2012–14 Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) lead architect, alterations and additions Tanner Kibble Denton Architects, heritage architect Clive Wilkinson Architects and BVN, interiors
When 50 Martin Place opened in 1928 as head office for the Government Savings Bank of NSW, it was the city’s tallest, most expensive building with the world’s largest banking chamber. It has since been transformed as the global headquarters of Macquarie Group.
From the street, the building’s Beaux-Arts facade showcases a solid red granite base, topped with four Ionic columns and pilasters, clad in pink-glazed ceramic tiles. Twelve storeys in height, it was crowned originally with a two-storey attic and, intriguingly, a rooftop rifle range.
At ground level, the grand hall and banking chamber are lavishly detailed in the Neoclassical style, featuring marble and scagliola – a form of plaster – on massive stylised columns. The award-winning adaptive re-use of the building in 2014 under a team led by Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) sees old and new beautifully enmeshed.
Inside the atrium are two futuristic circular glass lifts. An extraordinary eight-storey-high installation by artist Nike Savvas, Colours are the country, can be seen during the lift journey. Straddling the atrium is a new steel-framed glass dome, designed as a fifth facade to be seen from neighbouring buildings as a shimmering lantern.
The refurbishment of 50 Martin Place won a string of awards, including the 2015 Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture and Best Adaptive Re-use from the Urban Design Institute of Australia. It is also Australia’s largest heritage building to be given a Six Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.
2017 Best Adaptive Reuse, Urban Design Institute of Australia
2016 Australian Development of the Year, Property Council of Australia
2015 Harry Seidler National Award for Commercial Architecture, AIA
2015 Sir Arthur Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture, AIA (NSW)
2015 Best Adaptive Re-use of a Heritage Building, National Trust
2015 Restoration of a Historic Building, Master Builders Association
Priority access for SLM Members
Members get priority access to this building
Show your special Member wristband to gain priority access during Sydney Open.
No photography permitted of the artworks on display
50 Martin Place’s involvement in Sydney Open has been made possible by Macquarie Group Ltd.
50 Martin Place: the ground floor Banking Chamber and levels 10 and 11 including an outdoor terrace.