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Vertical village breathing new life in to 1970s tower

“This scheme is humanising the high rise and features good design from the inside out. It has a clean, crisp aesthetic and reusing the existing tower is exceptional,” Hazel Porter, Judge.

Project: Quay Quarter Tower

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Award: Tall Buildings, Gold, 2022

Architect: 3XN

Client: AMP Capital

Quay Quarter Tower, an office and retail space located close to Sydney Opera House, eschews the conventions of a traditional, commercial high-rise and is instead arranged as a vertical village formed of community clusters. The radical sustainability strategy for the building involved upcycling the existing 1970s tower which was nearing the end of its useable lifespan. The new tower retains 65% of the original structure, and over 95% of its existing core, resulting in an embodied carbon saving of over 7,500 metric tons in concrete alone. Standing at over 200 metres high, the 50-storey tower comprises five stacked, twisting sections. The lower floors face the bustling Young Street and Harbour Bridge, and skew eastwards as they climb to frame panoramic views of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House. Each section is arranged around a central atrium that accommodates shared amenities and social spaces, encouraging people to connect and interact over multiple floors. 

Design highlights

Floors are connected by a spiral stair case and arranged around a stacked atrium that brings daylight deep into the heart of the building, while there are exterior terraces at the base of each block. A new podium adds community value to the neighbourhood by providing retail space and a publicly accessible roof garden offers an unexpected retreat and much needed green space in this busy urban district. 

  • Quay Quarter Tower
  • Quay Quarter Tower
  • Quay Quarter Tower
  • Quay Quarter Tower
  • Quay Quarter Tower

  • CONTRACTOR: Multiplex

    LOBBY & MARKET HALL INTERIORS: Design Research Studio (DRS) 
    PUBLIC ARTWORK: Studio Olafur Eliasson Studio


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