Liberty Place, Sydney, Australia

Award-winning design revitalises the Sydney CBD mid-town precinct

"This building presented many complex engineering challenges for our design team and working in partnership with Grocon, and architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT), we were able to successfully respond to those challenges and create optimal solutions, including increased NLA and faster construction sequencing,” Tony Lavorato, Technical Director, Aurecon.

Liberty Place, formerly known as 161 Castlereagh Street, is the largest office building in New South Wales to achieve a 6 Star Green Star – Office Design v2 rating by the Green Building Council of Australia. The 55 000 m², 46 level premium grade office tower is located in the central business district of Sydney and it is the new home of ANZ and Freehills.

The client, Grocon, engaged Aurecon for structural and civil design of the tower in 2010 with the vision of creating the tallest office tower in Sydney featuring a side core. The building contains four basement levels and large column-free floor plates. Thirty-six of the 46 floors have inter-tenancy voids, with another four floors featuring areas that are dedicated to further voids to provide flexibility for future tenancies.

The client required the successful integration of sophisticated structural engineering of a contemporary high rise building that allowed for flexible usage and accommodation types.

Aurecon technical experts critically reviewed the incumbent design and undertook a value engineering study to address some of the key design issues that were involved with fast-tracking the construction, increasing the Net Lettable Area (NLA) and allow for flexible layouts.

The solution that Aurecon provided enabled the removal of some proposed outrigger shear walls and a reduction in the width of the concrete shear walls, ultimately increasing the NLA by 200 m² NLA. Large column-free floors and reframing of the typical floor reduced approximately 15 per cent of structural weight and improve structural performance. A jump start construction sequence enabled the floors above ground floor to be constructed simultaneously with the floors above the Level 5 jump start floor maximising efficiency.

The new office tower was built within deadline in 2013 and offers the type of flexible layout that Grocon required. The location provides a key link between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets, which is one of Sydney’s most modern retail precincts.


The project has won the following awards for Aurecon:

  • Winner: The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design 2015 – International Architecture Award – Most outstanding international architecture project
  • Winner: Property Council Awards/Rider Levett Bucknall – Australia Awards 2015 – People's Choice

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