Sydney to Bring us the World’s Tallest Hybrid Timber Tower

The world’s tallest hybrid timber tower to be housed in Sydney if the new project gets attainment. Plans have been unveiled for the said tower. Its design is to be undertaken by the collaborative team of SHoP architects, BVN and Eckersley O’ Callaghan. The said the 40-storeyed tower will house the Sydney headquarters of the technology company Atlassian. It is supposed to serve as a catalyst for the city’s new tech precinct.

4.1 scaled

The tower will be constructed using steel, glass and timber, according to a BVN press release. There will be intermingling indoor and outdoor spaces, making way for natural ventilation and large open terraces. The extensive use of timber, proposed for the tower, will significantly reduce the project’s carbon footprint. The building is also proposed to operate on 100% renewable resources from day one of its inceptions and will have solar panels fitted to its façade.


The 180m tall tower (590ft) has been designed by Shop and BVN, with the engineering firm Eckersley O’ Callaghan responsible for its structure and façade design. It is in line with the Atlassian’s commitment to operate on 100% renewable energy and reach net zero emissions by 2050. The project’s hybrid construction could use 50% less embodied carbon in construction than conventional techniques and, once completed, use 50% less energy than any other conventional building. “Atlassian has their eyes set firmly on the future, this project will achieve a number of ‘firsts’ globally and in Australia”, Ninotschka Titchkosky, BVN co-CEO, said in a statement. “It will make what was once best practice seem inadequate and hopefully lift the ambition of the built environment across Australia.”4.4

The building is set to use a construction technique known as Mass Timber Construction (MTC) involving a steel exoskeleton that upholds the entire structure. According to BVN, “MTC is one of the most hopeful technologies in moving the construction industry toward real solutions to the global climate crisis.” The tower’s steel exoskeleton incorporates an electricity-generating façade that has self-shading capabilities to reduce the direct heat gain. Combined with the use of mass timber, the façade enables the project to leverage Sydney’s temperate climate to help reduce carbon emissions and generate on-site energy.4.6

“We have developed an innovative new approach to designing tall towers using a hybrid structure where the volumetric mass is timber”, explains Eckersley O’Callaghan founding director, James O’Callaghan. “This approach significantly reduces the embodied carbon of the tower by up to 50% when compared to traditional tall building construction, setting a new sustainability standard for tower construction in the future.”4.5

Offices around the world are forced to shut down in light of the corona pandemic, and some companies have even informed the employees that they will be working from home, for good. In the wake of these adversities, Atlassian is confident that its planned building will respond to the new normal and reality of the working life. “The space that we are building will be highly sustainable and highly flexible. It will be purpose-built for the future of work, for tomorrow’s world, not today’s”, said Scott Farquhar, Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO, in the statement. “Even with a highly distributed workforce, we’ll need a place to come together. Now we can design this space, especially for these new ways of working.”

The development applications are all set to be submitted in the next few months. And if all goes smoothly, it is set to start construction in the coming year and be completed by 2025. We shall wait with bated breaths for the completion of this tower.


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Srishti is an aspiring Architecture student, interested in Architectural journalism. She has a keen interest in writing and poetry, and has been maintaining a blog for the past 5 years. She hopes to make the layman inquisitive about architecture and beyond, by merging her profession of architecture and her passion for writing.

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