one bligh street - photography martin van der wal
Conspicuous not for its height but its confidence, 1 Bligh nestles comfortably amongst a gaggle of Sydney towers that are undeniably world class. Just visible here are Piano's Aurora Place, DCM's Governor Phillip, Seidler's MLC (b...
...but here you can see Norman Foster's Deutschebank (whose scaffolding headdress can be seen at the right of the picture, poking out from behind the funereal pomo of Kohn Pedersen Fox's Chifley Tower) to the right of the Ingenhov...
Inside that quasi-industrial glass wall, with views across the harbour to Luna Park and beyond, Sydney's most expensive and most habitable office space has the feel of a mini-Australia.
...although it's an Australia where it does rain. Here Renzo Piano's aptly-named Aurora Place catches the spring-afternoon light.
The City's planning rules would have had the building rectangular, at least at street-level, with a six-storey retail podium. But Ingenhoven insists - and it's hard not to agree - that the choice of an elliptical geometry resolves the two clashing street-grids which meet at this point while effec...
Even the mop-headed Washingtonia palms, which have always seemed faintly ridiculous, now look almost plausible, giving this new north-facing sun-trap an almost Californian feel.
As dusk falls, and the building starts to glow, Ingenhoven's decision to "lift the space into the dollars", opening the ground floor to the street, really starts to make sense.
It still has that Boogie Nights feel, though, with James Angus' crazyy sculpture, those even crazier palms...
...and that wild purple glow, which is light falling on a gauzy stainless-steel mesh curtain whose function - apart from doing nice things with light - is to provide a degree of privacy and air-filtering for the childcare centre behind.
From the outside, in the daytime, the mesh is quite forbidding, a suit of genuine chain-mail...
...but from inside looking out, the gauzy layers of mesh protect the children without isolating them, screening north-west sun.
The immediate reaction of any first-time entrant to the building is to look up, and up and up...
...and up, into this atrium that acts as a cooling chimney for the building, drawing cool air in at the foyer and letting out at the top...
Legal firm Clayton Utz have taken the bottom 15 floors of the building: here the Level 15 fitout by Bates Smart establishes their reception at the same level as the deck...
...whose views of harbour and Bridge means they'll be selling tickets for New year's Eve...