Australia Square in Sydney

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Australia Square is an office and retail complex in the central business district of Sydney, Australia. Its main address is 264 George Street, and the Square is bounded on the northern side by Bond Street, eastern side by Pitt Street and southern side by Curtin Place.

The building was designed by Harry Seidler & Associates. Today, it remains a landmark building in Sydney and is regarded as iconic to Australian architecture. The outstanding feature of the Square is the Tower Building which from its completion in 1967 until 1976 was the tallest building in Sydney.

Australia Square is owned by GPT Group. In 1967 the building won the Sir John Sulman Medal for its innovative and appealing design. During the mid 1990s the building was completely refurbished. Another $11 million refurbishment program, which included replacing all paving in public areas with Italian porphyry paving stone, new lighting and outdoor tables was conducted in 2003.

The Tower

Officially named the Tower Building, the iconic circular tower of Australia Square was Australia's first true skyscraper. It was the world's tallest light weight concrete building at the time it was built. The tower is 42 metres in diameter, with a central core of 20 metres diameter. The core contains elevator shafts, emergency stairwells and service conduits. Each floor is donut shaped, with a clear span of 11 metres to the perimeter windows and a total area of 1032 sqm each. Construction time for each floor was five working days—a new standard in office tower construction. Alongside the Tower Building sits a large abstract steel sculpture by Alexander Calder. There is also a sculpture by Seward Johnson Jr, "Waiting". The reception area displays a sculpture by Norman Carlberg and contains tapestries by Joan Miró and John Olsen.<ref name="smh"/> Le Corbusier and Victor Vasarely also had tapestries on display however due to fading the pieces were removed and replaced with a mural by Sol LeWitt.<ref name="smh"/>

Extensive public open space, including fountains, is a feature of the Square. This design feature is an early example of including a public open space on private land.<ref name="arch"/> There are numerous entrances to the retail precincts in the lower ground level of the Tower, which include a post office and food outlets. The retail target is the office worker on a lunch break, and the open-plan design and ease of access have been styled accordingly.

Taller buildings in Sydney

The Australia Square Tower building held its Sydney height record only for nine years. In 1976 the south building of the AMP Centre was opened at 188 metres, although having only 45 storeys and no public observation deck. The following year, the MLC Centre came in at 228 metres and 60 storeys, and it remains the tallest office building in Sydney. Sydney Tower, including its spire, is 305 metres tall (the observation decks are around 250 metres). Right across George Street from Australia Square is the 186 metre Suncorp Building which opened in 1982 as the Qantas Building.

See also

  • Australian non-residential architectural styles
  • List of tallest buildings in Sydney

External links