Mirvac, Coombes Announce Winning Architect for $1bn George Street Skyscraper

Sydney’s newest residential tower will be designed by German firm Ingenhoven and Architectus, developers Mirvac and Coombes Property Group announced on Thursday.

The developers revealed the heavy-hitting architecture shortlist in March, with the Ingenhoven and Architectus-designed scheme for the mixed-use tower at 505-523 George Street in Sydney’s CBD winning out.

Currently home to Event Cinemas, the tower will rise 270 metres, comprising 80-storeys and more than 65,000sq m of gross floor area.

The Ingenhoven and Architectus scheme proposes a super-slim skyscraper sitting atop a podium that incorporates several levels of retail, two childcare centres and the Event Cinemas which is subject to a long-term lease.

As is the expectation, the ground level will offer public amenity and activation of the George Street pedestrian boulevard.

The developers secured approval for added height from the City of Sydney in 2014 – pushing above the site’s existing 150 metre limit – after promising the provision of community benefits including two childcare centres and a community meeting facility.

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Düsseldorf-based firm Ingenhoven and Architectus will design the $1 billion George Street super-slim skyscraper at 505-523 George Street.
Mirvac, Coombes Announce Winning Architect for $1bn George Street SkyscraperImage: Ingenhoven and Architectus

Coombes Property Group acquired the 4,308sq m site in 2009 from Challenger Financial Services for $85 million.

A jury made up of three representatives from the City of Sydney and three representing the developers chose the winning scheme ahead of five other shortlisted firms – Skidmore, Owings and Merrill partnered with Crone, Wilkinson Eyre, Foster + Partners, Fjmt and Bates Smart.

Based in Düsseldorf, Ingenhoven is responsible for the “city in a garden” building in Singapore, Marina One. Its founder Christoph Ingenhoven said that the design intent of George Street was to apply a “friendly neighbour” approach to the landmark tower.

“The urban approach which provides a connection from George Street through to Kent Street is based on the philosophy of being a friendly neighbour that is highly-integrated with the existing surroundings and acts as a catalyst, enhancing the vibrancy and amenity of the precinct and new developments,” Ingenhoven said

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The mixed-use tower will rise 80-storeys and will include a hotel, units, two childcare centres, retail outlets and a cinema.
Mirvac, Coombes Announce Winning Architect for $1bn George Street

Mirvac head of residential Stuart Penklis said the design brief very clearly set out the expectation for one of the city’s most important precincts.

“The design brief we developed in close consultation with the City of Sydney was very explicit in setting out our ambitions for this location, to ensure its continuation as a vibrant precinct while meeting the needs of the city for high quality retail and increased tourist and residential accommodation.”

Penklis said the forthcoming $1 billion light rail will add to the regeneration of George Street.

“Historically, George Street has been Sydney’s main street and our vision is to ensure that we continue the momentum allowing it to once again be a drawcard for retailers and shoppers, city workers and the local and international visitors who make such a valuable contribution to the city’s economy.”

The completion of the design competition marks another milestone for development of the project.

Now the design competition is complete, the developers plan to submit the stage two application to the City of Sydney by late 2019.

Construction is expected to take approximately five years with construction likely to commence in 2020.

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