News / February 2015
Wednesday 25 February 2015
HASSELL wins signature Sydney tower

HASSELL has won the international design competition for 60 Martin Place, one of the most significant development sites in Sydney, Australia.

The design reaffirms Martin Place as the civic and business heart of Sydney and maximises views of the Sydney Opera House, Botanic Gardens and the harbour, while respecting the neighbouring heritage listed St Stephen’s Uniting Church. 

The planned redevelopment by Investa Office and Gwynvill Group will appeal to the most progressive tenants, with the ability to commission flexible, interconnected workspace and roof gardens in what will become one of Sydney’s most sought-after business addresses.

“This is a site with a front row seat at the centre of Sydney’s skyline,” said Tony Grist, HASSELL Head of Design - Architecture and design team leader for the project. 

“The design respects the existing facades that lend Martin Place its character. At street level on Martin Place, the building will feature a low-scale podium, formed of Sydney sandstone blades with the tower rising behind it. The sandstone solidity and copper spire of St Stephen’s Uniting Church has been a strong influence on the form of the new tower.

“The building’s striking northern facade is a fluid, curved form. As the building rises, the curve pulls back from the spire, giving it ‘breathing space’, before curving out again. From street level, the image of the spire will be reflected and scattered in the façade,” he said.

The lower levels of the 32-storey development will allow movement between Martin Place and Macquarie Streets and provide public access to indoor and outdoor cafes, roof top bars and restaurants and an event space. These form a generous new civic ‘room’ visually connected over five levels, allowing people on upper levels to view and engage with events below.

The building will bring new life to the eastern end of Sydney’s pre-eminent civic space, reactivating it during and beyond usual business trading hours.

“The design will deliver a balance of social, cultural and economic value to Sydney and its people as well as to Investa Office and the Gwynvill Group,” Tony said. 

The international design competition, involving six design teams, followed an extensive pre-feasibility phase, led by HASSELL, which established the urban design and commercial parameters for the competition brief.

Featuring just over 40,000 square metres of lettable area, the building’s prominent corner location will provide up to three anchor tenants with the opportunity to each secure the most prestigious business addresses in Sydney, via Martin Place, Macquarie Street or Phillip Street. 

The existing 1970s building will be demolished to make way for the premium, environmentally sound office tower, designed to achieve 6 Star Green Star Office and a minimum 5 Star NABERS Energy ratings. Construction completion is anticipated in early 2019.

Images by Doug and Wolf / HASSELL

Wednesday 18 February 2015
Designing experiences, not just a building

We didn’t just set out to design a building – we set out to design experiences for engineering students and staff at the University of Brighton in the UK.

“That’s why HASSELL won the design competition of the university’s Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) at its Moulsecoomb campus,” says Principal Julian Gitsham.

“Our goal is for the learning at University of Brighton to be more than just a transfer of information, and we believe the right building design can help achieve that,’ Julian said.

‘The learning environment should facilitate experiences, interact sustainably with the surrounding biodiversity, and above all, engage. This centre will encompass the entire spectrum of learning in the field of engineering, from start to finish”.

The new centre will include new and refurbished education facilities for mechanical, automotive and aerospace engineering. It will be a modern and adaptable education environment, designed for hands-on and innovative learning.

The AEC will be approximately 3,000 square metres, with a construction cost of around £14m. It is scheduled for completion in December this year.

It is the second master project HASSELL has won at the university. In 2014, we delivered a master plan to unify the universities five campuses, with an approach that will enhance each individual campus, while supporting a more vibrant and connected campus.




Wednesday 18 February 2015
HASSELL fellow shaping the fabric of Australian cities

With his appointment to the Board of UrbanGrowth NSW, HASSELL Fellow Professor Ken Maher is continuing his longstanding commitment to the shaping and improvement of Sydney’s urban fabric. UrbanGrowth NSW is the Australian state’s urban development agency, managing major urban renewal projects in Sydney and across NSW. This news follows Ken’s recent appointment as President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.

NSW Minister for Planning Pru Goward, who announced the UrbanGrowth NSW appointment, said she was delighted. “It is a real boon to UrbanGrowth NSW’s efforts to transform our city living to have him on its Board,” she said.

Over the years Ken has been recognised for his contribution to many award winning projects, and  as a HASSELL Fellow he continues to focus on design and design review for HASSELL projects, including the three major new venues and public realm currently under construction at Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the new graduate School for NIDA, and Master Planning for the Kensington Campus at UNSW.

Passionate about creating places that exist in harmony with their social, cultural and ecological context, Ken has qualifications in landscape architecture and environmental studies as well as architecture. He is also a Professor of Practice in the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of UNSW.

Ken describes his new Board appointment as a wonderful opportunity. “UrbanGrowth NSW is in a great position to set new standards for urban design and sustainable development, and building the value of our communities through significant renewal projects throughout the state, and especially the Bays Precinct Sydney” he said.

“I look forward to contributing at both a strategic and detailed level, through my belief that the quality of the places we inhabit is critical to our health and wellbeing,” Ken added.

Friday 13 February 2015
Visitor experience central to design for Port Macquarie Hospital

Hospitals are often stressful for patients, staff and visitors. HASSELL set out to deliver a positive patient and visitor experience in the A$104 million expansion of the Port Macquarie Base Hospital, in NSW, Australia.

The newly updated building offers relief for medical staff who spend much of their time indoors in sterile environments as well as offering the local community better access to improved health care services.

Set within a natural woodland the HASSELL design creates frequent interaction with the surrounding landscape and will create 300 new jobs in the local community.

The expansion includes a seven-theatre operating suite, new 34-bed theatre recovery unit, new cardiac catheterisation laboratory, new 24-bed critical-care ward, relocation of the paediatric ward, and 200 more car parking spaces, which will ease traffic congestion.

“Functionality and seamless interaction between the internal and external environment was at the core of our design approach for this particular health project,” Jeff Menkens, HASSELL Principal said.

“Hospitals require a great level of functionality in their design, given the nature of medical work. The HASSELL design helped to ensure the health service delivery of the hospital was maintained, while still creating a space for visitors, patients and staff with an element of calm,” Jeff said.

‘The result is an environment that supports the hospital to deliver world class medical treatment to its patients, while enabling adaption for future models of care and technology.”

Port Macquarie Hospital_News Image
Thursday 5 February 2015
Reviving a premier sporting precinct

HASSELL is helping shape the future of a major Australian sporting precinct – we have been awarded the design of Melbourne Park’s new Administration and Media Building, the new headquarters for Tennis Australia, the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, and home to a new media centre for the Australian Open tennis.

The Grand Slam event attracts more than 600,000 spectators to Melbourne Park, along with about 600 media professionals from 300 local and international media outlets.

HASSELL Principal Glenn Scott said HASSELL is excited to be part of the reinvigoration of a site so central to Melbourne’s sporting culture. “The redevelopment of Melbourne Park will see significant improvements for those attending the many sporting and cultural events held in this precinct each year,” he said. “The redevelopment will also provide long-term security for the Australian Open event.”

“Our concept creates connections with the many event and sporting venues at Melbourne Park, where many existing structures also comprise a solid base, focused views and large protective roofs. It will also deliver an enhanced working environment for its future occupants,” Glenn added.

The Victorian Government has committed $700 million towards the redevelopment of Melbourne Park, and the Administration and Media Building is part of the redevelopment’s $338 million Stage Two. 

Melbourne Park_News Image
Wednesday 4 February 2015
Ken Maher to head ASBEC

Sustainability has been a long time passion for Ken Maher, one of Australia’s most celebrated architects and designers. Now he is bringing that passion to a new role as President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).  

“It is a great honour,” says Ken. “But more importantly it is a role in which I hope to play my part in putting Australian cities on a more sustainable path. I am looking forward to working with leaders of the built environment sector to deliver policy, research, dialogue and actions that improve the value of the places we inhabit.”

ASBEC represents a wide range of industry, government and academic organisations with an interest in the sustainability of the built environment in Australia. Ken says he is delighted to accept the presidency of “the peak collaborative forum for organisations that champion sustainable, productive and resilient buildings, communities and cities”.

Ken Maher has long held a prominent  design role within HASSELL. A Principal for over two decades and including nine years as Chairman, he became the inaugural HASSELL Fellow in 2014.

It is a role that allows him to focus on his first love – design – while also pursuing other interests. HASSELL is designing the new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP) in a joint venture with another design firm, Populous. Ken is the lead designer for the project, which includes three new buildings, extensive public parklands, open space and venues for meetings and events. Currently under construction, it will transform the 20-hectare site at Darling Harbour on the Sydney waterfront.

A Life Fellow and 2009 Gold Medal recipient of the Australian Institute of Architects, Ken is also a Professor of Built Environment at the University of NSW and chairs the City of Sydney’s Design Advisory Panel.

“My involvement in major design projects at HASSELL helps inform the contribution I can make in my other advisory roles,” Ken said. “They in turn contribute to the design thinking I put to work at HASSELL.”


Image source: Business Events Sydney 

Ken Maher_News Image
  • Medibank HQ: rich embodiment of workplace wellbeing

    On Office magazine reports on how HASSELL created health insurer Medibank's new headquarters in Melbourne, Australia to reflect their ideas about workplace wellbeing

    On Office


  • New 32-storey tower at 60 Martin Place, Sydney

    A new $750 million 32-storey tower, designed by HASSELL, will rise from within the existing footprint of the building in Sydney, Australia

    Architecture and Design

  • Many ways to revitalise Canberra's city spaces

    David Tickle, sector leader for Urban Design at HASSELL, talks about the many ways in which Canberra's city spaces can be revitalised

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • Creating a world class event venue for Sydney

    HASSELL + Populous design the project Sydney needs to attract massive world events, as reported by Channel Ten News in Australia

    Channel Ten news

  • 10 beautiful Australian libraries

    Murray Bridge Library in Adelaide, designed by HASSELL, named one of the 10 beautiful Australian libraries by the Guardian

    The Guardian

  • Profile: Rob Backhouse

    Rob Backhouse, Managing Director of HASSELL, talks to FX magazine about integrated design teams, creative collision and the practice's lack of a house style

    FX Magazine

  • Point King Residence on Vogue Living

    This Mornington Peninsula house was designed to maximise both entertaining and privacy, and minimise its visual impact on the environment

    Vogue Living

  • Felicity Roocke - creating desirable destinations

    Senior Associate Felicity Roocke speaks about her design motivations and creating desirable hospitality destinations

    Hospitality Interiors

  • Palm Island on World Landscape Architecture

    Palm Island in Chongqing, China features on World Landscape Architecture

    World Landscape Architecture

  • Spotlight on Cassandra Chilton

    HASSELL Senior Associate Cassandra Chilton was profiled in the AILA Victoria winter newsletter

    AILA Victoria

Featured Projects