Top Ten Essential Architecture Top Ten Sydney Skyscrapers  
     
  For a more complete list, see Sydney Architecture  
1 Deutsche Bank
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architect

Sir Norman Foster

location

opposite Chifley Square

date

2005

style

Late 20th-Century Late Modern

construction

rcframe, steel head-dress

type

Office Building

notes

A level of detailing true to Foster. An otherwise dull building is greatly enlivened with a fantastic glass lift core.

While the clarity and rigour of the concept, the structural bravura and expression, the public space and the expressed vertical circulation are all Foster trademarks, some other aspects of the design feel compromised. It is particularly disappointing that the building, as a result of value engineering, has not incorporated the innovative environmentally sustainable approaches that we have come to expect from the Foster team. The building’s strength, however, is the reinvention of the detached side core building typology with a remote core and full-height atrium for the information age. As a result, Deutsche Bank Place is a new benchmark for commercial floor space in Australia, and has achieved the client’s aim of the most effective floor plate in Australia.
 
     
2 Aurora Place and Macquarie Apartments  
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architect

Renzo Piano

location

88 Phillip Street and 155 Macquarie Street Renzo Piano 

date

2000

style

Late 20th-Century Post-Modern

construction

reinforced concrete

type

Office Building

notes

- The building has an unusual geometric shape where not one panel was parallel to any grid.
- Purchase transaction completed January 2001 for $485 million.
- The curved and twisted shape of east façade is aimed to correspond spatially with Opera House.
- The east façade bulges out slightly from its base, reaching its maximum width at the top floors.
- Aurora Place was the winner of prestigious 2002 Property Council of Australia Rider Hunt Award, handled out for technical and financial qualities.
- The exterior glass curtain-wall extends beyond the main frame, creating an illusion of its independence.
- The assumptions of a planned tower were first presented to the Central Sydney Planning Committee in 1996, when three main architecs: Mark Carroll, Shunji Ishida and Renzo Piano put forward the innovative project.
 
     
3 Governor Phillip Tower and Governor Macquarie Tower   
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architect

Denton Corker Marshall

location

Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets

date

1993

style

Late 20th-Century Late Modern

construction

reinforced concrete 227 m  745 ft 54 floors
The building is clad with 13,000 panels of granite with grey and pink tones. 
Sits on top of the Museum of Sydney, on the first Government House site.

type

Office Building

notes

Sydney's "belle of the ball" for the nineties. Incorporates an ingenious structural system to cantilever over landmarked terrace houses.
 
     
4 Chifley Tower  
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architect

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates  and Travis Partners

location

Chifley Square, Cnr Hunter, Phillip and Loftus Streets, Sydney

date

1988-93

style

Late 20th-Century Post-Modern

construction

reinforced concrete, granite cladding. 240m/787ft 50 floors

type

Office Building

notes

A nice touch of post-modern art-deco exuberance in an otherwise boxy city. Built when KPF were at their prime.

The international commercial city is based on the premise that it is more profitable to develop air space than it is to develop land space. For Sydney, Chifley Tower is one of the most expensive projects to date, with an overall cost approaching $1 billion. Incorporating technology seen in their East Wacker Drive project in Chicago, the American firm of Kohn Pedersen Fox grafted on the picturesque romantic skyscraper stylism found in early 20th Century American office towers.
 
     
5 Centrepoint  
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architect

Crone Associates, consulting engineers, Wargon Chapman & Associates Pty. Ltd

location

Pitt and Market Streets

date

1969-74 (2007- retail section below currently being heavily renovated by Westfields and JWA Architects, with the addition of a new commercial tower and recladding of the ATO building).

style

Late 20th-Century Late Modern

construction

see notes section. Hyperboloid structure

type

Office Building

The Sydney Tower sits a whopping 250 metres above Sydney city, the views from the tower are breathtaking and take in from as close as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House to sights as far away as the beaches to the mountains. You'll look down on one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 
The tower has a capacity of 960 persons, and contains two levels of restaurants, a coffee lounge, an Observation Deck, two telecommunication transmission levels and three plant levels. To get there you can travel in one of three high speed double deck Lifts take approximately 40 seconds to travel from top to bottom or if you register for the annual Sydney Tower Run-Up you can get there by climbing 1504 stairs. 
 
6 Capita Centre   
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architect

Harry Seidler

location

Castlereagh Street  

date

1988-90

style

Late 20th-Century Late Modern

construction

reinforced concrete

type

Office Building

notes

The thinking man's skyscraper. Ingenious structural system allowed for multiple sky-gardens. 

The Capita Centre occupies a tight, landlocked site on Castlereagh Street in the centre of Sydney city. Measuring only 1,537 square metres, and open only to the East, the restricted nature of the site demanded a very different design from the architect - Harry Seidler's other works in the city. In fact, the problem was so difficult and unusual that Seidler nearly abandoned the commission before putting pen to paper. It compelled Seidler to address the issue of the building's relationship with neighboring buildings. 

The building bears the hallmarks of a Seidler building; maximizing public open space at the ground floor, with a proposed link through a neighboring building to Pitt Street, controlling sunlight with external louvres to the North and East and a bold, expressed structural system, characterized by the dramatic vertical truss to the Eastern facade on Castlereagh Street. 
 
     
7 Australia Square Tower   
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architect

Harry Seidler

location

Corner George, Bond and Pitt Streets 

date

1961-7

style

Late 20th-Century International

construction

reinforced concrete 170 m 558 ft 

type

Office Building

- Australia's tallest building 1967 - 1975. 
- The tubular shaped building is 41 metres in diameter. 
- A revolving restaurant is located 153 metres above street level. 
- Tallest building in Southern Hemisphere from 1967-73 it was eclipsed by the 223 meter Carlton Centre of Johannesburg. 
 
     
8 World Square  
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architect

Crone

location

George Street. (Former site of Anthony Hordern's)
World Square covers an entire city block bounded by George, Liverpool, Pitt and Goulburn Streets , midway between Central and Town Hall Stations and is located on George Street bus routes. It is just a short walk from the light rail, and also has its own monorail stop.

date

c. 2004

style

Late 20th-Century Post-Modern

construction

rc frame

type

Apartment Building

notes

This was a hole in the ground for 20 years until the recent boom. Flashy type of architecture quite appropriate for this very dynamic and cosmopolitan entertainment district. A bit like Times Square in spirit.
 
     
9 King George Building (formerly American Express Building)  
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architect

John Andrews International Pty Ltd 

location

corner of King and George Streets.

date

1976

style

Late 20th-Century Late Modern

construction

rc

type

Office Building

Iconic seventies building with filigree glazing grid that was unfortunately replaced in the nineties (it blocked out a lot of sun...). Its funky '70s character remains, with the modern inclusion of indoor gardens, etc.
 
     
10 AWA Building  
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architect

Robertson, Marks and McCredie in association with DT Morrow and Gorden

location

York Street

date

1939

style

Inter-War Art Deco

construction

brick and steel 112 m 367 ft 

type

Office Building

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd (AWA) was a household name from the 1930s to the 1950s as both a broadcaster and a manufacturer of radios, record
players and other electrical equipment. Wireless House, its headquarters on York Street, became a Sydney landmark when it was built in 1939, the steel tower being the highest structure in the city until the 1960s.

- The Tower has a viewing platform 97m above street level which was Sydney's highest for many years, it is no longer open to the public. 
- The AWA Tower was Australia's tallest building until 1958 when it was overtaken by ICI House, now Orica House, in Melbourne. 
- The white 159-foot tower on the roof was intended as a replica of the Eiffel Tower.