We were searching for a title to the new film short we have directed and produced on 8Chifley in Sydney. In the end the not entirely original, but entirely appropriate, 'Transformer' came to us. Here is a tower with a much smaller than usual footprint - one that doesn't seem to swallow a whole city block. There's plenty to like about a tower that doesn't hog its site or repel the passer-by with a blank anonymity where small shops once stood. Designed by Sydney's Lippmann Partnership in association with Rogers Stirk Harbour of London and ARUP (Sydney), this is the kind of tower that is wonderfully site and climate specific. Hopefully it's a game-changer and rewards the team behind it with similar opportunities.
Why don't we see more towers of this spirit? Basically the fund and superannuation managers demand more of the same. They're risk averse and don't especially like genuine difference. 8Chifley should reassure them of what's possible with a series of wonderful voids and platforms that open and engage with the place like few of the neighbours. And guess what? The anchor tenant loves it.
We have become accustomed to the big sealed box as branding statement and yet 8Chifley indicates a fresh new direction. Yes, it's big enough, but only 30 storeys and inventive on so many levels. Ground floor for a start is open and transparent with plenty of scope for passers-by to relax in the sunshine or take shelter. And it's a strategy continued throughout with tenant decks and open, connected work areas.
In all it's a mighty achievement and a delight to document on film. You can check out a building of wonderful difference at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZcmMbshmM&feature=youtube_gdata