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    Restoration of Sydney sandstone building named Australia’s best development

    Nicholas Rider

    The restoration of Sydney’s 5 Martin Place has taken out the RLB Australian Development of the Year for 2017.  

    Developers Dexus and Cbus Property were presented with the prize at the Property Council of Australia/Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards ceremony earlier this month.

    Designed as a collaboration between TKD Architects and JPW Architects, the project saw the sandstone-heavy Commonwealth Bank building – originally built in 1916 – revitalised into a modern 5 Star Green Star commercial tower.

    While the building has been extensively modernised, its distinctive historic character remains. A new 10-storey addition has an efficient, innovative, steel-framed structure that cantilevers over the 10 levels in the historic sandstone building. This allows it to be free of any structural intervention and reflects the structure of the original 1916 building (which was also extended in 1933 and further developed in 1968).

    5-Martin-Place-TKD-Architects-1.jpgImage: TKD Architects
    5-Martin-Place-NSW-by-JPW-TKD-architects-in-collaboration-Photo-Brett-Boardman-2.jpgPhotography by Brett Boardman

    Completed in 2015, the 5 Martin Place restoration includes 19 levels of office space with 1,100-2,400sqm floor plates. The upper floors benefit from a full-height glass façade that fills the workspaces with natural light and allows views over Martin Place and the CBD.

    With features such as multi-service chilled beams, a high-efficiency façade, sensor lighting controls and a regenerative power system, the building has achieved both 5 Star Green Star and 5 star NABERS Energy ratings.

    5-Martin-Place-Image-Jagonal.PNGImage: Jagonal 

    In conjunction with the building’s redevelopment, the adjacent Rowe Street laneway was rejuvenated to bring in a range of cafes and boutique retail.

    “[The building’s] 5 Star Green Star rating demonstrates how older buildings can be upgraded to meet new sustainability standards,” says the Property Council’s chief executive, Ken Morrison. “By breathing new life into the streetscape below, and investing in public art, Dexus and Cbus Property have enhanced one of Australia’s most important gathering places.”

    5 Martin Place also took home the SAS International Award for Best Office Development and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Award for Best Sustainable Development – Existing Buildings at the recent development awards.

    These awards were not the first for the Sydney project. It also received an Award for Heritage and for Commercial Architecture at the 2016 National Architecture Awards, three awards (Commercial, Heritage and Urban Design) at the 2016 NSW Architecture Awards, and the Excellence in Commercial Development award at the 2016 UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence, among a number of others.

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