Atlassian to build $1b 180-metre timber tower

Atlassian to build $1b 180-metre timber tower

21 February 2020

Atlassian will build a $1 billion-plus, 180-metre tall concrete-and-timber tower next to Sydney’s Central Station, in a flagship project backed by the NSW government, reports The Australian Financial Review.

New York-based SHoP Architects and Australia’s BVN have been chosen to design the tower that will be the highest timber structure in Australia and will form a key part of Atlassian’s net zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.

The tower will combine a mix of concrete and structural timber, which will allow it to achieve a far higher building than could currently be achieved by timber alone. Ownership of the tower – whether Atlassian would develop the building itself, or make an agreement with a commercial developer to deliver it – is still unclear.

Atlassian declined to comment on the plan on Monday, but referred The Australian Financial Review to comments co-chief executive and Rich Lister Scott Farquhar made in November about the need for a precinct that would attract generations of tech to make their home and career in Australia, rather than going overseas to achieve it.

Atlassian’s co-chief executive Scott Farquhar told the BE Sydney Ambassador Dinner “We too believe in the power of place, the power of geography, and the power of community.”

“That’s the vision behind our plan to build a vibrant technology precinct at Central Station, with Atlassian as the anchor tenant.

“We believe that Sydney has the potential to be of one of the world’s leading technology cities and the creation of a tech precinct sends a loud signal — not only to Australia, but to the rest of the world — that we’re in the race to take a slice of the world’s most valuable market.”

Atlassian’s timber tower will join a number of other buildings in the precinct, including Henry Deane Plaza, owned by the NSW government, and on which Dexus and Frasers Property Australia have drawn up a scheme for a twin-tower development, named Central Place Sydney, under the NSW government’s unsolicited proposals. The precinct has a construction cost of about $2.2 billion

“Dexus has a clear vision for the precinct which is aligned with government and key stakeholders like Atlassian,” a Dexus spokeswoman said. 

The planning documents for Atlassian’s tower show the building would have an estimated 60,000sq m of office space – most of it taken up by Atlassian staff, but with about six floors occupied by other tenants.

The international design competition pitted SHoP and BVN against rivals including Japan’s Shigeru Ban and PTW, Dutch firm MVRDV and Cox Architecture, Danish firm 3XN as well as John Wardle Architects.

The first five floors of the building – some 7500sq m – would be dedicated to YHA accommodation and there would be about 2500sq m of retail and lobby space.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian laid out plans to develop the tech precinct at an announcement with Mr Farquhar in August 2018.