Completed in 1962, 33 Alfred Street – which overlooks Circular Quay – was Sydney’s first-ever skyscraper. When it was first built, many of the design functions it incorporated – such as the utilisation of sea water to moderate the internal climate – were ground-breaking.

Fifty-five years later, it's time for a makeover.

Award-winning architect Richard Johnson of JPW has been chosen to oversee the building’s proposed refurbishment. Johnson – whose previous projects include the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ New Asian Gallery and the refurbishment of the Sydney Opera House – has been tasked with ensuring the upgrades express sensitivity to the rich heritage components of the historic skyscraper.

AMP is the current owner of 33 Alfred Street. Having bought the building for over $430 million late last year, the company is currently using the building as its headquarters.

Addressing the proposed restoration and refurbishment of 33 Alfred Street, AMP Capital’s chief operating officer for real estate, Louise Mason, remarked:

“The building’s unique place in history and its distinctive design make 33 Alfred Street an important part of Sydney’s and Australia’s cityscapes.

“We’re not proposing to fundamentally alter its structure or create any additional floorspace. We will carry out a major interior refurbishment and upgrade of the building’s services, including a complete modernisation of the tower façade, to enhance the internal amenities while respecting and reinstating the key character elements of the original building façade.”

Although most of the changes will take place internally, some conspicuous changes will be made to external elements. For instance, a renewal of the façade will see the addition of gold colouring, and the building’s street-level frontages will see an increase in activation.

Pending approvals, 33 Alfred Street’s makeover is scheduled to commence in 2020.