World's tallest hybrid timber tower set for Sydney
The large carbon footprint of concrete and steel paired with a growing emphasis on sustainable design has architects increasingly turning to timber as a construction material, with a number of hybrid wooden towers taking shape around the world. They will all be overshadowed by a new office block set for Sydney, however, with software company Atlassian unveiling plans for its new headquarters that will become the tallest hybrid timber tower in the world.
The past few years have seen a string of eye-catching timber towers emerge from the sketchbooks of designers and enter the construction pipeline. These include Shigeru Ban’s 19-story Terrace House in Vancouver and Canada’s Earth Tower, both billed as the world’s tallest hybrid timber towers when announced over the past couple of years.
Designed in collaboration with New York firm SHoP and Australian design practice BVN, Atlassian’s new headquarters will stand 40 stories tall, and boast a total height of 180 m (590 ft). It should be mentioned that the final story number and height of the proposed Earth Tower is yet to be determined, but it may also hit 40 floors.
“The space that we are building will be highly sustainable and highly flexible,” says Atlassian Co-Founder and Co-CEO Scott Farquhar. “It will be purpose-built for the future of work, for tomorrow’s world, not today’s.”
Making up the Atlassian HQ's 40 stories is a 480-bed hostel on the lower floors, which already exists at the location but will receive a makeover as part of the project, while an existing heritage parcel shed will also be incorporated into the structure. The remainder of the space will used to house some 4,000 Atlassian employees.
Scattered throughout the building will be a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, including large terraces, arranged in a way that maximizes natural ventilation to keep energy needs low.
Solar panels will be built into the glass and steel facade, and Atlassian says its new headquarters will use 50 percent less energy than a conventional building, while the construction process will involve 50 percent less embodied carbon. It will apparently operate exclusively on renewable energy from the day that it opens.
The new Atlassian headquarters will be situated in a new tech precinct for Sydney, which the state government hopes will attract some 25,000 workers. Construction is planned to kick off next year and the tower is scheduled for completion in 2025.