Sydney Architecture Images- Contemporary Commercial

33 Bligh Street


Architects Fitzpatrick+Partners
Design Consultant. kann finch group


33 Bligh Street




Millennium Minimalist Modernism


Reinforced concrete frame, curtain wall glazing. USD135 million. The project involves development of a new 132/11kV, five transformer zone substation together with an integrated commercial building as part of the Sydney City Grid Upgrade.
Project Owner
• Ausgrid -
• Investa Property Group -


Office Building. A new building type, combining a major new city zone electricity substation with a commercial tower.
The 200m+ proposals reached FSR with 60m tall stilts. this proposal was bought by EA and now has an 8storey substation instead of stilts, thus allowing a 30storey office tower atop reaching 165m. Unfortunately Investa didn't act when the 205m proposal was approved and sat there for years. This site by the way is one of oldest DAs, which started in 1988.
Above- a couple of previous schemes and a model of the sandstone screen to cover the substation. Commissions Works, Title: Scale model Bligh Street side Cliff face made of glass re-enforced concrete in a rock face texture allowing for venting of the power substationn.
Situated in the Sydney CBD, the concept for 33 Bligh St is the first commercial building to have an electricity substation taking up the first several storeys of the tower, making the lobby area above ground level.
Stephen Varady, Senior Design Architect of KannFinch, seamlessly blended the two distinct forms together in his design, intertwining them with public space to provide views of the CBD at different heights.
“I wanted a composition that would allow these two distinct forms to come together using one rich architectural language,” Varady says.
The substation is surrounded by heritage buildings, and has to be sensitive to its neighbouring facades. The design of the podium takes its inspiration from architectural features of adjacent buildings, as well as the simplified yet powerful forms of the Russian Constructivists, Varady notes.
Currently on the site, a rather graceful sixties job-


A new landmark building in Sydney CBD will house a major electrical substation with an integrated commercial tower development, after architects Fitzpatrick and Partners won a competition to design the building at 33 Bligh Street.
The partnership between Ausgrid and Investa is an efficient and innovative way to deliver essential infrastructure, commercial space and outstanding architecture for the city.
Ausgrid and Investa invited five architects to submit a proposal for the building’s design. Fitzpartick and Partners won the competition after an independent selection committee agreed their proposal was an iconic building that would add quality to the streetscape while meeting the unique site requirements.
The commercial tower above the substation will be a 5-star-green-star rated design. It will be in the form of three cubic volumes, separated horizontally with horizontal offset. The main entrance to the tower will be an open, sky lobby.
The new City East zone substation is part of Ausgrid’s CityGrid project which will provide power to the CBD via a ring of underground cable tunnels connected to four new or upgraded substations.
The new substation will replace the existing City East Substation at Woolloomooloo which was built in 1964. The substation has performed well over the years but needs to be replaced by 2017.
The architects will help prepare the project planning application with the project team. The team is also working with the City of Sydney Council to achieve design excellence.
Ausgrid has received concept approval for the development of the site and approval to demolish the existing building from the NSW Department of Planning.
The next stage of approval which includes excavation, construction of a 150 metre long cable tunnel underneath Bligh Street, north to Bent Street, and the design of the building, is expected to be lodged with the Department of Planning and placed on public display later this year.
The building at 33 Bligh Street, which also has frontage to O’Connell Street, will deliver 26,000 square metres of A-grade office space.



Fitzpatrick and Partners win competition to design Sydney tower

7 July, 2011

The architectural firm Fitzpatrick and Partners has won the design competition for a major development project at 33 Bligh Street, Sydney.
Investa Property Group and Ausgrid hosted the competition, which commenced last November with five architectural firms asked to submit a proposal.
Fitzpatrick and Partners’ proposal was considered to provide a ‘unique landmark building which would add vitality and quality to the mix of buildings in the CBD, whilst meeting the unique requirements of the site’.
An iconic tower form made up of three cubic volumes and separated horizontally with horizontal offset was seen as a defining feature of the Fitzpatrick design, with the sky lobby forming the main entry experience to the tower in an open and welcoming environment.

The Selection Committee comprised representatives from both local and state government including City of Sydney Director City Planning and Regulatory Services - Graham Jahn and NSW Government Architect - Peter Mould, along with personnel from the site owners Ausgrid and Investa.
The Selection Committee Report stated that the Fitzpatrick and Partners “proposal was a bold, crisp design that presents as heroic and resonates landmark quality, providing a positive architectural statement for the CBD. The proposed substation façade presents many artistic possibilities and celebrates rather than hides the substation component, whilst incorporating art for public benefit”.
The joint venture between Ausgrid and Investa will occupy a prime Sydney CBD location.
Ausgrid propose to construct a substation on the site with Investa to develop a commercial tower above.

Ausgrid Managing Director George Maltabarow said the partnership between Ausgrid and Investa was an efficient and innovative way to deliver essential infrastructure and outstanding architecture for the city.
“We wanted this development to be energy efficient and cost efficient,” Mr Maltabarow said.
“We’ll achieve both by incorporating a 5-star-green-star rated commercial tower into the design.”
The project would deliver 26,000 square metres of A-grade office space.

Fitzpatrick and Partners will now join the project team and technical consultants to commence preparation of planning consent documentation encompassing the overall design of the substation and commercial tower. The team is also working with the City of Sydney Council to ensure design excellence.

The second stage of a Part 3A application is expected to be lodged with the NSW Department of Planning in September 2011. 


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