Australia’s Upcycled Skyscraper is The First of its Kind

Skyscrapers have dominated city skylines for the last hundred years, and their form and function have continued evolving, ever-growing upward.

But what happens when a skyscraper is at the end of its life? Usually, the end of a high-rise means the entire building is torn down, crushed, and a new one rises in its place.

But for the AMP Centre, once Sydney’s tallest building, the end of its life didn’t mean the end of the entire structure.  The 1970s building was stripped back, but much of the core was kept, built-upon, and retrofitted for the successor, which is now called Quay Quarter Tower.  It’s considered the first ‘up-cycled’ skyscraper in the world.


The old AMP Centre tower, which was stripped back and up cycled for the new building.

The new tower added additional floors and real estate to the old structure, but in keeping the original core intact, architects claim they’ve saves 12,000 tons of CO2 versus building a skyscraper from scratch.

We like this approach to revitalizing architecture and skyscrapers, where possible, to save resources and time in the building new towers.



“In what is considered a world-first innovation, rather than demolish and rebuild the 50 Bridge Street skyscraper, it is being upcycled, retaining 60% of the existing core structure. The tower is expanded, improved and recycled to create the new state-of-the-art Quay Quarter Tower with its new façade and building services, and doubled floor plate size.
The design optimises the embodied energy and resources inherent in the existing building and results in a saving of 6,100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in addition to reduced construction time and environmental impact.”

  – Quay Quarter Tower


Learn more about this world’s first on CNN Style’s website.