Australia Square


Australia Square

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. The outstanding feature of the Square is the Tower Building which from its completion in 1967 until 1976 was the tallest building in Sydney.

The Tower

Officially named the Tower Building, the iconic circular tower of Australia Square was Australia's first true skyscraper. The Tower Building is approximately 170 metres tall.ref|Structurae

Construction

The city block which is now Australia Square is approximately 5500 square metres in area, and formerly held some 30 properties and buildings. Construction, starting with demolition of the old buildings, began in 1961.

The tower is constructed of lightweight concrete, with 20 projecting vertical columns tapering to the summit and supporting a combination of interlocking rib-structured reinforcement and radial support beams. 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.

The finished tower is 50 storeys tall with most of these available for commercial tenants, a total of 40900 square metres.

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 AAP Building which opened in 1982 as the Qantas Building.

Other features of the Square

Facing Pitt Street is the 13-storey Plaza Building, a comparatively simple rectangular office building. Alongside the Tower Building sits a large abstract steel sculpture by Alexander Calder.

Extensive open public space is a feature of the Square. 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.

References

External links

* [http://www.atmitchell.com/journeys/arts/temples/skyscraper.cfm Mitchell Library - Sydney's First Skyscraper (Culwalla Chambers)]
* [http://www.australiasquare.net/ Australia Square Online]
* [http://www.seidler.net.au/index1.html Harry Seidler and Associates]
*Structurae|id=s0013876|title=Australia Square Tower


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