“Outstanding energy performance combined with an indisputable aesthetic character”

Global & Regional Jury Report – Asia Pacific

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    Urban Identity: a new sustainability model for the Sydney skyline. — Our design aims to showcase a new model for tall building construction around the world. With a novel, hybrid structural basis and an emphasis throughout on next-generation systems design, it brings nature into the workplace, supports economic vitality and points the way to an ethical mode of new construction that will also support socially inclusive placemaking and responsible environmental performance.

Last updated: November 13, 2021 Eclepens, Switzerland

Project description by regional jury

The design for the Atlassian Central building in Sydney, positions the project as a game-changer for buildings that pursue low-energy and high-comfort performance. Located adjacent to Central Station and supporting 4,000 jobs, the 39-storey tower will be a fitting gateway to the Sydney Innovation & Technology Precinct and is sensitively inserted into the historic fabric of the city. The project targets a 50% carbon reduction compared to typical contemporary constructions, through the combination of a low-embodied energy structure and a highly efficient environmental performance during the operation of the building. The design gravitates around a structural system and spatial organization that is highly noteworthy due to its degree of integration.

Using a concrete core for stability and a steel frame exoskeleton, the tower takes shape from the repetition of eight independent 4-7 floor timber (Glulam) units conceived as independent “sky neighborhoods”. The high-rise structure takes advantage of the mild climate of the city to deploy an energy-efficient system that balances a naturally ventilated enclosure with a strategic use of mechanical air-handling zones. Each neighborhood unit also accounts for a generous protected outdoor garden that further contributes to pleasant and attractive spaces as well as to occupant comfort and well-being. Well-integrated PV panels are installed on the façade itself to achieve an on-site production of at least 500 MWh/y.

Regional jury appraisal

The Holcim Awards jury Asia Pacific considered the building a remarkable contribution to sustainable architecture that is greater than the sum of its parts. The project successfully combines structural, environmental and programmatic elements to achieve not only outstanding energy performance, in both construction and use phases, but also an indisputable aesthetic character. Two remarkable elements to the tower typology are successfully incorporated: a hybrid structure that dramatically reduces the building footprint and an unusual spatial organization in neighborhood units that combines healthy and comfortable workspaces with protected gardens. According to the jury, Atlassian Central goes beyond being an energy-efficient high-rise building: it is a new proposal for livability in contemporary cities.

Global jury appraisal

The high-performance tower designed for the City of Sydney showcases a very innovative typological and structural concept. Environmental concerns are here solved not only in the choice of construction materials but also in the efficient architectural solutions deployed to achieve naturally ventilated spaces and reduce energy consumption for building operation. The jury commended the holistic vision underpinning the design that generates an unusual yet compelling building program and aesthetic. All in all, the project conveys a message of sustainability and innovation for the city’s urban economic engine.