of Sydney, the design successfully melds the two disparate elements into one unified form. The substation is treated as a highly sculptured podium that respectfully responds to its more historic neighbours. Certain lines of mouldings, windows, and other architectural features of the heritage buildings on both street frontages have been taken as cues for the composition of the new building's façade. The design makes no slavish attempt to mimic its neighbours or to align with all elements of their facades, but takes an intelligent and informed attitude in creating a respectful, yet very unique composition to complement buildings on all sides.
Above the podium is a public plaza space separating the podium from the tower. The office tower is very much related to the classic curtain-wall modern office tower - it begins as a standard extrusion but is then pushed and pulled at each level to create something much more engaging and unique while adhering to standard building practices and utilising standard construction techniques and methodologies, thereby creating a more valuable and marketable product for the client and a more engaging and significant building for the city.
The proposed design is neither another unremarkable glass box tower, nor a contemporary computer-generated contrivance. It is an intelligent, informed work of architecture endeavouring to bring a measure of elegance and distinction to this otherwise ordinary site. This is not the most prominent site in Sydney, but this design strives to create one of the most strikingly significant buildings of recent times in the Sydney CBD while tackling the complex issues of improving the city's infrastructure and achieving a successful commercial outcome.