Commonwealth Bank Darling Square

Sydney Workplace Building's Hollowed Form Harkens to Geographical Site

As part of the transformation of Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the project provides a new hub and outdoor spaces for Commonwealth Bank’s employees as well as a public gathering place for Sydneysiders in Darling Square.

Inspired by the nearby Great Sydney Dyke, the 12-story building envelope received a hollowed slice from east to west to form an internal atrium which allows natural daylight into the interiors. Its eastern façade is rounded from inside the hollowed area to its rectangular edges in response to the context and orientation of Tumbalong Park.

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Textured layers along the façade break up the built form and relate to the natural environment. The 1,600-square-meter podium on the ground floor is paved with stones and includes brown and gray bricks protected by aluminum awnings to blend in with its neighbor. Street-side seating provides a reprieve from shopping or the daily bustle.

To conceal the four-level parking garage, zinc cladding is affixed to the eastern portion of the building while perforated aluminum panels cover the southern side to allow for ventilation. The former is covered in vertical patterns to create movement while the latter alludes to local geology with color and texture and also displays an ombre pattern achieved by the varying shades projected by the aluminum’s reflections.

The atrium’s internal form makes a memorable impression upon entering through the building’s glass doors, which are defined by both an articulated glass awning and undulating exteriors of the offices. The marble floor is marked by a staggered line of yellow marble—a similar color to the escarpment stone found at the Dyke—within the entryway lobby tracing its path.

Utilizing the lifts along the peripheries of the building’s core, employees are greeted with 26,000 square meters of dynamic and flexible workspace activated by staggered floor plates with framed views to the outside. Bridges have also been integrated to link the separated floors and complete the circulation path. Wellness facilities, including a yoga room, bike storage, changing and shower chambers are available to the building’s 3,000 occupants. An appreciation for the environment is found in a green roof terrace on the twelfth floor in addition to solar panels on the uppermost podium.






Sydney, Australia

Completion Date



44,000 square meters