02 Dec 23

55 Pitt Street receives FutureGlass Prize at World Architecture Festival

55 Pitt Street by Woods Bagot and New York practice SHoP Architects has received the FutureGlass Prize at World Architecture Festival, awarded to an unbuilt project demonstrating the experimental and innovative use of glass technology. 

Featuring a dramatic entry statement and distinctive soaring tower design, the scheme for 55 Pitt was conceived with the core tenets of sustainability and biophilia, boasting a premium-grade workspace that celebrates its place within the context of the Sydney CBD.

“Our scheme recognises the site within the former harbour line, returning this space to the harbour and proposing a completely permeable ground plane to allow the free movement of pedestrians across the site,” says Woods Bagot Director and presenter Domenic Alvaro.

“We are delighted to win the FutureGlass Prize at the World Architecture Festival, especially with the high calibre of entries this year,” adds SHoP Architects Project Director Robert Page.

“55 Pitt embraces glass technology as an expression of its architectural form and function. The integration of clear glass from the ground plane and podium is used to distinguish the flexible mixed-mode spaces seen from the street. These spaces are a vital amenity to this future workplace where responsive operable windows control natural ventilation, allowing the façade to function like a living skin and occupants to connect with the environment.”

Light and air—including direct access to fresh air—has been prioritised in the design, assisted by the side-core massing that leaves floor plates free and open with the façade ‘operables’, which open and close depending on the conditions. Liberated from the interior of the building, the service and access core is free to serve a dual purpose, also providing space for a suite of world-class sustainable amenities.

Locally reclaimed sandstone blocks, bronze metal, and the use of water and lush native planting at the ground level work to connect the building to Country, while also grounding the tower in heritage context.

Crafted terracotta is used to make shading hoods on the facade, which are sculptured reference the tidal river that once intersected that site. “This high-performing facade is shaped to work with the sun maximising shading and views,” says Page. 

Woods Bagot Director Domenic Alvaro and SHoP Architects Project Director Rob Page presenting to the jury.

World Architecture Festival (WAF) is the largest global live awards event for architects and designers. Now in its sixteenth edition, the 2023 WAF program featured 495 shortlisted projects across 44 categories, judged by a prestigious panel of international industry figureheads.

The festival took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 29 November to 1 December, with live crit presentations from hundreds of renowned architects and up-and-coming designers.

Four Woods Bagot projects were shortlisted for this year’s WAF program. These projects included: Te Pae, Christchurch Convention Centre for the category Completed Buildings – Culture; Brisbane’s Heritage Lanes at 80 Ann Street for Completed Buildings – Office; Sydney’s Warada on Walker for Future Projects – Office; and 55 Pitt Street for Future Projects – Office.

Woods Bagot-designed M&C Saatchi received the award for Best Large Workplace at WAF’s sister event Inside World Festival of Interiors. Read more


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Isla Sutherland
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