Macquarie Group Headquarters, Sydney

An award-winning building that has raised industry standards for environmental sustainability and wellbeing, One Shelley Street sets a new benchmark for commercial office space in Australia.


  • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Project Status

  • Completed in 2009



  • Clive Wilkinson Architects, Woods Bagot, Fitzpatrick and Partners

A model example of activity-based workspace on Sydney Harbour

With the needs of a leading financial institution in mind, Brookfield Multiplex, the developer, wanted to build an innovative workplace that would prioritise health and productivity, indoor environment quality, energy efficiency and flexible work settings, while at the same time be a bold architectural addition to Sydney’s ‘upand-coming’ business precinct, King Street Wharf. This vision attracted the attention of Macquarie, the global investment bank and financial services group, which decided to relocate its headquarters offices into the development. Macquarie wanted to pioneer an activity-based work (ABW) space at One Shelley Street that would facilitate its workers’ wellbeing, and support crosscollaboration and creativity.

WSP was awarded the base building works through a longstanding client relationship with Brookfield Multiplex and the fit out works through subsequent engagement with Macquarie. Our multidisciplinary team worked in close partnership with main architect Clive Wilkinson Architects, and together with fit-out designer Woods Bagot and the construction team, to design 33,000 sq. ft. of ABW over 11 floors. One of the drivers for ABW was the occupancy efficiency that could be achieved.

As Macquarie Bank had emerged as the sole tenant at an early stage, the design team was able to customise the base building to meet the bank’s needs, satisfying Macquarie’s requirement for flexible and productive workspace, as well as fulfilling Brookfield Multiplex’s design brief.

Amongst Brookfield Multiplex’s key objectives was an expansion of the net lettable area and this was achieved by constraining the services zone on a floor-by-floor basis through the use of an innovative HVAC system leading to the creation of an extra floor in the building within a strict overall height limit.

Activity-Based Work over
11 floors 11 floors
33,000 sq. ft. 33,000 sq. ft.
Green Star ‘as-built’ rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.
6-star 6-star

Another key objective - creating an energy efficient building, called for a host of innovative design solutions. We used passive chilled beam air conditioning to achieve energy savings and high indoor environmental quality throughout the building. And we used a passive cooling strategy to reduce energy requirements within the 11-storey high central atrium, which connects the two parts of the building and features a west-facing glass expanse.

Other design responses included a harbour heat rejection system to minimise water usage, efficient lighting, a high-performance façade, and increased ventilation rates to 100% beyond minimum code compliance.

The building was originally conceived as a residential scheme and switched to commercial part way through construction, meaning the base building was not set up for the integration of office-use building services. We worked in close collaboration with our client and the construction team to work around the building’s unusual structure, using its features to the client’s advantage. For example, we converted the underground parking area into plant space for the chilled beam technology.

Our innovative solutions effectively balanced competing client needs: industry leading energy-efficiency, enhanced indoor environmental quality with elevated ventilation rates and full workplace flexibility.

One of Australia’s most sustainable office buildings and the first to be designed with ABW floorplates, One Shelley Street was awarded a 6-star Green Star ‘as-built’ rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.