News and Events

Arup expertise brings new life to heritage Macquarie Group headquarters

Australasia Press Office
11 September 2014

50 Martin Place, the new global headquarters of Macquarie Group, demonstrates how heritage properties can be successfully and sustainably modernised.

The redeveloped landmark now features expansive and engaging environments, contemporary workplace facilities and, as Australia’s largest heritage building to attain the 6 Star rating from Green Star, world-class sustainability. Importantly, this was achieved with minimal impact upon the heritage quality of the building.

As lead engineering consultant for the project, Arup provided building services, ESD, fire engineering, and lighting and audio-visual system design. A multi-disciplinary service that helped inform design and materials of the refurbished property.

The central atrium engages the outside world in a building which, due to its heritage façade, has fewer external windows than a modern building. In concert with the magnificent glass dome roof, the atrium increases access to daylight. The form of the atrium expansion required extensive modelling to maximise this feature.

The wide expanse, draws fresh air across the working floors and exhausting it through the new roof structure. The open edges of the atrium void and its inter-floor stairs encourage team interaction and collaboration.

Arup engineers retrofitted the structure with a range of building services designed to offer efficient and innovative solutions sympathetic to the heritage building fabric. The air conditioning system utilises full fresh air through a raised access floor, and features chilled beams, and cooling units integrated into trading desks. This delivers superior performance, while freeing the ceilings from bulky ductwork and allowing the original architectural form to be expressed. This system is the first of its kind in Australian commercial property.

To take such a distinctive property and fully modernise its working environment in a manner sympathetic to its heritage status was a complex task. The atrium in particular required a holistic approach from all our disciplines to achieve the desired environment, and close collaboration with the project team to deliver Macquarie’s vision. ” Andrew Pettifer Andrew Pettifer Former Principal, Buildings

Macquarie acquired 50 Martin Place in 2012 and in doing so, made a commitment to preserve and reinvigorate this historic building to meet the needs of its clients and people. Fundamental to this commitment was a focus on enhancing performance through connectivity, collaboration and sustainability. We decided to work with Arup because of its track record in delivering complex projects to the highest standards. ” Will Walker Head of Business Services, Macquarie Group

The property, originally built as the headquarters of the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales, features a distinctive terracotta and pink granite Beaux-Arts façade. Constructed in 1928, the trading hall was once one of the largest in the world.