Looking up at Sixty Martin Street Sydney and surrounding buildings, at day time; Looking up at Sixty Martin Street Sydney and surrounding buildings, at day time;

Sixty Martin Place, Sydney

A distinguished design for Sydney’s civic heart

The cantilevered profile of Sixty Martin Place on Sydney CBD’s eastern skyline offers a contemporary design twist on the historical Martin Place district’s civic architecture – respectfully shining a light on neighbouring heritage-listed St. Stephens Church.

Owned and developed by Investa Property Group and Gwynvill Group, the 33-storey commercial tower design was selected as part of a design excellence competition in 2015. 

Arup, in conjunction with architect Hassell and the project’s consultant team, has thoughtfully balanced heritage and contemporary needs, contributing to a design with exceptional amenity for tenants, unlocking new public space and adding to the night-time experience of the city and the nearby Domain parklands.

Project Summary


40,000sqmnet lettable area

6Star Green Star rating

Street view of Sixty Martin Street Sydney and surrounding footpaths, at night time Street view of Sixty Martin Street Sydney and surrounding footpaths, at night time

A celebratory, civic lighting scheme

Our lighting team was engaged to design a lighting scheme for Sixty Martin Place that complements the architectural language of its prominent heritage neighbours yet forms a modern and dynamic part of the CBD skyline.

The podium levels of the building are lit with a subdued, warmer white to draw focus to the sandstone walls, while columns of shadow are synonymous with the Australian ‘verandah’ – continuing the tradition of lighting civic structures.

© Brett Winstone

As the tower rises the lighting accentuates the shapes and form of the building’s façade. Vertical lighting strips integrated into the mullion details the eastern façade and LED shadow boxes on the cantilevered northern facade elements serve to illuminate St. Stephens steeple.  

The building façade is visually complex and animated around its corners. During the night the lighting design seeks to create further interplay of light and shadow, accentuating the design intent and creating a new night-time character for the building. 

Sixty Martin Place is a dynamic addition to the skyline on Macquarie Street – successfully connecting heritage and contemporary. ” Alexander Hespe Alexander Hespe ESD Consultant

Each façade has a different treatment and lighting is designed to complement each one. The dynamic light show links the facades together with a soft and subtle light that moves around the building in a diurnal cycle. Dawn and dusk ‘shows’ with warm colour tones reflect Sydney sunrises and sunsets. The façade lighting also has capability for more ephemeral and expressive cultural events. 

At entry level, the Civic Room is connected with St. Stephens using lighting to reveal the church’s stained-glass windows at night. Integral to the connection of people and place, artwork ‘Vault of Heaven’ by Lindy Lee sees its laser cut, mirror-polished stainless-steel sculptures capture visitor’s attention with cleverly integrated lighting. 

Enabling the tower’s defining features

The unique cantilever design of the Sixty Martin Place’s northern façade spectacularly reaches out over neighbouring, heritage-listed St. Stephens Church. 

With its atypical façade, we worked closely with Hassell and the broader project team to solve hydraulic, fire and façade access complexities – including the review and assessment of drainage from the overhanging façade onto neighbouring buildings. 

A key challenge was achieving safe and simple access to the inward and outward sloping façades for ongoing maintenance and cleaning. Our façade access engineering team designed a Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) that is centrally placed on the roof and can move the length of the building. The BMU is fitted with a large crane-like arm that sees it navigate the challenging façade. The unit is secured to the building using ropes with safety-limiting devices for simple and safe operation.

With an internal atrium in the building’s lobby that provides striking views of St. Stephen’s Church, aesthetic was key. Performance-based fire engineering, using normal mode natural ventilation to avoid need for dedicated smoke exhaust fans, was central to achieving public safety and the design vision.

Optimal energy outcomes

Our Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) team drove the development of a novel façade solution combining internal blinds and high-performance glass, that allows tenants to take advantage of Sydney Harbour views at the same time as achieving energy efficiency.

A mixed mode lobby ventilation system was also designed to prioritise natural ventilation and provide a considered balance between efficiency and amenity, minimising the use of energy for the building’s ancillary systems. 

The building has been awarded 6 Star Green Star Design & As Built by the Green Building Council of Australia, WELL Core & Shell Platinum Rating, and is pursuing a 5 star NABERS Energy rating in operation.

Arup performed excellently as the ESD engineers for Sixty Martin Place. Their team worked hand-in-hand with us for over six years through the whole development lifecycle of the project from early concept design through to post-handover and tuning of the building. They played a major role in the success of Sixty Martin Place, and with the achievement of a 6 Star Greenstar and Platinum WELL rating, we are extremely grateful for their support. ” Shen Chiu National Development Director, Investa