Australia Square by Harry Seidler and Associates
Enduring Architecture: National Award
Australian Institute of Architects
Australia Square established new principles in the design and construction of commercial buildings through the integration of a large public open space at ground level, technological advances in structure and construction, and its distinctive and elegant form on the Sydney skyline.
The much-loved and well-used public space is formed by a street-level plaza that gives access to the commercial tower, and a lower-level plaza defined by the circular tower and a contrasting rectangular plaza building. The public space carefully and strategically connects the site on all four boundaries and the undercroft of the plaza building is a handsome extension of the plaza to the east. The public area includes cafes, fountains and significant artworks and is one of the earliest examples of a welcoming and comfortable public open space on private land.
The structural system incorporated significant technological advances, including tapered exterior columns in precast concrete as permanent formwork, the elegant coffered ceilings of the foyer and first floor, and lightweight concrete. At the time it was built, 1961—1967, the tower was the world’s tallest lightweight concrete building.
Australia Square is the result of the shared vision of the architect Harry Seidler and Lend Lease founder Dick Dusseldorp. It has timeless aesthetic appeal and continues to be regarded as a landmark building and an icon of Australian architecture.