New Sydney skyscraper showcases timber exterior

The newly completed 200 George St, just back from the iconic Circular Quay, is distinctly gold against an otherwise mostly glass skyline. Aside from the gold-tinted glass, the building also showcases timber across the northern and western facades making it unique. The designers, FJMT, are known for their love of combining timber and glass, but this particular usage is completely unique in Australia.
The building features a top-to-bottom pressurised closed cavity facade, a first in Australia, and built-in timber venetian blinds. The panels that adorn the outside of the building are moisture-maintenance free and sustainable and the blinds are controlled by a building-wide network that offers sun tracking, shadow management and web-based remote controls, designed by the Permasteelisa Group. It’s said to play a key role in the management of both heat and light within the building, which has a 365 day suntracker that allows the building to know where the sun is at any time of the day.
The building, which also boasts an impressive dehumidifying system, has achieved something that has baffled architects for years: how to use timber on the exterior of a skyscraper.
The feat, which nearly didn’t happen, was championed by the property developer throughout the project. They changed their mind several times on the type of timber they wanted to use, keen to get it right the first time.
The building promotes thermal, visual and acoustic comfort for its occupants, resulting in lower long-term maintenance costs. It’s received a 6 Star As Built rating and a 5 Star NABERS rating and it’s 257 secure bicycle spaces encourages environmentally friendly commuting. It will be home to Mirvac and Ernst & Young’s Sydney headquarters.