Australia Square

Australia Square

Australia Square Tower
Circular form of the Tower Building
General information
Status Complete
Type office, retail
Location Sydney
Construction started 1961
Opening 1967
Owner GPT and DEXUS
Roof 170
Technical details
Floor count 50
Floor area 65,000 m2 (700,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Harry Seidler
Structural engineer Pier Luigi Nervi
Main contractor Civil and Civic

Australia Square is an office and Pitt Street and southern side by Curtin Place.

The building was designed by Harry Seidler & Associates. Today, it remains a landmark building in Sydney and is regarded as iconic to Australian architecture.[1] It has even been described as the most beautiful building in Australia.[2] The outstanding feature of the Square is the Tower Building which from its completion in 1967 until 1976 was the tallest building in Sydney.[1]

Australia Square is owned by GPT Group. In 1967 the building won the Sir John Sulman Medal for its innovative and appealing design. During the mid-1990s the building was completely refurbished.[3] Another $11 million refurbishment program, which included replacing all paving in public areas with Italian porphyry paving stone, new lighting and outdoor tables was conducted in 2003.[4]


  • The Tower 1
    • Construction 1.1
  • Other features 2
  • Taller buildings in Sydney 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

The Tower

Tower with Calder sculpture

Officially named the Tower Building, the iconic circular tower of Australia Square was Australia's first true skyscraper. It was the world's tallest light weight concrete building at the time it was built.[1] The Tower Building is approximately 170 metres tall and occupies only one quarter of the block.[5] The original proposal included 58 floors; however, this was reduced to 50.[2] On the 47th floor is a revolving restaurant called The Summit and the 48th floor houses an observation deck.[2] The building contains one of Sydney's largest basement car parks with spaces for 400 vehicles.[6][7] The major tenants of the Tower include Origin Energy, HWL Ebsworth and ninemsn.[8]


Original ceiling level 11

The project was instigated by Dick Dusseldorp, the founder of Lend Lease.[2] The city block which is now Australia Square is approximately 5,500m² in area, and formerly held some 30 properties and buildings. Australia Square was constructed by Civil and Civic.[9] Construction, starting with demolition of the old buildings, began in 1961. The finished tower is 50 storeys tall with most of these available for commercial tenants, a total of 40900 square metres.

The tower is constructed of lightweight concrete, with 20 projecting vertical columns tapering to the summit and supporting a combination of interlocking rib-structured reinforcement and radial support beams.[5] The tower is 42 metres in diameter, with a central core of 20 metres diameter. The core contains elevator shafts, emergency stairwells and service conduits. Each floor is donut shaped, with a clear span of 11 metres to the perimeter windows and a total area of 1032 sqm each.[5][6] Construction time for each floor was five working days—a new standard in office tower construction.[1][2]

Other features

Facing Pitt Street is the 13-storey Plaza Building, a comparatively simple rectangular office building.[7] Alongside the Tower Building sits a large abstract steel sculpture by Alexander Calder. There is also a sculpture by Seward Johnson Jr, "Waiting". The reception area displays a sculpture by Norman Carlberg and contains tapestries by Joan Miró and John Olsen.[2] Le Corbusier and Victor Vasarely also had tapestries on display however due to fading the pieces were removed and replaced with a mural by Sol LeWitt.[2]

Extensive public open space, including fountains, is a feature of the Square. This design feature is an early example of including a public open space on private land.[1] There are numerous entrances to the retail precincts in the lower ground level of the Tower, which include a post office and food outlets. The retail target is the office worker on a lunch break, and the open-plan design and ease of access have been styled accordingly.

Taller buildings in Sydney

The Australia Square Tower building held its Sydney height record only for nine years. In 1976 the south building of the George Street from Australia Square is the 186 metre Suncorp Building which opened in 1982 as the Qantas Building.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Biography: Harry Seidler AC OBE LFRAIA". The Australian Institute of Architects. 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Top of the town".  
  3. ^ "Building Profile". Australia Square Online. Core Vision. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  4. ^ "Australia Square gets a makeover". Infolink. Reed Business Information. 2003-07-04. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  5. ^ a b c "Australia Square". Harry Seidler and Associates. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  6. ^ a b "Australia Square - Sydney's Icon". REA Group. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Welcome to Australia Square Online". Australia Square Online. Core Vision. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  8. ^ "Dexus Announcements". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Birthday for Bovis Lend Lease". Infolink. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 

External links

  • Australia Square Online
  • ^ Australia Square Tower at Structurae