Atlassian is building the world’s tallest timber skyscraper as its new Sydney HQ

- June 25, 2020 3 MIN READ
The design for Atlassian's new Sydney HQ by New York-based architects SHoP
Australian tech giant Atlassian plans to build a 40-storey timber skyscraper with a rooftop garden as the company’s new Sydney headquarters. 

The 180-metre tower will be the tallest commercial hybrid timber building in the world and is due for completion in 2025. It will be part of a new tech precinct adjacent to Central Station. Atlassian is the first anchor tenant to sign up to the precinct plan.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Tech Central will rival Silicon Valley as the place to be.

“Atlassian is a great Australian success story and it’s very fitting for them to have their headquarters here in Sydney,” she said.

The Atlassian tower will sit above the station’s former Parcels Shed, which is currently a YHA hostel. The shed has been integrated into the development and become a public space. The Railway Square YHA will return as a 480 bed hostel in the lower floors.

Atlassian co-Founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar said they want to create jobs, ideas and innovation in the new precinct.

Construction is expected to create 2500 additional jobs and generate $1 billion dollars in revenue annually. 4000 Atlassian staff will use the tower and when the tech precinct is completed, around cater for around 25,000 people.

“This will be home to thousands of workers and the best new ideas. If you want to work in tech – this is the place you will want to be,” Farquhar said.

“Sydney has the potential to be one of the world’s leading technology cities and the creation of a tech precinct sends a loud signal that we’re in the race to take a slice of the world’s most valuable market. That’s an exciting place to be.”

Farquhar said the design, by New York-based architects SHoP, with Australian practice BVN as the design team, will breathe new life into that part of Sydney.

“It’s an amazing design. We’ve searched the world to find the best architects and engineers to put it together,” he said.

“We’re embarking on this project at a critical time. Projects like these will help the state and the nation bounce back from the massive impact of COVID-19. 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.

“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 timber core will be wrapped in a glass and steel facade and include a mix of outdoor and indoor spaces and use an energy-efficient approach that features natural ventilation and large planted terraces giving access to nature.

Atlassian plans to operate on 100% renewable energy and reach net zero emissions by 2050 and says the building will operate on 100% renewable energy from day one and include solar panels built into the facade. The company is aiming to use 50% less embodied carbon in construction compared to a conventional building and have 50% less energy consumption.

William Sharples, SHoP Founding Principal said: “Our collective work around the world focuses on elevating the experience of the public realm in urban environments, so we really welcome this opportunity to work with such wonderful partners to create a high-performance landmark for Sydney’s new tech district, at ground level and in the skyline.”

The steel exoskeleton supports “mega floors between neighbourhoods” and incorporates an electricity-generating facade system with self-shade capabilities to reduce direct heat gain internally.

Park spaces are integral in the design, creating a staggered outdoor garden in a Sydney high rise tower. Level 1 communal activities are located at the first of the elevated parks of the tower, providing protected outdoor spaces that will be comfortable all year round.

Development applications will be lodged in coming months with a plan to begin construction next year.