World’s tallest commercial building made of engineered timber opens in Barangaroo

International House Sydney by Tzannes.

International House Sydney by Tzannes.

Image: The Guthrie Project

The construction of Australia’s first, and the world’s tallest, engineered timber office building has been completed in Barangaroo to a design by architecture practice Tzannes. Six of the above-ground levels of International House Sydney are constructed entirely from cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated (glulam) timber, supported by a conventional concrete structure at ground level.

CLT was first developed in Switzerland in the 1990s and has a lower carbon footprint than many other building materials used in commercial projects, in part because the production process produces no waste.

In 2016 Tzannes director Alec Tzannes said that environmental considerations directed the design of the building. “The architecture of International House Sydney reflects a new form of beauty. Beyond shape and surface, it is ‘deep design’, renewing architecture’s role to serve the greater social purpose of lowering carbon emissions.”

Elevations for International House Sydney by Tzannes.

Elevations for International House Sydney by Tzannes.

Image: Tzannes

The seven-storey building includes a collonaded form at its base intended to evoke a forest. Internally the architects made the decision to fully expose the timber structure, opting to leave out additional layers of finish.

“Looking from the bridges leading to Barangaroo, through the clean glass skin, the multi-storey timber structure forms the character of the architecture, the same character that from inside creates an interior environment reminiscent of the spaces often found in Sydney’s historic timber or cast iron and brick buildings from the era when warehouse buildings were crucial to Australia’s maritime economy,” said Tzannes.

International House Sydney by Tzannes.

International House Sydney by Tzannes.

Image: The Guthrie Project

International House Sydney is developer Lend Lease’s third building in Australia constructed with CLT. The others are the Forté apartments building and the Library at The Dock, designed by Clare Design with Hayball, in Melbourne.

Lend Lease is currently developing another engineered timber office tower in Brisbane designed by Bates Smart that will be 52 metres tall. The new “plyscraper” will be the tallest engineered timber building in Australia and the second-tallest in the world.

International House is sited to the east of the International Towers Sydney development designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners that was completed in mid-2016.

Plans for the redevelopment of the Barangaroo South precinct are now largely complete, with the release of plans for public spaces, with landscape architecture by Grant Associates, released in April.



Related topics

More news

See all
Urban Forest tower in South Brisbane by Koichi Takada Architects. Brisbane tower sprouting 1,000 trees proposed

Koichi Takada Architects has designed a 30-storey tower for South Brisbane that will be home to five times more trees than the nearby park.

The Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. Powerhouse Ultimo will remain open after government backflip

The NSW Government will keep the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo open as well as build a new museum in Parramatta.

Preliminary concept render for the University of Melbourne's Fishermans Bend campus. University of Melbourne's $2b campus plan progresses

The University of Melbourne has progressed its plans for a $2 billion campus at Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend, after a stage one planning application was submitted …

Moreau Kusunoki and Genton's winning design for Powerhouse Parramatta. Green ban threatens new Powerhouse Parramatta

The construction union has placed a green ban on the demolition of two heritage buildings which could put the proposed Powerhouse Parramatta project in jeopardy.

Calendar