Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) lead architect (2012–14, 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 Urban Design Institute of Australia - Best Adaptive Reuse
2016 Property Council of Australia - Australian Development of the Year
2015 AIA - Harry Seidler National Award for Commercial Architecture
2015 AIA (NSW)- Sir Arthur Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture
2015 National Trust - Best Adaptive Re-use of a Heritage Building
2015 Master Builders Association - Restoration of a Historic Building
50 Martin Place: the ground floor Banking Chamber and level 10 including an outdoor terrace.
Talks, tours & more
Ben Green from Tzannes will speak on the architecture of the future 39 Martin Place building.
Paul van Ratingen from JPW will provide an overview of the architecture and design principles behind 50 Martin Place, as well as a preview of the JPW-designed tower under construction and due for completion in 2023 as part of the Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station development.
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.