Atlassian Unveils World’s Tallest Timber Tower at Sydney’s Upcoming ‘Silicon Valley’

June 26, 2020 Updated: June 26, 2020

The Australian Nasdaq-listed software giant Atlassian has unveiled plans for the world’s tallest hybrid timber building as its headquarter next to Sydney Central Station on June 25.

This is a further step closer to its commitment with the NSW government to be the first anchor tenant of the city’s upcoming “Silicon Valley.”

The 180 metre tall skyscraper will be built above the historic Parcels Shed (currently operating as Railway Square YHA backpackers).

It is set to be the start of Tech Central, towards which the NSW government will be injecting $48.2 million in its initial funding.

The upcoming innovation and technology precinct spans 24 hectares at the southern end of Sydney’s CBD, stretching from Central station to Camperdown.

With New York-based architects SHoP and Australian practice BVN as the design team, the 40-storey tower will feature novel hybrid mass timber structure complemented with steel and glass façade, offering a mix of outdoor and indoor spaces incorporating natural ventilation and planted terraces.

The upper floors of the tower will comprise flexible office spaces divided into independent neighbourhoods or “habitats,” while the lower floors will be taken up by the YHA. The existing heritage Parcels Shed will be incorporated into a public space on the site.

In alignment with the company’s commitment to going green, the building will be partly powered by solar panels built into the façade, operating on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.  It aims to consume half the carbon in construction and half the energy of a conventional equivalent building after its planned opening in 2025.

Development applications will be lodged in the coming months, with a plan to commence construction next year.

The development is expected to generate 2500 jobs and add almost one billion dollars a year to the Australian economy. The building will accommodate 4,000 Atlassian staff once completed.

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar said the timing of the development is critical as the nation is bouncing back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Technology can turbo-charge Australia’s recovery. That’s why we’re building this precinct. We want to create jobs, ideas, and innovation,” he said in a statement.

“This will be home to thousands of workers and the best new ideas. If you want to work in tech—this is the place you will want to be.”

He is confident that the headquarter tower, which is “purpose-built for the future of work, for tomorrow’s world,” will boost Sydney’s position in incubating and attracting high-tech businesses.

“Sydney has the potential to be one of the world’s leading technology cities and the creation of a tech precinct sends a loud signal that we’re in the race to take a slice of the world’s most valuable market,” he said.

“Even with a highly distributed workforce, we’ll need a place to come together. Now we can design this space especially for these new ways of working.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian welcomed the new move.

“Atlassian is a great Australian success story and it’s very fitting for them to have their headquarters here in Sydney,” she said.

“Tech Central will rival Silicon Valley as the place to be. This means more jobs and opportunities for all of our citizens.”

The precinct, the plan of which first unveiled by the government in 2018, is set to provide 250,000 square metres of office space, with 50,000 square metres dedicated to start-up and scale-up businesses, and predicted to bring up to 25,000 new jobs to the state.

Founded by best friends Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar in 2002, the homegrown software developer has become Australia’s biggest tech success story.

The company was listed on NASDAQ in 2017 and its market cap as of June 24 is US$21.65 billion (AU$31.34 billion).