When it was first constructed a century ago, the iconic Commonwealth Bank ‘Money Box’ building was among the first in the world to use an advanced structural steel frame. Faced with the need to preserve the building’s heritage, architects Johnson Pilton Walker in association with Tanner Kibble Denton architects employed a number of clever design solutions, including a cantilever over the original building that supports the new tower above.
Engineers Aurecon devised a V-shaped brace on all four sides of the new tower, with the result that the structure stands alone, without loads on the heritage building. The design reduced the number of steel members to be erected and allowed for a number of member types to be used. The major compression elements were changed to concrete-filled steel tubes, which meant concrete was used to resist approximately 80 per cent of the load, while retaining the erection advantages of steel.
The result is a masterpiece of revitalisation that has picked up a swag of awards, including the Australian Steel Institute Award for Steel Excellence in Buildings – Large Projects, and, most recently, the RLB Australian Development of the Year for 2017. Not only have original materials and elements such as the central atrium been beautifully recreated or re-imagined, the building succeeds in showing that a traditional building can be modernised with 21st century functionality and 5 Star Green Star sustainability.
(Image courtesy of Cbus Property)