Monday, 23 July 2018

1968: Plans for the Qantas Centre are unveiled


Source: Anon. 1968. "Untitled" (Artists Impression). The Sydney Morning Herald, May 7, 1. 

In 1957, Qantas moved into their Chifley Street Headquarters (QANTAS House) but just one decade after moving, Qantas was in need to move again. The ushering of the jet age during the swinging sixties fuelled the growth of Australia's international airline. The arrival of 747 jumbo jets was also going go fuel further growth.

QANTAS House was located on the eastern side of the Sydney CBD, but QANTAS had managed to secure by 1968, most of the block bounded by George, Grosvenor, Lang and Margaret Streets. It was going west.

In May, it was announced via a press release that they were planning to build two towers on the block. The first tower would rise approximately 607 feet and contain 48 levels. It was slated for completion in 1973

A second smaller tower would be built at approximately 500 feet tall (150 metres). However it would not be built until 1983 and accommodate further growth of the airline. Apart from shops at street level, a park and plaza were planned.

Industrial disputes meant that the first tower was not completed until 1981. It holds the record for the longest construction period for a city building in Sydney. The second tower (NAB House) was completed in 1985 (the process for this tower commenced with site tenders in 1981). It retained the Octagonal shape, but the sides appear more equal in length.

The Qantas Tower as viewed from Grosvenor Street, 2009. Photo taken by the Author.