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Atlassian Tower elevated view
Photograph: Atlassian/SHoP Architects

This new high-rise tower in Sydney will be the world’s tallest hybrid timber building

It's set to be complete by 2025

Maxim Boon

When you think of a modern highrise development, you probably picture a tower of concrete, steel and glass, much like the latest addition to the Sydney skyline, the Crown Resorts Tower at Barangaroo. However, a proposed Sydney development, which could break ground later this year, plans to defy those architectural expectations.

When complete, this towering construction at the heart of the new tech precinct adjacent to Central Station will be the tallest hybrid-timber structure in the world, and arguably one of the most beautiful new buildings in Sydney since the completion of Jørn Utzon’s iconic Opera House in 1973.

Atlassian Tower view of roofPhotograph: Atlassian/SHoP Architects

The 40-storey tower will be the new headquarters of Aussie software company Atlassian. Set to cost a cool $1 billion, it will stand 180-metres tall on the site next to Railway Square currently occupied by the Parcel Shed YHA. The existing building, which dates back to 1912, will be incorporated into the design, and – good news for backpackers – so will new, purpose-built YHA accomodation.

Atlassian Tower view from groundPhotograph: Atlassian/SHoP Architects

Designed by New York’s SHoP Architects, the building should be complete by 2025. Atlassian’s decision to use such eco-conscious materials for this ambitious project is part of the company’s aim to be 100 per cent zero emissions and renewable energy powered by 2050. The structure will have solar panels integrated into its façade and feature a system of terraced gardens that will provide insulation and regulate ventilation while also helping to filter pollutants from the busy traffic on George Street and Broadway. Many of the interiors will also feature carefully landscaped planting, totally reimagining the typical office environment as a lush, peaceful, not-remotely-urban space. It’s estimated that the operation of the building, where 4000 Atlassian employees will work, will require 50 per cent less energy than its steel and concrete counterparts.

Atlassian Tower view interiorsPhotograph: Atlassian/SHoP Architects

The tower will be the centrepiece of a major redevelopment of the currently underutilised area on the eastern edge of the train tracks running from Central Station. Dubbed ‘Tech Central’, it will be a new technology park spanning 24 hectares around the station, Ultimo and Redfern. Plans for Tech Central include enhanced public transport, more green space and a number of other construction projects that will create a new commercial hub for the Australian tech sector in Sydney.

Have you seen the equally impressive designs for the new Sydney Fish Market?

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