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2015 National Architecture Awards: Steel Commendation

50 Martin Place by Johnson Pilton Walker The COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture: Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

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.


Johnson Pilton Walker
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Paul van Ratingen (project director); Matthew Morel, Peter Blome (project associates); Richard Johnson, Matteo Salval, Walter Brindle, Brent Alexander, Mark Rostron, Gareth Jenkins, Natalie Minasian, Davide Galli, Michelle Vassiliou, Brendan Murray, Sisi Wang, Yi-Jan Lien, Tomek Archer, Paolo Stracchi (project architects)
Accessibility consultant One Group ID
Acoustic engineer Arup, Acoustic Logic
BCA consultant Steve Watson & Partners
Builder Brookfield Multiplex
ESD, mechanical, electrical and fire Arup
Facade Surface Design
Heritage architect TKD Architects
Hydraulic engineer Arup
Interior fitout BVN Architecture, Clive Wilkinson Architects
Private Certifier McKenzie Group
Project management Savills Australia
Quantity surveyor MBM
Vertical transportation Norman Disney Young
Site details
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Adaptive re-use, Commercial, Conservation, Heritage
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2014



Published online: 5 Nov 2015
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2015
Images: Brett Boardman, Peter Bennetts


Architecture Australia, November 2015

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