Greenland Tower: The Tallest Residential Tower in Sydney

When space is at a premium, the only way to go is up! Sydney’s Greenland Tower is a masterpiece of modern architecture, claiming the title of Tallest Residential Tower in Sydney with a whopping 67 floors!

Greenland Tower Sydney
Greenland Tower is now the tallest residential tower in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Walters Macri.

Overcoming seemingly impossible challenges is part of an Architect’s daily tasks. Creating the spectacular Greenland Tower certainly posed its own unique set of constraints and challenges which is exactly what makes the unveiling of this residential building so exciting! Now the tallest residential building in all of Sydney, the project represents a successful collaboration between two of Australia’s most famous Architectural firms: Woods Bagot and BVN. Together with engineering firm ARUP with ProBuild and Multiplex, Greenland Tower certainly is a testament to Australian design and architecture, a true showcase of the best of the best.

The creation of Greenland Tower posed a unique set of challenges, from how to comfortably house a carpark within a residential tower to how to place a new structure over the top of an existing building. Perhaps the most intriguing challenge of all was how to best include open air verandahs on high rise apartments (up to 230m tall) that would allow for the Sydney sun and natural breeze to enter the homes.

Greenland Tower is now open at 115 Bathurst Street, Sydney. Street view of Greenland Tower, in the Sydney CBD. Photo by Walters Macri.

In transforming an existing 26 floor building into a 67 floor skyscraper the creative crew at Woods Bagot and ARUP decided against tearing down the building to start fresh but rather combine the old with the new to create something truly unique. The concrete was stripped away from the existing steel structure and the foundations were reinforced. The new structure could not be built running straight up from this existing building as the structure had been built butting right up against the western boundary and the new section could not follow this pattern. The creative solution proposed by the team was to add an angled truss over the top of the existing building that would be strong enough to support the new cantilevered 40 storey tower. This offered an opportunity to include 360 degree light and views, making for a truly magical experience for the new residences.

Greenland Tower houses rehearsal and production spaces for artists that wrap around the internal carpark, providing an artistic cultural element that cleverly conceals the carpark.

The great Australian verandah is a staple in Aussie Architecture and design but can of course be challenging to include in a high rise structure. Capturing the magical experience of the traditional Aussie verandah, the creative teams at Woods Bagot and BVN created a stylish, modern solution dubbed the “Sydney Verandah”. Featuring vast, angled panes of glass that are suspended from clips, the space allows in fresh air, gentle breezes and light rain for a wonderful verandah-like experience! Traditionally, any structure that rises 20 storeys or more would rely on air conditioning for ventilation however, the ground-breaking “Sydney Verandah” design makes the open air experience possible in Greenland Tower.

Greenland Tower is truly a ground breaking architectural wonder, solving many creative and structural dilemmas that have posed a challenge in the past while effortlessly combining the old with the new. As high-rise living continues to grow in popularity in Australia, it certainly is exciting to see just how the teams at Woods Bagot and BVN have found clever ways to introduce fresh air and outdoor living experiences in this stunning building.