One of the biggest changes to the interior of this heritage listed Martin Place building is the inclusion of two brand new, custom round glass elevators. Architecture & Design invited Schindler Lifts to tell the story.
Over the past two years, Schindler Lifts in collaboration with Johnson Pilton Walker Architects, Norman Disney Young and Brookfiled Multiplex have worked closely with Macquarie Bank to design, engineer and modernise one of Sydney's most distinguishable buildings, originally built in 1928.
Retaining the building’s majestic charm was of paramount importance, whilst creating a space that met the needs of a modern day functional office. With the workplace expanding to over 2,000 people, the existing Vertical Transportation (VT) services were inadequate. All lifts were operating on conventional elevator control systems and scattered between two lift lobbies at the southern and northern ends of the building.
As a result, one of the biggest changes to the interior of the building was the inclusion of two brand new custom round glass elevators. Although combining new technology with a Heritage building resulted in a number of technical challenges.
Elevator installation can be a very dangerous undertaking; working in an existing building with members of the public still accessing the main banking chamber in an open cut lift shaft is extremely difficult.
A customised lifting frame was designed to allow for the 4.5 tonne cars to be put into position and daily project team meetings were held to ensure there were high levels of risk awareness across multiple trades.
To ensure the VT services met the specification for minimal visibility of elevator components in the open shaft, the project team developed a number of complex engineering solutions including a required cut out in the centre of the building, which had to be reinforced, as it was part of the existing building structure.
The less visible component of this project was the modernisation and complete removal and installation of new machine-room-less (MRL) elevators at the Eastern and Western ends of the building. The main complexity was minimising damage to the elaborate marble cladding adjacent to the elevator entrances. It was also critical that all new fixtures were in keeping with the surrounding spaces so the engineers made sure aged bronze landing doors were installed as well as installing Rymex Bronze backing plates.
Although the project presented a number of challenges, the refurbishment was carried out successfully and has brought a new life to Macquarie Bank. The Heritage listed building remains a magnificent testament to financial buildings rich in history.