Project Liberty Place Winner Completed Building – Office World Architecture Festival 2014 Location: Sydney Architect: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp BUILDING ON THE PAST Urban renewal inﬁltrates major thoroughfares and laneways of the Sydney CBD, with the new ANZ Tower the sharp end of a signiﬁcant inner-city refurbishment When the big boys move in, you can be sure a run-down precinct will gain a whole new status. In this case, it was a major anchor tenant for a new development in a neglected corner of the Sydney CBD that turned heads. Liberty Place, the new home for the ANZ head office in Sydney and Herbert Smith Freehills, has transformed an area between Castlereagh St and Pitt St, and simultaneously redefined the city skyline with a distinctive new tower block. Project architect Sean McPeake of Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) says right from the outset developer Grocon wanted the focus to be on the sustainable redevelopment of the entire precinct. “This was a rather run-down part of the city with a collection of low-rise, nondescript buildings and the heritage-listed Legion House – a YWCA hostel in the early part of the last century – and the former Angus & Sons Building, which needed to be demolished. “While the new tower was always going to be an iconic reference point, the vision for Liberty Place 8 search | save | share at trendsideas.com also demanded a revitalised light-filled laneway and the introduction of retail and hospitality premises that would animate the entire precinct. The redevelopment needed to create a through-site link, and a significant entry to the tower from Castlereagh St. The tower itself required an internal pedestrian street that would connect through to the Pitt St entry.” Legion House, which fronts Castlereagh St at the beginning of the laneway, was refurbished and extended upwards and outwards, while the historic street elevation was preserved. To maximise the relatively small floorplates, the stairs and lifts were moved to the outside of the building. “We chose to express the vertical circulation by enclosing these elements with a curved glass screen,” says McPeake. “This acts as a signpost to the bigger development at the end of the lane.” A cantilevered extension at the rear of Legion House is clad in durable composite timber panels with large vertical louvres. The timber helps to warm the space visually and continues a materiality Preceding pages:Liberty Place is an inner-city regeneration project that has transformed a neglected part of the Sydney CBD. The development incorporates a plaza with retail and hospitality premises. This building features a slotted plywood drum ceiling behind a steel-framed glass facade. These pages:The ANZ Tower at Liberty Place sits at the end of a new laneway, flanked by low-rise buildings, including the heritagelisted Legion House. The tower is topped with a louvre rooftop feature, which inspired the drum ceiling in the café building.