50 Martin Place by Johnson Pilton Walker
The COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture: Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects
The jury found the use of steel and glass at 50 Martin Place to be especially innovative. Firstly, it was an ingenious idea to create a Beaux-Arts-inspired domed form of exceptional elegance on top of one of Sydney’s most important historic banks of the 1920s. Secondly, the efforts made to lighten and reduce the size of all steel members gave the project exceptional aesthetic rigour. The result is an arched and domed form that capitalizes on steel strengths and on minimized and efficiently resolved loads. In the end, the structure used 30 percent less steel than a conventional design. Combined with the building’s minimalist cylindrical glass lifts, the new steel-and-glass structure is the perfect complement to the weight and dignity of the original 1920s classical interiors at ground level. The crowning of this building in steel and glass is an excellent example of the way in which advanced technologies and inventive attention to issues such as fire regulation and design detail can be married with existing buildings. The clever adaptive re-use of this building equally celebrates old and new.
Read the project review by Ken Maher from Architecture Australia March/April 2015.