Officially christened the Tower
Building, the iconic tower of Australia Square was the first
known skyscraper in Sydney.
It was considered as the world's
highest concrete building at the era it was constructed.
Located at 264 George Street, the Tower is roughly 170
meters tall and occupies one quarter of the area of the
Australia Square was designed as a
multifaceted office and retail complex in the heart of the
business district of Sydney, Australia. Envisioned by the
genius of Harry Seidler & Associates, it remains an iconic
sight and is considered as an architectural symbol. It has
even been described as the one of the most beautiful
buildings in Australia.
Australia Square won the Sir John Sulman Medal for its
innovative and appealing design. Originally designed for 58
floors this was however reduced to 50.
The tower is
constructed using lightweight concrete, with a number of
projecting vertical columns narrowing into the summit and
sustaining a combination of interlocking rib-structured
reinforcement and radial support beams. Forty-two meters in
diameter, the central core of 20 meters, contains the
elevator shafts, emergency stairwells as well as the service
Each floor is shaped like a donut, with a span of
11 meters to the perimeter windows. Construction time for
each floor was clocked at five working days marking as a new
standard in office tower construction. The Australia Square
Tower Building held its height record for nine years.
Another noteworthy feature of
the Australia square is the revolving restaurant
called The Summit at the 47th floor with an
observation deck at the 48th floor. The building
also contains one of Sydney's biggest basement car
parks with slots for 400 vehicles. The grounds also
boast of an extensive public open space decorated
There are a number of entrances to
the retail grounds in the lower ground level of the
Tower, which include a post office as well as
several food outlets.
A recent $12 million dollar revamp on Australia
Square upgraded the lighting in the lobby to
highlight the picturesque Nervi ceiling and replaced
the previous Pebblecrete pave in the plaza with
Italian porphyry stone walkways.
The most noticeable
aspect of the project is the latest artwork in the lobby.
The tapestries of the previous Le Corbusier and Vasarely
have been removed and have been replaced by a vast,
vibrantly colored mural. The mural was designed by the
celebrated New York artist Sol LeWitt.
argue, however, that an aboriginal artwork would have been
more stunning, highlighting Australia Square’s rich
Australian cultural heritage. Nonetheless Australia Square
is considered one, if not the most, progressive and
ground-breaking tower for its time, a true marvel in terms
of creating a genuine civilized civic space in the heart of
Sydney’s’ sprawling cityscape.