A 50-plus-level, $1.5 billion commercial tower designed between Woods Bagot and New York firm SHoP Architects is being described as the future of commercial buildings, that will bring workers back to the office through its fresh working environment.

Developed by Mirvac, the preliminary design was recently named the winner of the City of Sydney’s International Design Excellence competition.

Tom Waters, Mirvac’s commercial development director, says that despite the COVID-19 pandemic dragging people into a working from home space, developments such as 55 Pitt Street will bring those people back into the office.

“We are very optimistic about the future. We believe that, providing you’re supplying interesting and flexible workplaces, people will want to work there, and this building offers tenants the future vision of calmer waters over the horizon.

“People still want to work together and be collaborative and we’re all social animals at the end of the day. There will be a slight adjustment in terms of wanting more flexibility and working, at times, from home, but there’s a core need for really beautiful places and nice environments for people to be able to work together and be social.”

With an increased emphasis on greenery within the tower that includes a roof garden of endangered flora and a water feature that will fall through six storeys down to the foyer, the tower is expected to be a reflection of biophilic design that has become increasingly prevalent within new developments.

Woods Bagot director Domenic Alvaro says that the tower reflects the workspace flexibility of a post-pandemic world, and that the tower will pay tribute to local Indigenous customs.

“We wanted to have high levels of flexibility and to push the idea of a place of creation and socialisation and teamwork, in a beautiful environment with greenery, fresh air and naturally ventilated spaces. A lot of our thinking was also based around the Indigenous cultural heritage of the area and performance and authenticity of expression.

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