2023's best skyscraper built from the remains of a 1970s office tower
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has named Quay Quarter Tower, by 3XN Architects, the Best Tall Building Worldwide for 2023. The prestigious authority on skyscrapers hailed the project's clever repurposing of an old high-rise into an eye-catching cantilevering tower.
The Quay Quarter Tower, which was also declared the World Building of the Year by the World Architecture Festival, is located on a prominent spot in Sydney, Australia, near the iconic Opera House. It takes the form of five stacked offset blocks rising to a height of 206 m (675 ft). In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the shape creates multiple atrium spaces inside and offers flexible office space with excellent views and daylight.
The project called for the replacement of an office high-rise that had stood on the site since 1976. Rather than demolishing it completely however, 3XN Architects cleverly reused roughly 60% of the core structure and much of the columns and beams too, reducing construction CO2 emissions significantly and offering a potential blueprint as to how more sustainable buildings could be realized.
"The global construction industry confronts an emerging dilemma: should we build new structures, or should we renew existing ones to accommodate the anticipated growth in urban density?" said CTBUH CEO, Javier Quintana de Uña. "The pursued remedies can impact not only individual structures but also entire cities and the built environment in general and must take into account environmental, economic and social sustainability. Sydney’s Quay Quarter Tower exemplifies the forward-looking strategies and solutions that address this density dilemma, significantly reducing carbon emissions and helping to mitigate the impact of climate change while meeting the needs of its occupants and the surrounding community."
Alongside its environmentally friendly reuse of the old structure, the Quay Quarter Tower is sensitive to its surroundings. Its facade shape, which gradually shifts toward the East, has been carefully calculated to ensure that the building does not cast shadows over the adjacent Royal Botanic Gardens, nor some public museum space to the south.