Sydney Architecture Images- Central Business District

Aurora Place and Macquarie Apartments


Renzo Piano and Group GSA


88 Phillip Street and 155 Macquarie Street Renzo Piano 




Late 20th-Century Post-Modern


reinforced concrete


Office Building


- 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.
  NB- I do not own the copyright for the images on this page. 
Controversial building takes design awards
By Jim O'Rourke
July 18, 2004
The Sun-Herald

Accolades: The Renzo Piano-designed Aurora Place development.

In a historic first, the state's top two architecture prizes have been awarded to one building, the controversial Aurora Place development in the centre of Sydney.

Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, in association with Sydney-based Lend Lease, the $550 million project combines an office tower in the heart of the business district with the adjoining Macquarie Apartments.

Last night the apartment block won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects prestigious Wilkinson Award for residential housing.

And at the official awards dinner for the institute's NSW chapter, the office tower picked up the Sir John Sulman medal for public and commercial buildings.

The award's jury chairman Paul Berkemeier said the office tower was an outstanding contribution to the working environment of the city.

He said it "challenged the hermetically sealed office block, at the same time making a powerful addition to the city skyline and streets".

"Aurora Place's Macquarie Apartments offer a significant housing model, embracing ideas that can be used in less exclusive multi-unit developments across Sydney," Mr Berkemeier said.

Mr Piano has said the 41-storey office building's design was influenced by Sydney's "light and airy quality".

Residents in the 15-storey Macquarie Apartments can, with the push of a button, open electronic glass louvres to let in air or close them to trap the warmth of the sun in the open-plan units. Each apartment runs the full storey width, giving vistas from the Royal Botanic Gardens to the centre of the city.

Some of the 62 apartments have sold for close to $3 million.

The project attracted controversy in the 1990s when a decision was made to replace the old building on the site, the State Office Block.

Other winners last night included Alec Pappas Architects, which took out the Premier's Award for transforming a block of 1970s residential flats in Premier Bob Carr's Maroubra electorate from a suburban eyesore into an imaginative and pleasing place to live.

Mr Carr said he had always disliked the building, in Hereward Street, but was pleased Mr Pappas had "worked a minor miracle".

The Premier has continually called for improvements in residential design and has been critical of some high-density architecture. His Government introduced planning guidelines to help improve housing design.

A thrilled Mr Pappas, who lives in Maroubra, said his brief from the developer was to give the building a dramatic, contemporary look.

"We were on a tight budget, the developer didn't have an open chequebook, but we were able to create two more units and make the building more attractive from the street," Mr Pappas said.

Other winners included:  Greenway Award for conservation: Jones Bay Wharf - PTW Architects and Bates Smart.  Architecture Award for interiors: NSW Police Headquarters-Bates Smart.  Architecture Award for multiple housing: Cove Apartments - Harry Seidler & Associates.  Architecture Award for public buildings: Art Gallery of NSW new Asian galleries - Johnson Pilton Walker.

Copyright Sun Herald