April 27, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | Image credit: Aran Anderson

Over the past two years, the construction industry (mostly) kept working during lockdowns and the impact of that progress is being revealed in the beautifully revitalised Quay Quarter at Circular Quay in Sydney.

The precinct has begun to open to the public and commercial tenancies are breathing new life into this area of the harbour city.

Multiplex has completed construction of AMP Capital’s landmark development known as Quay Quarter Tower, unlocking the new 50-storey office building at the gateway to the Sydney CBD at 50 Bridge Street. But it’s not just the building that’s exciting, it’s all the redevelopment of the massive site around it.

The precinct includes refashioned laneways and renovated adjoining buildings and retail areas.

The extraordinary architectural design of the centrepiece tower sits on the site of the former AMP building, which has taken four years to build.

The project transformed the existing 45-year-old 45,000m2 office building into an 89,000m2 highly sustainable commercial tower which has been the catalyst for the revitalisation of the harbour front at Circular Quay.

AMP Capital global head of real estate, Kylie O’Connor said Quay Quarter Tower represented a benchmark for future city neighbourhoods that inspire communities and engagement between workers, residents and visitors.

“We are proud to have found the right balance between creating exceptional mixed-use amenity, revitalising a significant CBD precinct and delivering sustainable outcomes for our investors in such an iconic development.

“Quay Quarter Tower will truly further Sydney’s vision and credentials as a global, and green, city and the timing couldn’t be better for breathing new life into one of the oldest parts of the Sydney CBD,” O’Connor said.

According to Multiplex, 35,000 people worked on the project throughout the four-year construction timeframe.

“We are thrilled to complete Quay Quarter Tower. It is undeniably the most complex build ever undertaken in Australia and embodies true innovation and a range of engineering feats, while also setting new standards in both Australian and global construction methodologies,” said Regional Managing Director at Multiplex, David Ghannoum.

He said one of the greatest challenges was to achieve adaptive reuse by retaining 68 per cent of the building’s core, marrying the existing core with the new floor plates and anticipating how the existing building would behave.

Image credit: Martin Siegner

Designed by Danish architects 3XN in consultation with Australian architectural firm BVN, the building’s striking “jenga like” design comprises five shifting glass volumes stacked upon each other, punctuated by atrium space, delivering expansive views of Sydney Harbour while maximising natural light deep into the floorplates.

Quay Quarter Tower will deliver the largest amount of privately-owned urban green space in Sydney’s CBD. The tower provides an acre of urban green space with a podium terrace featuring public art and sky terraces located on multiple levels across the tower.

The development has strong sustainability credentials, including a 6 Star Green Star Office Design v3 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia for its innovative environmental features and vertical village design, which optimises the existing building’s energy and resources. Other environmental ratings include a 5.5 Star NABERS Office Energy Rating Base Building, 4 Star NABERS Office Water Rating Base Building and WELL certification.

Quay Quarter Tower is part of Quay Quarter Sydney – an 11,000m2 square metre precinct spanning two city blocks which incorporates the 26-level commercial office tower at 33 Alfred Street and Quay Quarter Lanes, a mixed-use laneway network featuring 104 apartments and two levels of retail across three separate new buildings, as well as the refurbishment of heritage wool stores, Hinchcliff House and the Gallipoli Memorial Club.

The Quay Quarter project gives back to visitors and Sydneysiders a big chunk of the city which has been disrupted by construction for several years. It creates another “destination” that can be explored and perhaps a new place for incentive events and corporate dinners.

Hinchcliff House, the four-level dining establishment which opened progressively through 2021 and early 2022, includes a dedicated events floor as well as restaurant and bar offerings Grana, Lana, Apollonia and Bar Mammon.

Quay Quarter Tower itself opens in May.

The new Salesforce Tower Sydney is also scheduled to open in Circular Quay in 2022, including the Ohana Floor at the building’s peak, where the company will host non-profits from the community at no charge on weeknights and weekends.

Meanwhile in 2025, Australia’s first Waldorf Astoria will open in Circular Quay.