Quay Quarter Tower: Humanizing the High-Rise

Kim Nielsen
Founder, Principal, & Creative Director
3XN, Copenhagen

Quay Quarter Tower (QQT) will create a stunning new building on the Sydney skyline that sets new benchmarks in office tower design globally and creates an exemplary international commercial address. The tower is the antithesis of the prevailing belief that high-rises are generic and non-contextual. It is not just an office building; it is the key to a newly activated public domain at Circular Quay – the front door to Sydney’s CBD.

The tower comprises a stack of vertical villages breaking down the scale into smaller, more intimate social environments for social interaction and collaboration. QQT takes the idea of urban public space and introduces that dynamism into a series of atria to create a tower of vertical, green villages – a social spine that transforms the workspace into a socially engaging space, bringing lifestyle and community to the activity of work.

The podium acts as the horizontal village, with its diversity of offerings over extended hours, at a variety of architectural scales, enlivening this part of the city beyond the working day and integrating the tower itself into community life at the street level. This enhanced public domain, extending over three podium levels, culminates into a publicly accessible urban rooftop park – a unique place within the city. By “upcycling” the majority of the structure of an existing tower, it also expresses an innovative new vision for sustainable building in our dense, urban cities that will be an example for developers and city builders across the globe.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation

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