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Aurora Place is the common name of Renzo Piano's award-winning office tower and residential block on Macquarie Street in Sydney, Australia. Its official name is the RBS Tower building. The 41-storey structure is 218 metres (718ft) high to the top of the spire and 188 metres to the roof.

ABN Amro Tower
(Aurora Place)
Aurora Place 3.jpg
General information
TypeCommercial skyscraper
Location88 Phillip Street, Central Business District, Sydney, Australia
Construction started1997
Technical details
Floor count41
Floor area123 m
Design and construction
ArchitectRenzo Piano Building Workshop in association with Innovarchi Architects, Sydney and Lend Lease Design Group (TSG)
Awards and prizes2002 Property Council of Australia Rider Hunt Award

The building has an unusual geometric shape where not one panel is parallel to any grid. The east façade bulges out slightly from its base, reaching its maximum width at the top floors. The curved and twisted shape of east façade is aimed to correspond spatially with Sydney Opera House and to represent the sublime marine environment of the harbour. The exterior glass curtain-wall extends beyond the main frame, creating an illusion of its independence. The steel spire attached to the north facade is 75 metres in length.

Uniquely for an office building of its size and age, Aurora Place features a number of winter gardens, providing natural environments for the building's tenants. These winter gardens are located in the North West and South East corners of the tower floor place, facing Sydney Harbour and the adjacent botanical gardens, with sophisticated operable louvre facades.[1]

Aurora Place also features a significant collection of art on public display, reported to be among the most valuable corporate art commissions in Australia. Artists featured at Aurora Place include Kan Yasuda, Caio Fonseca and Tim Prentice.[2]


The building was built on the site of the former State Office Block by Bovis Lend Lease. The assumptions of a planned tower were first presented to the Central Sydney Planning Committee in 1996, when three main architects: Mark Carroll, Shunji Ishida and Renzo Piano put forward the innovative project. The building was sold in January 2001 for $485 million. Aurora Place was the winner of prestigious 2002 Property Council of Australia Rider Hunt Award, handled out for technical and financial qualities. On 2 June 2009, French urban climber Alain Robert scaled this building in protest against climate change.[3]

Aurora Place from Macquarie Street

Construction materialsEdit

Materials that are used for this building were unique compared to its neighbours, Chifley Tower (Kohn, Pederson Fox architects, 1988) and Governor Phillip Tower (Denton, Corker Marshall architects, 1994). The façade which makes up the primary component of the building is the milky white fritted glass which has been laminated. The aesthetics of the material gives a visual metaphor of a sail. It is inspired by the tiling of the Sydney Opera House, which is 800 metres (less than half a mile) to the north. Terracotta tiles makes up much of the lower section of the building to contrast the white dominated glass cladding. It also reconciles the orange-clad lobby and the residential complex.

A number of international law firms, namely Jones Day (level 41) and Squire Patton Boggs (level 17), are tenants in the building.

See alsoEdit


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  3. ^ "Latest Stories From". Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2009.

External linksEdit