An Innovative and Engaging High Rise
Five stacked and rotated volumes
Instead of one large volume or 49 separate floors, the design envisions five volumes stacked upon each other, each connected by a large atrium. Rather than face directly into the tower at 33 Alfred Street, the lower levels of the tower are angled westward to capture the energy and movement from the Loftus & Yonge neighbourhood, looking up and over the Custom House. As the building rises, the northern façade shifts to the east. The result is a rotating building with a minimal perceived mass, enhanced views over the Opera House and Harbour, and a greater real estate value for the lower floors through maximizing the potential of the views.
Each volume is a village
By dividing the building into five separate volumes we achieve the best of both worlds: an optimal balance between 49 individual floors and one large open atrium – between intimacy and connectivity. Each volume and its atrium have been appropriately sized for a more intimate feel, breaking down the massing of the entire tower into vertical communities.
The visual transparency of the open atrium spaces allows for easy visual access to the surrounding areas, departments and colleagues, thus, positively affecting the levels of knowledge sharing and social interactions within each part of the building. In addition, the visual contact makes each part of the building easily legible. It becomes a spatial reference point that allows the users to always know where they are, a reference point that affords a view of the spatial layout making way-finding and discovery of different areas within the building easier.
Interactional Spaces and Spatial Diversity
The occurrence of social interactions and knowledge sharing among the users can be afforded through the presence of informal meeting areas. The open atrium with its visual transparency provides an opportunity to see where other people meet within the building, thus enabling more social interactions. The outdoor area of each entrance, the roof-top terrace and terraces become interactional spaces – social micro-scale urban place elevated above ground that allows employees to meet, linger and interact. These types of semi-public communal areas afford frequent chance meetings, social interactions and a sense of community among the users.
Research on the importance of spatial diversity informs us that environments offering a series of different areas and room types afford the opportunity of interaction or withdrawal according to mood, personality and type of activity being carried out. The spatially differentiated environment contributes to positive social relations among the users, because it simultaneously makes it possible to withdraw to work on concentration demanding tasks while others are gathering to socialize in an adjacent space.
Sustainability: Upcycling Existing Core
The design incorporates 2/3 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, it 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.
The building is divided into a high-rise and a podium. The podium holds public and semi-public functions such as green gardens, restaurants and retail. Spatially and programmatically, the podium is arranged quite simply around a large voluminous atrium. All points of entry have at least a double height space that extends into the large, Market Hall / Food Court atrium at which it then, visually extends into the first commercial block’s atrium space above.
From podium has multiple points of entry from Bridge Street and Phillip Street. Its permeability as well as its retail offerings encourage pedestrian flow through the building and animates the public domain. This connection result in a vibrant, active space, which extends beyond the daily work cycle with retail, food and beverage offerings that become part of the city movement network. Its design will encourage after work socializing; thus, promoting the area as a destination and enhancing the street life and retail value in the precinct.
Way-finding Easily Understandable
Large flowing steps and escalators flow around the perimeter of the podium at each level. This flow begins with a large, urban scaled steps facing Young Street, acting as a visual terminus from Customs House Lane. These steps act as a public plaza, becoming a catalyst for street level activity and events. As one moves into the podium from the plaza steps, each successive floor level extends downward, accentuating the flow from one level to the next; thus, making way-finding easily understandable.
Client: AMP Capital
Location: Sydney, Australia
Size: 102.000 m2
Collaborators: Arup, BVN
Status: Completion 2022
Program: Office and Retail
Awards: Winner of the Gold award at the 2017
Article courtesy of 3XN