At the heart of this project is workplace design and city making.
We have sought to make a building that reinterprets and honours the uniqueness and history of this place, positioned at the edge of Sydney’s Tank-Stream.
We envisaged a different type of city tower; warm, human and responsive, to create a healthy and sustainable workplace.
We wanted to make the city tower *grow* out of its site, as its source of inspiration, and somehow reveal and reinforce this unique sense of place.
The beautiful Yellow Block sandstone on which this city rests is used to clad the core of the new tower, rising from the earth to form a spine within.
Into this sandstone is carved a beautiful artwork by Aboriginal artist Judy Napangardi Watson. It is deep in meaning and interpretation of the rich cultural history of the site.
The ground is formed in stone, curved and folded up to create steps, where the site’s archaeological findings from Sydney's colonial and Victorian-era are displayed.
A bronze line has been incised through the floor marking the waters edge from the pre-european estuary.
Forming a soft edge to the street and public foyer is a suspended awning of folded timber planes over the footpath. This gently curving and folding awning is like a row of trees providing shelter at the edge of the tank stream.
A Tower of Wood
Embracing natural materials, it appears in the city as a tower made of timber rising out from the greyness of its neighbours, achieved through a facade made from multiple layers.
The outer layer is a single sheet of low iron clear glass, behind which is a layer of automated louvres of natural timber within a sealed, air-pressured cavity that is clean and dust free, and finally the inner layer is a double glazed high performance insulating unit.
A Responsive Workplace Tower
This tower creates work environments that are open and connected with glazed floors, natural light and integrated LED lighting system.
The envelope is a responsive skin, a kinetic architecture, adjusting automatically to the position of the sun to control heat load and sky glare. The timber screens filter the light into a warm timber glow reaching deep into the interior.
From outside, the building changes in appearance as the sun moves, the western facade clear and open in the morning and more closed and timber in appearance in the afternoon.
The EY Centre uses a ‘world-first’ closed cavity facade with an automated timber blind system. The blinds adjust automatically according to the sun’s natural cycles.
The facade system, coined mfree-SCCF (maintenance Free, Sustainable, Closed Cavity Facade) involved two years of testing and development specifically for this project. The building envelope incorporates 16,000 sqm of the facade system. Incorporating a compact highly transparent double skin facade with integrated, automated natural timber shading devices, an external skin consisting of monolithic glass and an internal skin as insulating glass unit, the system is configured so that the internal cavity cannot be contaminated by dust or condensation. The mfree-SCCF is similar to a traditional double skin facade (DSF), but is more compact, allowing more net-lettable-area.
The EY Centre’s intelligent facade regulates light and heat, increasing acoustic insulation and promoting thermal efficiency, as well as reducing mechanical equipment capacity, cost and long term maintenance.
Innovation in digital technology informed design decisions and methods of construction throughout. The triangulated timber soffit and awning were developed using advanced technological workflows and software tools that engaged with the fabrication and assembly process. A fully parametric, three-dimensional digital model was used to define the correct geometry, location and material of each component. More than 10,000 panels and components were used for the lobby.
Similar techniques were used in other areas of the building, such as the striking ‘Y’ column, the curved and sweeping stair forms, the solid recycled timber kiosk, to resolve complex three dimensional services and structural coordination within the building structure.
Significant post-completion and post-occupancy data collection has been instigated, monitoring and recording all aspects of building performance including air quality, power and water usage, water recycling, facade performance, occupancy patterns, and lifts’ usage. This data will be used to refine the performance of the building and inform future developments. It is also available to all occupants on a dashboard accessible from computers and mobile devices.
Sandstone quarried from the site has been used to clad the lobby walls and floors and provide a medium for indigenous artist, Judy Watson to create a a 300 sqm work which interprets the history of the site. A new 3D carving technique was developed to translate the artist’s two dimensional artwork to three dimensional form.
EY Centre is one of Australia’s most environmentally advanced and sustainable buildings, carried through from design, construction and delivery.
Materials and methods incorporated into the design:
- Recycled Timber
- FSC and PEFC certified timber was used throughout the project.
- Sandstone quarried from the site
- Sockets for Electric Vehicle charging
- Water recycling system
- Use of low VOC materials to improve air quality
- Intelligent monitoring and control systems
- End-of-trip facilities, including 307 bicycle spaces, 257 lockers and 65 showers.
Mirvac’s headquarters at EY Centre is at the forefront of health and wellbeing, receiving a GOLD Certification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the first WELL Certification in Australia.
EY Centre has achieved a 6 Star Green Star Office Design v3 certified rating and a 6 Star Green Star Office As-Built v3 certified rating. It is also targeting a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating and targeting a 4 Star NABERS Water rating.
fjmt is a multi-award-winning Australian architectural practice dedicated to design excellence and the enhancement of the public domain.
Place and community are inseparable. Developed between these terms, each of our projects is a transformation and interpretation of the site to make visible the aspirations of the client and wider community for which we build. We seek to create form and public space that accommodates and reflects human appearance, values and ideas, and importantly extends to the public realm.
fjmt has won numerous architectural and design awards including the WAF ‘World Building of the Year’, and the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design, the NZIA Architecture Medal, and the RIBA International Award.
Through studios in Sydney, Melbourne (Australia) and Oxford (UK), fjmt undertake public, institutional, commercial and residential commissions throughout Australasia and recently in Europe. These commissions are frequently the result of international design competitions.