Iconic Architecture

SYDNEY'S FIRST SKYSCRAPER

Located in Circular Quay at the gateway to Sydney’s CBD, 33 Alfred Street has been a prominent feature on the Sydney skyline for 60 years. 
 
Opened in 1962 by the Prime Minister at the time, Sir Robert Menzies, the AMP ‘Sydney Cove’ Building, designed by Peddle Thorp & Walker (now PTW Architects), was Sydney’s first to break the city’s 150-foot (46-metre) height limit, imposed from 1912. At 117 metres, it was Australia’s tallest building, almost double the height of anything else in Sydney at the time.
 
Its postwar International style was unlike anything Sydney had seen before. The twin crescent towers soared 26 storeys, linked centrally into an H-shape and set free from their podium. An observation deck on the top floor was open to the public, offering Sydneysiders and international travellers views of the city and harbour from a never-before-seen angle.
 
Aluminium and glass curtain walling was used to capture magnificent harbour and district views. It was also one of the first buildings to use seawater air conditioning, requiring an on-site ‘frogman’ to maintain its water-intake pump house.
 
Part of this new building language was the use of public art. A Tom Bass sculpture on the western facade depicts the Goddess of Plenty watching over a family, to invoke AMP’s founding principle: ‘Amicus certus in re incerta’ (a true friend in uncertain times).

An iconic example of postwar internationalist architecture style completed in 1962, 33 Alfred Street is historically and aesthetically significant as the first skyscraper in Sydney, that is said to have paved the way for the development of tall office towers in the city.

AN ICON RESCULPTED

‚ÄčThis “jewel” is starting a new chapter as extensive revitalisation and restoration works are planned between 2022-2024.  With its exquisite marble, granite and glass facades, sculptures and modernist detailing, it is an enduring symbol of Sydney’s economic ambitions – and architectural prowess. 

Whilst preserving its heritage and landmark architectural design, the re-interpretation of the facade will provide full height glazing to all floors, providing excellent daylight and access to the premier Sydney Harbour views. 

The reimagined 33 Alfred St will serve the next generation on businesses.