Monday, 6 June 2016

2000: Meriton unveils World Tower (Evolution of World Square)

World Tower
Photo taken by the Author.
Last week, we looked at Hordern Towers and this week we move onto the next phase in the development of World Square.

2000 was a big year for Sydney, but also for Meriton Apartments when they announced plans to build what is currently Sydney's tallest skyscraper - World Tower. Only a year earlier, they had snapped up the "prized" quarter of the site at the corner of George and Liverpool Street's where they could build to the maximum height limit of 235 metres. The tallest tower under the Kenzo Tange scheme would have been located there if they built it.

World Tower March 8 2000 Daily Telegraph

Source: Skelsey, M. 2000. "Sydney's new town in the sky". The Daily Telegraph, March 8: page unknown.

Late in 1999, architects were invited to design the tower. Three were shortlisted which were:

1. Nation Fender Katsailidis
2. Harry Seidler & Associates
3. Peddle Thorp Walker

In the end they selected the design of Nation Fender Katsailidis.

Construction commenced towards the end of 2000, following the Olympic games. Occupation of the lower floors of the tower began in late 2003 while the upper levels were being built. Below is a selection of photos from its construction which I started taking in mid 2002.

July 2002

November 2002

December 2002

January 2003

May 2003

June 2003

October 2003

November 2003

January 2004

April 2004

The tower rises 74 levels or 230 metres above street level, however floors are marked from the lowest basement level, not the ground floor. You might think for instance that your apartment is on level 76, but really you are 66 levels above ground.

World Tower is predominantly residential, though some units are managed as serviced units. At completion, levels 61 and above were entirely serviced apartments and were only placed on the market several years ago. Levels 83 and 84 contain a penthouse, which is owned by who is now Australia's richest person - Meriton's Harry Triguboff.

Next week, we will look at 680 George Street where we find out its fate.