3XN’s Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney is a template for sustainable reuse

by Editors Staff

3XN’s Quay Quarter Tower cuts a advantageous determine close to the Sydney waterfront, all twisted varieties and modern high-rise dynamics; however this tall constructing stands out for extra causes than one. Its sculptural physique is definitely eye-catching, however that is additionally a powerful feat of sustainable reuse, hailing a brand new period for its style in Australia and past. Its accolades now embody a prestigious Worldwide Highrise Award 2022, which has simply been introduced as we speak. Sustainable structure, city innovation, placing aesthetics; there’s so much to be mentioned for this new-era high-rise.

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)

Quay Quarter Tower’s sustainable reuse

Its architects have fun the mission as ‘the world’s first adaptive reuse skyscraper’. Gone are the times when top and volumetric gymnastics alone might impress the worldwide structure scene. Now, each constructing must work arduous to benefit from its challenges and alternatives in an effort to have a optimistic – or, a minimum of, impartial – influence, environmentally talking. Quay Quarter Tower was designed to try this, not least via its very foundation as a redesign of an present tall construction – because the consumer, AMP, opted for a intelligent reimagining, as an alternative of demolishing, its 40-year-old bones. 

hero aerial of 3XN's Quay Quarter Tower

(Picture credit score: Ethan Rohloff)

Spanning 206m and 50 storeys excessive, Quay Quarter Tower – beforehand generally known as AMP Centre – was in want of a refresh. In 2014, its house owners determined to behave, appointing 3XN via a global competitors – the Danish studio is well-known for its progressive strategy to environmentally pleasant design and jumped on the alternative for a proposal, profitable the bid (it was later executed with the assistance of native architects BVN). 

‘They might have knocked it down, however they did not. It was additionally a intelligent monetary determination as in the event that they’d achieved that, attributable to native planning laws, they could not have constructed as excessive as this,’ 3XN founder Kim Herforth Nielsen explains. 

detail facade shot of Quay Quarter Tower

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)

The positioning is a stone’s throw from the Sydney Opera Home, one other Danish design within the Australian metropolis, so the architects knew they needed to make this a really spectacular one in an effort to observe in Jørn Utzon’s footsteps. 

Now, Quay Quarter Tower consists of 5 stacked and shifted volumes; the decrease flooring face Younger Road and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The constructing’s volumes then fan out eastwards in direction of panoramic views of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera Home and the broader harbour. This twisted form was particularly conceived for the design to be as site-specific as doable, including dynamism to the association – the shape achieved not as a objective in itself, however fairly ensuing from the cautious orchestration of vistas and lightweight orientation.

sydney skyscraper

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)

In the meantime, internally, the areas are constructed round large-scale atria on numerous ranges, which create hubs of exercise and underline the sense of neighborhood within the constructing – opening up view strains and communication between flooring and capabilities. ‘We wished to create a campus, and work with the concept of an atrium to get as a lot daylight and [as many] views as doable inside,’ Herforth Nielsen says. ‘We wished to create a powerful sense of the place you might be, everytime you stepped out of a raise.’ 

3XN companion Fred Holt provides: ‘It was designed from the within out, it’s throughout the consumer expertise, it has a sculptural form but it surely’s probably not concerning the form.’ Quay Quarter Tower represents a ‘vertical village’ the workforce clarify, as they hoped to strike the suitable steadiness between ‘intimacy and connectivity’.

downstairs looking up at Quay Quarter Tower

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)

This mission additionally has an enormous financial profit to it, the workforce say. ‘It’s an incredible sustainability story; we’re pushing transformation of present property and by doing so, we saved about 9 months of labor within the course of, in order an asset proprietor you’ll be able to replenish the constructing faster,’ says Holt. 

And that is regardless of the design including roughly 45,000 sq m of latest tower flooring space, totally on the north facet of the constructing (the architects achieved this by grafting on new floorplates to the prevailing slabs). 

lobby in Quay Quarter Tower

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)

The sensible façade helps with local weather management contained in the constructing; its cladding, a sequence of exterior sunshade hoods, reduces warmth masses, making inside blinds redundant, and reducing total vitality wants. 

The tower’s social side – the ‘vertical village’ idea – meets environmental parts resembling this, which mixed with the upcycling of a large-scale, present constructing add to the mission’s sustainability credentials. On the identical time, with an open floor stage, Quay Quarter Tower additionally feels powerfully related to its neighbourhood, serving to to remodel the entire city locale. 

entrance lobby of sydney skyscraper

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)

Quay Quarter Tower’s Worldwide Highrise Award 2022 win highlights its success in making a coherent design that does many issues with one fell swoop. ‘Sydney has high-rises with much more textures – take a look at Harry Seidler’s work for instance – and we wished to do one thing in that world, we wished to resolve points via the shape,’ Herforth Nielsen concludes. ‘It was so much about how [a] constructing lands within the metropolis and we wished to ensure we join it and animate it as a lot as doable. And its preliminary renders look similar to the top outcome – even higher!’

skyscraper rooftop in sydney

(Picture credit score: Adam Mork)


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