Quay Quarter Tower wins International High Rise Award

9 November 2022
  • Adam Mork
  • Adam Mork
  • Adam Mork
  • Adam Mork
  • Adam Mork
  • Adam Mork

Sydney, NSW


3xN celebrate success for world’s largest ‘upcycled tower’

The Quay Quarter Tower (QQT), designed by Tenderstream member 3XN, has won the 2022 International High Rise Award. QQT, located on the edge of Sydney’s bustling Circular Quay, is the world’s largest ‘upcycled tower’, stripping back and transforming the former AMP Centre at 50 Bridge Street. The International High Rise Award is given every two years to a design that “combines exemplary sustainability, outer shape, and internal use of space.” 

The jury praised the designers for managing to redevelop an existing structure, with jury member and director of Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Peter Cachola Schmal, stating: “In the near future, the world will have to accommodate some three billion people under the age of 18, or the same number as the entire population of the world back in 1930. This means we need to densify. Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney expands its predecessor’s footprint without expanding its visual presence on the street, adding space on the same footprint. At the same time, it maximizes carbon savings. A win-win situation.”

Shaped around a vertical village concept, the design is divided into five separate volumes that create smaller communities within the larger mass of the tower. Separate floors are threaded together by a spiral stair and arranged around stacked atria that bring daylight deep into the 2,000 sq m floorplates. 

Quay Quarter Tower retains 65% of the original building’s structure dating from 1976 and 95% of the original core, grafting on new floorplates in order double the usable area and saving 12,000 tonnes of embodied carbon in the process. Where the original AMP Centre Tower accommodated 4,500 occupants each day, the new structure can accommodate more than 10,000, plus additional visitors to the market hall and multi-level lobby space.

 “Quay Quarter Tower is the most important transformation project ever completed – one that would not have been possible without an ambitious client and a great team,” explained 3XN founding partner Kim Nielsen.  “It transforms an existing tower in central Sydney that no longer worked for its users, giving it new form and character and extending its lifespan far into the future.”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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