Plans move forward to turn Sydney district into Australia’s Silicon Valley

A 24ha site in the south of Sydney’s central business district has been rezoned by the government of New South Wales (NSW) in preparation for work on building a number of office towers.

The Railway Square development, which is being described as Australia’s version of San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, will be grouped around the headquarters of Australian software company Atlassian. This company will occupy the world’s tallest hybrid timber building, designed by New York’s SHoP Architects and Australia’s BVN.

Atlassian’s tower will be joined by a 150,000 sq m, US$1.8bn development for Australian real estate firms Dexus and Frasers, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Fender Katsalidis. The two towers will be 39-storeys high, and be entirely powered by renewable energy.

Andrew Constance, NSW’s transport minister, said: "This is an important piece of the puzzle to transform the area through uniting a world-class transport interchange with innovative and diverse businesses and high-quality public spaces.

"It will embrace design, sustainability and connectivity, while celebrating Central’s unique built form and social and cultural heritage as it becomes a centre for the jobs of the future and economic growth."

Eventually some 25,000 employees are expected to work in the area, mainly in technology industries.

Image courtesy of the NSW government

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