Currently working to bring Sydney’s Quay Quarter Tower to fruition, Clark sat down with Architecture & Design to discuss how her philosophies underpin innovative and efficient high-rise design.

What are your key priorities/criteria when selecting which innovations to adopt within the development of new high-rise projects?

First and foremost, as a global investment manager, our role is to create exceptional real estate experiences that deliver sustainable outcomes for our clients but also support the success of our tenant customers and add value to the millions of people who either work, shop or visit our buildings. This is our ultimate priority in high rise projects such as Quay Quarter Sydney.

Have the relationships between developers, architects & builders evolved over time due to technological advancements and innovations? How will continued advancements and innovations continue to impact these relationships in the near future?

We believe that the onus is not only on the architects, designers or engineers to bring new technologies and innovations to our projects, which may have been the case in the past.

It is vital that developers and even land owners are kept abreast of technological advancements and also advancements in structural and services engineering, future workplace principals, new residential typologies (such as Build to Rent) and even planning strategy reforms, to ensure that their properties are underpinned by innovation and are well positioned for tenant/owner needs now and into the future. 

We rely on all our consultants who are at the coal face hearing and understanding new technologies and advancements to inform us and challenge our pre-held ideals and briefs for our properties. We believe this will strengthen relationships with our key partners and consultants into the future as we challenge each other in delivering optimal real estate solutions.

How will Quay Quarter Tower contribute to the renewal of Circular Quay Sydney? How can tall towers help to redefine urban environments in general?

Quay Quarter Tower is just one component of our overall development at Quay Quarter Sydney. Across two city blocks, totalling 11,000sqm of site area, we are developing seven buildings. In addition to the tower, is the development of three new high-end boutique residential buildings with some of Sydney’s finest apartments.

About 8,000sqm of retail will deliver a high-end convenience offer to workers, visitors and residents alike along with some of Sydney’s best food and beverage operators joining forces to create a unique destination for not only the weekdays, but through the evenings and over the weekend.

AMP Capital is contributing to the overall renewal of the Circular Quay area through our extensive place making strategy, the boutique retail and laneways, revitalisation of heritage buildings and incorporating over one acre of green spaces into the development. In addition, we have a public art overlay, indigenous cultural interpretation and on-going liaison with the cultural institutions who contribute to the creative city.

As a commercial tower, Quay Quarter Tower located at the premier address of 50 Bridge Street, is the start of Sydney’s commercial CBD. The renewal of Circular Quay and all the commercial development along the Quay will extend the commercial heart of the CBD closer to the harbour.

This coincides with the increasing desire from tenants to have engaging workplaces and with the overall re-vitalisation of the precinct into a new destination with diverse new retail, vibrant restaurants, cafes and bars, and extensive wellbeing, recreation and green spaces, the workforces of tomorrow will thrive.

How challenging has it been to develop a visually appealing and yet environmentally friendly tall building, in the form of the Quay Quarter Tower?

Quay Quarter Tower, which is targeting a 6 Star Green Star and 5.5 star NABERS rating once completed is also pursuing certification against the leading edge WELL Building Standard to address tenant interest in boosting the productivity and wellbeing of their staff. 

The construction industry accounts for one third of all the waste and CO2 created and more than a third of the all the material used globally. The most innovative sustainability feature of the landmark 200m skyscraper is that it is reusing and upcycling an existing tower on the site. It retains circa 60 percent of the structural skeleton and 98 percent of the structural core walls. Apart from the obvious reduction in landfill waste, this saves significant time in construction and material resources, which equates to a significant cost savings that can be used towards creating a new and better building for its users.

Traditional façade design has involved adopting the maximum possible high performance glazing without true consideration for environmental performance. Buildings which follow this approach have tended to suffer from poor thermal performance, occupant discomfort and a high reliance on automated blind operation which prevents access to views for a large portion of the year.

The Quay Quarter approach has reversed this trend. 3XN designed a highly unique tower design with a distinctive articulated façade that not only places environmental performance at the heart of the architecture through passive shading devices, but this articulation also assists in breaking down the scale of the large tower.

The façade design has been to use passive means to:

  • maximise views out;
  • maximise daylight in;
  • ensure excellent internal thermal comfort; and
  • completely eliminate the need for blinds to control the thermal environment.

The design response is a high performance, low shading co-efficient, high visual light transmission (VLT) double glazed unit (DGU) with an external sun shading frame. The depth, shape and position of the sun shading frame has been specifically engineered to fulfil the environmental criteria and respond to each façade orientation. Furthermore, the approach provides excellent passive thermal control and works in harmony with the mechanical services system.

At the upcoming Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit, Eve Clark will appear on a panel discussion focusing on high-rise projects from the perspectives of property developers. The Summit is held on the 26th and 27th of June at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf.