3XN’s ‘upcycled’ design for the revamped Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney, Australia, has been named the winner of the Best Tall Building Worldwide 2023 title by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) as part of the annual CTBUH International Conference that was held last week in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The project was completed in Partnership with BVN.
The project repositioned the existing AMP Center from 1976 to a height of 46 stories using 65% of the original structure and 95% of its core. A total of 12,000 metric tons in structural material were offset through the adaptive reuse scheme, helping it achieve an incredible 6-Star Green Star Rating. The design utilizes new floor plates to double the total usable area, in the end, resulting in an increase in the building’s capacity from 4,500 to over 10,000 daily occupants
“The global construction industry confronts an emerging dilemma: Should we build new structures, or should we renew existing ones to accommodate the anticipated growth in urban density?” CTBUH CEO Javier Quintana de Uña introduced the winner.
“The pursued remedies can impact not only individual structures but also entire cities and the built environment in general and must take into account environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Sydney’s Quay Quarter Tower exemplifies the forward-looking strategies and solutions that address this density dilemma head on, significantly reducing carbon emissions and helping to mitigate the impact of climate change while meeting the needs of its occupants and the surrounding community,” de Uña continued.
Construction of the tower was initiated in early 2018 after an initial $600 million investment from its anchor tenant AMP Capital. Its design called for a “tube-in-tube” formed by stacking rotated blocks that contain an interior office layout of “vertical villages” connected through a central “social spine.”
A series of triangular atria cascade down the new alumnium brise-soleil-covered glass curtain facade, working to let light penetrate deeper into the building while reducing the affects of solar heat gain. Below, the tower culminates in a podium topped by a rooftop gardenspace covered with a sculptural trellis designed by Olafur Eliasson.
“But carbon is only part of the equation here; we also focused on connectivity and the community,” Liann Lim, a Senior Development Manager on the Quay Quarter Tower project, explained further. “The building’s atria create a vertical village, with social spaces that promote interaction among occupants and activate the workspace, which has achieved IWBI WELL Platinum certification. We also took advantage of Sydney’s temperate climate, extending the internal market hall to external terraces, and the podium’s rooftop park and cafe provide both a new destination and much-needed greenery in a dense urban quarter for occupants and visitors alike.”
The project was completed in April of 2022, a full year and some $100 million ahead of schedule. It stands as the likely most significant work created by Danish architects in Australia since the completion of Jørn Utzon’s complicated Sydney Opera House design, which opened 50 years ago this month and can be seen from within the new structure.
“We’re very pleased with the building’s overarching sensitivity and contribution to the city,” Lim added finally. “Being recognized by CTBUH as the best tall building worldwide affirms that we’re making a positive impact not just in Sydney and Australia but in the built environment globally.”
The Quay Quarter Tower project also won CTBUH awards in the separate categories of Construction, Repositioning, Structure, and Space Within. In December, it was named the 2022 World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival.
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