Article first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald
By Matt O'Sullivan
Atlassian plans to build the world's tallest hybrid timber tower for its new headquarters next to Central Station, reshaping the skyline at the southern end of Sydney's CBD. The 40-storey building will become the centrepiece of the state government-planned tech hub, which will eventually span from Central to near Redfern station.
Comprising mass timber and a facade of glass and steel, the building will feature a staggered outdoor garden as well as self-shading to control temperatures. Once complete in 2025, it will accommodate up to 4000 Atlassian staff, and a YHA hostel on its lower levels.
Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar said he was taking a "long-term view" and believed even a company with a highly distributed workforce needed people to come together regularly.
"Buildings have to be a place where they attract your employees to come in, and do their best work, [and] it's a billboard to future employees," he said. "We have an opportunity to be maybe the first building in Sydney built for a distributed workforce in a new way."
Atlassian hired New York architects SHoP to design the tower in partnership with Australian firm BVN. The building will operate on 100 per cent renewable energy and includes solar panels in its facade.
Atlassian's head of global workplace experience, Scott Hazard, said sustainability was a key focus for the tower, which would be built to last 100 years. "Cross-laminated timber is an incredibly green material, and it helps us avoid massive amounts of concrete and steel," he said.
"We are pushing the limits already beyond anything that we know with that material."
Atlassian was the first anchor tenant to sign up to the tech precinct, which the government wants to be able to attract up to 25,000 workers. It is the first stage of a massive redevelopment of the 24-hectare Central precinct, which extends from the railway station to Eveleigh.
The tech giant will lodge development applications for the 40-storey building within months, and plans for construction to start next year.