Grimshaw's new 27-storey workplace, the Poly Centre, is a vital new component of the emerging Alfred, Pitt, Daley and George Streets (APDG) precinct, adjacent to Circular Quay.
The design is sculptural in form, and manifests as a tripartite composition: east-facing core, a 27-storey central tower facing westward, and an 11-storey tower formed by a series of cantilevered arches creating a sheltered public realm in dialogue with the street and this historically significant precinct.
The expressed vertical blades on the western façades shift in orientation to enable transparency to the street at the same time as shading occupants at different times of day. Internally, Poly is conceived as a series of vertical villages created by expansive double-height volumes that allow tenants to work and recreate with the highest level of amenity but also a heightened sense of community. The interior utilizes daylight in a way that enhances the community spaces within, a workplace with people at the heart of the design.
Along George Street, a generous extension of the public realm is revealed beneath the podium cantilever. An elongated glazed canopy is delicately hung from the arching columns, an architecture of the soffit is reformed. Street fronting retail and hospitality is situated in double height volumes with each tenancy presented within individualised shopfront assemblies.
The Lobby formed by a curvilinear wall, laminated in folding brass, contracts the marble lift fronts, and enjoys a gentle illumination by a seamless fabric ceiling. Janet Laurence’s evocation of indigenous landscapes suspend in glass panes above the corner atria.
"On the top floor ‘city room’ the arcs reappear as expressed steel. For all this formal modelling, the tower has a sensuous feeling to it, materials vary in texture and tonality; light falls across its curves beautifully, soon to illuminate the village-like movement within.” Andrew Cortese, Managing Partner at Grimshaw’s Sydney studio.
“Grimshaw’s Poly Centre is designed to maximise daylight, enable greater connectivity within and enhance enjoyment of public realm beyond. We devised a system of elegantly elongated concrete arcs that are expressed at street level and repeated across each double-height floor plate to create mezzanines throughout the 27-storey build."
Andrew Cortese, Managing Partner at Grimshaw’s Sydney studio.
Today, Sydney is uniquely placed to attract and retain 21st century talent, but its transformation into a truly global capital can only be realised with the creation of workplaces that imbue the city with life and vitality.
2023 The Sir Arthur G Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture, Australian Institute of Architects Awards (NSW Chapter)
Structural Engineer: WSP
Façade Engineer: Arup
Vertical Transport Engineer: Arup
Planning Consultant: Urbis