Brookfield Place Sydney comprises a 6 Star Green Star-rated office tower, two restored heritage buildings, premium retail space and a world-class transit hall for Wynyard Station.
- Location Sydney, Australia
- Status Built
- Service Architecture
- Sectors Retail, Tall buildings, Transport, Workplace
- Area 74,000m²/796,000ft²
- Client Brookfield Properties
Located in the heart of Sydney’s central business district, Brookfield Place Sydney comprises a 6 Star Green Star-rated office tower, two restored heritage buildings, premium retail space and a world-class transit hall for Wynyard Station, one of the city’s busiest transit hubs. Underpinning these elements are comprehensive improvements to the public domain that establish new pedestrian connections. The result is a fully integrated development with an exciting new identity that re-establishes Carrington Street as one of Sydney’s prime addresses.
The 27-storey tower is sculpted to respond to the rhythm of its city block, appearing as a series of interlocking orthogonal blocks of differing scales. Stepping the blocks has reduced the overall volume, preserved sunlight and optimised sightlines. It’s also created six roof terraces offering 1,700m² of outdoor space. The building merges with the adjacent listed 10-storey Shell House, whose historic facade has been fully restored and the 400-tonne clocktower retained. Inside, floorplates of up to 3,200m² – among the largest in Sydney – span across both buildings. Brookfield Properties Asia Pacific and the National Australia Bank are anchor tenants.
We designed a multi-level transit hall beneath the tower, with a new triple-height ‘urban hall’ on George Street that acts as a sweeping new front door for Sydney’s commuters. A grand passage connects George Street and Carrington Street, and the nearby Wynyard Park, creating a dynamic, people-centric urban space.
This project was delivered with Architectus as executive architect.
Shell House was built in 1938 and has undergone several changes since. Working with heritage specialists to carefully restore and integrate the building into Brookfield Place Sydney, our team ensured the design could be restored from the city scale down to the details.
We fully restored the 10-storey building’s distinctive facade, and we retained the 400-tonne clocktower as a historic centrepiece. Externally, we replaced over 3,000 sandstone-coloured faience tiles with new tiles that were hand-moulded by specialist craftspeople.
We restored the former grand entrance on Carrington Street to serve as the National Australia Bank’s new main entrance, marking the junction where old meets the new with internal entrances punching through, between the office tower’s 10-storey atrium and Shell House. By merging the two, we have delivered flexible floorplates of up to 3,200m2 – among the largest in Sydney. We also incorporated a public rooftop restaurant and bar, housed in two glazed pavilions, to bring hospitality to the rooftop for the first time.
Beneficial House, located on George Street, was built in 1922, and housed Sydney’s first menswear department store, Peapes. The building is a rare commercial example of interwar Georgian revival architecture, so we aimed to restore it as close to its original design as possible. Externally, we retained and restored the beautiful brick facade and timber windows. Internally, we stripped back years of interventions, refurbishing and revealing original timber flooring, panelling and windows.
The internal fit-out is a nod to the original Peapes interiors, with simple white ceilings and hidden structures and services, making it fit for a contemporary, boutique commercial workspace. The rooftop serves as an external terrace for occupants on level 4 of the adjacent commercial tower, with views over the terracotta roof tiles and the city beyond.
Through this complex project we united four separate buildings – including the former Menzies Hotel and Thakral House and the retained Shell House and Beneficial House – and assembled them into a single vibrant block rising out of the reconfigured Wynyard Station transit hall. Our contemporary civic design prioritises public space and is grounded in our understanding of how people move around the city.
We unlocked the site by raising and suspending the central core, using mega-columns in the boundary walls to support the building’s shear load – much like the flying buttresses of a Gothic cathedral. The hanging core is clad in almond gold stainless steel with vertical glazing, standing out against the GRC-coffered ceiling and providing views into the commercial lift lobby from below and vice versa.
This simple design move created a new triple-height ‘urban hall’ filled with daylight, transforming the space into a sweeping front door for commuters in a scale commensurate with Wynyard Station’s status as the CBD’s busiest transit hub. It also provided a new pedestrian route from George Street to Carrington Street and Wynyard Park beyond, across the full 25m-width of the site.
The site accommodates a change in level that enables the George Street elevation to focus on the public. Through the station entrance, flanked by flagship retail, escalators lead down to a lower-concourse food hall and the transport interchange. We activated Wynyard Lane – formerly used as access for car parking docks –with cafés and bars, transforming it into a character-rich destination in its own right, bringing Sydney closer to the established Melbourne model of life in the city after dark.
With up to 100,000 people expected to enter Wynyard Station via George Street daily, we decided to locate the primary office entrance on Carrington Street – a calmer location. Facing Wynyard Park, the new entrance nods to the street’s history as a prime address for large corporate companies in the 1920s. Continuing this legacy, the office space has been let as headquarters for both Brookfield Properties Asia Pacific and the National Australia Bank, as well as offices for Allianz and Hub Australia. By orientating the building this way, we’ve positioned Wynyard Park as a front garden to the development.
We maximised flexibility and adaptability across the commercial spaces, from collaborative workspaces to trading floors, integrating 21st-century technology and prioritising wellbeing; views onto the park and the tree canopy both provide biophilic benefits. Stepping inside the double-height entrance, elements like a ribbon staircase and Calacatta marble floor and walls – pieced together to resemble one giant stone, following the grain and texture of the individual pieces – exemplify the level of quality.
We designed the 133m-tower to seamlessly blend in with the city skyline while maintaining its own identity. To achieve this, we stepped the building so it appears as six interlocking orthogonal blocks of differing scales. By stepping the blocks, we reduced the overall volume of the scheme, maximised natural light and responded to views from various perspectives, while creating 1,700m2 of roof terraces, alongside a further 280m2 of green roof.
Each glazed panel of the tower’s facade is defined by bronze-coloured anodised aluminium fins to emphasise the verticality of the scheme. The varying fin depths respond to different solar shading requirements on each elevation. Incorporating the adjacent Shell House, the combination of old and new breaks up the block externally into seemingly smaller separate entities.
- UDIA National Awards for Excellence 2023 NSW State Finalist – Sustainability
- NSW Architecture Awards 2023 Shortlisted – Urban Design
- Good Design Awards 2022 Best in Class
- UDIA NSW Crown Group Awards for Excellence 2022 Winner – Sustainability & Environmental Technology
- UDIA NSW Crown Group Awards for Excellence 2022 Finalist – Commercial Development
- ULI Asia Pacific Awards 2022 Award for Excellence
- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2022 Winner – Best Tall Office Building
- Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter Awards 2022 Shortlisted – Best Commercial and Best Heritage
- National Trust (NSW) Heritage Awards 2021 Joint Winner – Built Heritage Conservation (Shell House)