‘Friendly Neighbour’: Sydney’s Tallest Residential Building Designed with Environment & People at the Core

Written by
Dean Oliver

‘Friendly Neighbour’: Sydney’s Tallest Residential Building Designed with Environment & People at the Core

Written by
Dean Oliver

‘Friendly Neighbour’: Sydney’s Tallest Residential Building Designed with Environment & People at the Core

Written by
Dean Oliver

Coombes Property Group and Mirvac have gotten approval to build a 270-metre skyscraper in the heart of Sydney.

The mixed-use tower, 505 George Street, will be the third tallest structure in Sydney behind Sydney Tower (305 m) and Crown Sydney (271.3 m).

505 George Street will be the 3rd tallest structure in the Sydney skyline (Crown Sydney not shown in photo).

Most of the 80-storeys will be residential and will also include a hotel, rooftop restaurant and bar, cinema, child care and retail.

But it's the architectural partnership that will make this building an iconic project.

This is the second time Australia’s Architectus (100 Mount St, North Sydney, 169 Macquarie St, Parramatta) and German architectural heavyweight Ingenhoven (Marina One Singapore, Breeze Tower, Osaka) have teamed up on a Sydney project.

Their first project together set a new standard for ‘human-centred-design-meets-sustainability’: 1 Bligh Street.

Ingenhoven & Architectus' first collaboration 1 Bligh St set a new benchmark for sustainable high-rise buildings.

Like 1 Bligh, 505 George will be 6 Star Green Star focussed on reducing energy use and environmental impact. Also like 1 Bligh, it has been designed with building users and the public at the centre of the vision.

“The urban design approach is based on the philosophy of being a “friendly neighbour” by offering a well-connected and stimulating public domain that is highly integrated with the existing surroundings..” - Development Application, 505 George Street.

It’s already received a design award: the 2019 MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Award (France).

The curved leaf-shape of the tower will reduce visual impact and maximise distances to surrounding buildings.

Key Design Features

Designing for the Public

The slender, curved design opens up space and maximises the distances to the neighbouring buildings by curving away from them.

A minimised building footprint opens up space at ground level and reduces impact on nearby heritage-listed, The Judges House.

It has been designed to integrate into the streetscape and open up public space by providing a large open grand entry to shops and a public thoroughfare connecting George Street and Kent Street. 

This takes pedestrians through an atrium with a Roman-inspired colonnade featuring the tower's columns and a pedestrian bridge.


Designing for Sustainability

The building will achieve a 6 Star, Green Star Design & As-Built version 1.2 rating making it the tallest residential 5 Star or above Green Star building in Australia.

Extensive roof gardens, sky gardens and landscaping to reduce urban heat island effect and provide connections to nature.

A fully landscaped play area will be provided for the child care centre.

A high performing façade with shading from vertical columns and horizontal shades, and double glazed low-e glazing with high visible light transmission glass.

Innovative vertical ventilation slots will provide safe and controlled natural ventilation to residential apartments.

Balconies have been designed in a wintergarden-style arrangement with high glass panels to protect from strong winds.


Designing for Floor Space

The tower gravity structure comprises a central reinforced concrete core, 17 concrete perimeter columns plus concrete internal columns.

Floors will be post-tensioned flat slab concrete with a perimeter column grid and internal columns within party walls. The column grid will allow the development of efficient floor framing systems. 

The lateral system for the tower comprises a reinforced concrete core structure with outriggers, mega-columns and perimeter belt trusses at three discrete levels up the height of the building.

Designing for Local Aesthetic

The material palette is based on the idea of pure and non-composite materials, which are local to Sydney and typical for the regional architecture. 

Low-iron (extra-clear) glazing and anodized aluminium will be used for the façade as well as mirror-finished stainless-steel cladding. 

Recycled timber will be used for terrace decks and venetian blinds.

More Photos

5 levels of retail shops will maximise public space.
Grand entrances will draw people into the building.
The building's atrium will create a grand feeling of space for the public.
Amenities in the building will maximise user comfort.