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Greenland Centre Sydney
Specifications
  • Client
    Greenland
  • Location
    115 Bathurst St, Sydney
  • Completion
    October 1, 2013 — November 1, 2021
  • Size
    53300m2
  • Services
    Architecture
Image View

Architecture

Greenland Centre

Verandahs in the sky.

Greenland strikes an unusual pose in the Sydney city centre. From a distance, its towering height and unusual silhouette catch the eye. Closer in, serrated edges appear, with angular verandahs jutting out from each apartment, and Larry Bell’s striking red sculpture lights up the façade, projecting shades of crimson onto every nearby space.

Angled panes of glass are suspended from hand-like clips enabling fresh air, gentle breeze and light rain into the space whilst it remains protected.

The spectacular views from the mountains to the sea are made possible by the “Sydney Verandah”, designed especially for Greenland Centre.

An Opportunity

We approached Greenland with two key goals in mind. Firstly to create a new 40-storey building to sit on top of an existing and much smaller one. And secondly to create a vast outdoor living space reimagined for a new age of high-rise apartment living.

To transform the aging 1970s Water Board building into a 21st century high-rise meant wrestling with some significant challenges. In particular - the original building was built right up to its western boundary. The new building could not be. So to enable the vast windows and oversized outdoor space we envisaged, the new tower had to literally, shift.

Each panel measures approximately 12 metres in height, with each successive panel graduating into a progressively deeper shade of red, starting with a lighter ‘blush’ colour and finishing with a darker shade known as ‘carmine’.

Larry Bell’s striking red sculpture is titled ‘Andamooka: Portraits of Red'.

Its cantilevered blades of coloured glass will be traced by the varying angles of the north sun, and when observed throughout the year, will render different compositions, creating multiple readings of the artwork.

Cantilevered Structure

We designed a cantilevered structure supported by a transfer floor which could take the weight of an additional 40 storeys. It sits on the top of the existing building, holding out the new, to open up space on the boundary line. It’s a feat of design, engineering and diplomacy as we renegotiated the zoning rules to make this new kind of tower possible.

Standing at the base of Greenland Centre and looking up, this cantilever is a curious and compelling feature of the silhouette. Visually, the angled truss makes the blend of old and new explicit. It builds the story of its adaptation, into the very design of the contemporary building.

Panorama of the Sydney CBD including the new Greenland Tower, looking North-East.
The Sydney Verandah

Inside each apartment, floor to ceiling windows frame an expansive outlook. The spectacular views from the mountains to the sea are made possible by the 'Sydney Verandah', designed especially for Greenland Centre.

The Sydney Verandah is a true innovation for inner city high rise living. Angled panes of glass are suspended from hand-like clips enabling fresh air, gentle breeze and light rain into the space whilst it remains protected. And the generosity of the verandah significantly extends the living and entertaining space.

A typical Greenland Tower apartment balcony with views to the North-West.

Above 20-storeys, apartment living traditionally relies entirely on air-conditioning for ventilation, with high winds making open air impossible. Not at Greenland Centre. Though 235m tall, residents as high up as the rooftop, can embrace the open air (although air- conditioning is installed for those days when it’s preferred).

Creative Hub

At ground level Greenland Centre hosts retail space and a dedicated Creative Hub comprising state-of-the-art rehearsal and production spaces that wrap around an internal, above-ground carpark.

It’s both an innovative solution to mask the carpark and a gift to the city’s creative community from the City of Sydney, managed by Brand X.

Drawing on the site's history as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Water Board, Greek Poet Pindar (c. 517–438 BC), and the marbling work of her beloved paternal grandmother, the work seeks to highlight the message that water is fundamental to civilisation and humankind’s very survival.

Agatha Goethe-Snape's 17m long, glass-mosaic artwork 'The Noblest of the Elements is Water', spans the ceiling and one wall of the building's east laneway.

Public Art

The entrance to the Greenland Centre and the Creative Hub features original, site-specific works by artists Agatha Goethe-Snape (Australia) and Larry Bell (USA). Agatha’s piece responds to the cultural history of the site and the existing building. Larry’s work responds to the building’s geometry and urban corner setting.

From humble beginnings as the old Sydney Water Board, Greenland today is a blend of creative town planning and design innovation. And, of course, the best views in Sydney.

IMPACT

481

New apartments

1,848

Spider brackets

2,000m²

New creative arts spaces

The Process

View as Slideshow
Retention of Structure

The retention of the existing building constructed in the 1960s enabled Greenland to demonstrate an innovative approach to sustainable urban development.

In using the extant steel frame as the basis for an enlarged structure, the narrative of a new tower planted upon an existing building is revealed – a sustainable outcome that avoided the waste associated with demolishing the lower tower and building a completely new structure.

The 'Sydney Balcony' under construction.
1:1 3D-Printed Spider Bracket Prototype
The Process (Gallery)
Retention of Structure

The retention of the existing building constructed in the 1960s enabled Greenland to demonstrate an innovative approach to sustainable urban development.

In using the extant steel frame as the basis for an enlarged structure, the narrative of a new tower planted upon an existing building is revealed – a sustainable outcome that avoided the waste associated with demolishing the lower tower and building a completely new structure.

The 'Sydney Balcony' under construction.
1:1 3D-Printed Spider Bracket Prototype
01 of 07

Credits

BVN
James Grose, Phillip Rossington, Andrew Buchanan, Michael Hogg, Isabell Beck, Ross Seymour, Max Rosin-Melser, Joe Fiumedinisi, Nick Crawford, Valerie Saavedra Lux, Ayodele Akinola, Jamie Yoo, Alex Chaston, Bernard Whitcher, Andrew Buchanan, Erika Halim, Phillip Rossington, Chris Bickerton, Michelle Vassiliou, Dinah Zhang, Eric Yeoh, Delia Ngay, Barry Dineen, Jess Cochrane, Barry Cantor, Tim Gibson, Andrew Fong, Marcos Camara, Jeff Tang
Consultants

Australian Multi Lingual Services, Linarch Pty Ltd, Made You Look Studios, Morris Goding Accessibility Consulting, Sangster Design Group Pty Ltd, SCLSPEC PTY LTD, Traffix Pty Limited, Transport And Traffic Planning Associate, WSP Lincolne Scott Pty Ltd

Consultants

Australian Multi Lingual Services, Linarch Pty Ltd, Made You Look Studios, Morris Goding Accessibility Consulting, Sangster Design Group Pty Ltd, SCLSPEC PTY LTD, Traffix Pty Limited, Transport And Traffic Planning Associate, WSP Lincolne Scott Pty Ltd

Photography

BVN Real

Awards

MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Awards - Highly Commended, Residential category

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