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Regenerating office buildings on Bourke

As one office expansion at AMP Square (535 & 555 Bourke St) nears completion, another directly opposite, is due to begin. EstimateOne recently listed four builders as vying for the construction rights to deliver a revamped 570 Bourke St; they being Brookfield Multiplex, Watpac, Built and Probuild Constructions. Known as Marland House, the tower was completed during 1972 and is currently owned by Charter Hall.

Standing at 121m with 31 levels of A-grade office space the Hassell-designed expansion consists of a new 12 level wing over the Bourke St forecourt, while also adding a dozen levels at the rear of the tower above the existing 645-bay Secure Parking facility facing Little Bourke St. According to project manager PDS Group, these new additions which are valued at approximately $70 million will employ the maximum site area while adding 15,620sqm of net lettable area to the complex.

570 Bourke St expansion. Image courtesy PDS Group.
570 Bourke St expansion. Image courtesy PDS Group.
570 Bourke St expansion. Image courtesy PDS Group.
570 Bourke St expansion. Image courtesy PDS Group.

555 Bourke St on the other hand is in the final stages of it's regeneration. Backed by owner Juilliard Group and designed by Metier 3 architects, its expansion seeks to completely overhaul the 1969 landmark building designed by US firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. After nearly two years builder Construction Engineering has essentially completed all works with a variety of extensions added to the original tower at 535 Bourke and the L-shaped St James building.

The $120 million expansion includes three additional levels atop St James, characterised by overhung floorplates, angled blades and a glass facade with etched L-shapes; taking inspiration from the shape of the building. Photos of the expanded 555 Bourke St are found below

Project details

Further details for 555 Bourke as per realcommercial.com.au:

  • Large Efficient Floor Plates
  • Centrally Located to all public transport with Southern Cross station 400 metres away
  • 100% Full Fresh Air Distribution System with LTVAV (Low Temperature Variable Air Volume)
  • Up to 14,000 sqm of Office Space available
  • Excellent Natural Light
  • Innovative & Unique Design
  • Abundant End Of Trip Facilities and tenant amenities including bike storage for 200 Bicycles and 20 customized shower facilities.
  • 4.5 star NABERS Energy Rating (Target)
  • Meeting & Conference facilities
  • Substantial on-site retail and public space amenity

Comment

Although a moot point now, a case may have been made for retaining AMP Square as was, given its design by a world renowned architecture firm: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The age, character, appeal and interest associated with the complex may have let to AMP Square being considered as a place of local significance and a potential heritage listing. Everyone will have their own opinions on this matter. Regardless from my perspective the new AMP Tower, St James development is generally a good outcome.

While I may have misgivings regarding the etched facade applied to the St James extension, the general size and scope of the revamp is quite good. One of the key aspects of any aged building regeneration is increasing human interaction. Once up and running AMP Square will feature massively expanded retail offerings, active street frontages as opposed to blank walls and a covered internal area heavily weighted towards user amenity and retail purposes which in turn enhances social interaction. That is always a good result.

St James with extension prominent
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