Wooden skyscraper in Sydney: planted tower with filigree lightness

The plans for a hybrid timber building could set a new urban accent at the central station in downtown Sydney. On the floors, exterior and interior spaces merge into one another. The tower is to be financed by the software company Atlassian.

The high-rise is to be built using the Mass Timber Construction (MTC) method, using solid wood and an exoskeleton of steel as the supporting structure. The hybrid construction method expands the design possibilities in architecture while respecting ecological criteria. BVN sees MTC as “one of the most promising technologies “and as a contribution by the construction industry to solving the global climate crisis.

Trimmed for energy efficiency

Atlassian cites the use of renewable energy and net-zero emissions as a goal in terms of a voluntary commitment. SHoP Architects and Australian design studio BVN therefore had to consistently adopt an energy-efficient approach. Compared to a conventional new building of a similar size, the hybrid building design should be able to avoid around 50 percent of carbon emissions and halve energy consumption.

Solar panels on the façade should even be able to meet 100 percent of Atlassian’s electricity needs. For construction in Sydney’s temperate climate, the plans for the façade design are therefore optimized in a combination of self-shading and power generation.

The existing Youth Hostel (YHA) at the site will be renovated and integrated into the lower levels of the new building, and a historic parcel shed will also be included in the development.

Highest building of its kind in the world

The 180-meter-high building with 40 floors, which will serve as the software group’s new headquarters, will provide space for a total of 4,000 employees. If approval is granted, construction could begin next year, with completion planned for 2025. Numerous companies are already ready to work as service providers and scaffolding hire.

Buildings largely made of solid wood are also being constructed in Tokyo and in Vancouver, where Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban is using a hybrid construction method to realize a building complex with condominiums.