Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp has designed a multipurpose commercial development in Sydney that includes a high-rise tower, retail space and green space that reinvigorates a previously run down mid-city area. The state-of-the art building uses new technology that converts the tower into a carbon neutral building.
Project Description from Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp:
Liberty Place is not a singular tower form but a rich interplay of three slender architectural forms inspired by the unique qualities of this wonderful Sydney city site. The development unites public, corporate and hospitality architecture into a cohesive environment. It is an amalgamation of five sites comprising of a Premium Grade forty-four storey commercial tower, a penthouse apartment, a heritage-listed building (Legion House) and a three storey office and retail building (167 Castlereagh street).
Liberty Place occupies a prominent site in Sydney’s Central Business Districts, with dual frontages to 161 Castlereagh Street and 242 Pitt Street. Collectively, it is an articulate assemblage of elements (ground plane, street walls, tower elements and landscape). The architectural forms create a dynamic public space and reinvigorates a previously run down mid-city area.
ANZ tower with its distinctive sinuous form and striking glass-walled facade has seamlessly redefined the city skyline. The skyline of Sydney is an integral part of the city’s identity. The tower has become an iconic reference point, with a rooftop feature thats dramatically captures and breaks the light. This layered silvery tower gently turning towards the Harbour and terminating in an arch of louvres, makes a dramatic contribution to this great city skyline.
The commercial tower provides 57,000 m² of Premium Grade NLA with efficient floor plates with access to outstanding views for occupants. ANZ Tower has achieved a 6 Star Green Star Design (Design V2) from the Green Building Council of Australia. Significant energy savings are achieved through the use of efficient light fittings, low temperature VAV air conditioning with perimeter active chilled beam technology. The building also features two gas fired cogeneration units to minimize its carbon footprint.
The base of the tower invites the energy of the city into the development, consisting of a retail and dining precinct, public open spaces, a sunlit plaza and pedestrian lane way connecting Castlereagh Street and Pitt Street. The light-filled pedestrian lane way provides a unique ground plane and entry into the commercial tower.
The Castlereagh Street frontage features the heritage-listed building Legion House, originally constructed in 1902 by the YWCA and operated as a women’s hostel and outreach service for 60 years. Legion House is heritage listed and protected due to its social significance. Consideration of the site’s rich history led to the authentic juxtaposition of new and heritage elements.
Restoring and redeveloping Legion House enhanced its overall utility and environmental performance. With a 6-Star Green Star- Office v3 Design rating, the six-storey ‘Autonomous Zero Carbon Life Cycle Building’ generates renewable electricity on site resulting in zero net carbon emissions. Receiving little sun or wind, Legion House receives its energy from a process called biomass gasification. This technology converts biomass (plant sourced) materials to a combustible gas that generates electricity.
Whilst traditional gasification plants utilize standard wood chips or briquettes (made from compressed waste sawdust), Legion House can use the commercial paper waste generated from the adjacent office tower through shredding and compressing this waste to form paper briquettes (which can be used in the gasification plant).
Essentially, this means Legion House creates its own renewable electricity on site resulting in zero net carbon emissions and is disconnected from the electricity grid with any surplus power created by its independent system (to be supplied to the storey commercial office tower on the site).
Legion House incorporates three retail tenancies to the ground floor, and has been extended with two new office floors and a western extension providing additional office space. The lift and stair case have been located external to the building in an elegantly detailed, curved glass enclosure to minimize the heritage impact while creating visual interest and a new laneway entry.
In addition to energy efficiency, Legion House has been designed to be water balanced. This means that in a year of typical Sydney rainfall, all the amenity and operational water needs of the building will be met through rain captured on the roof. This is achieved through the use of advanced water conservation technology, high efficiency fixtures, vacuum toilets and the use of high quality rainwater recycling.
Collectively, Liberty Place is not only celebrates the public domain, but embodies significant architectural and environmental innovation. The development successfully balances urbanism, heritage and sustainability considerations with commercial requirements to create a rich and considered architectural expression.