9 Castlereagh Street (Capita Centre)
A commercial tower prized for its innovative architecture and generous public domain
About the building
Designed as the lavish city headquarters for City Mutual, the former Capita Centre, now known as 9 Castlereagh Street, remains one of architect Harry Seidler’s most ingenious towers. Completed in 1989 at a cost of $200 million, no expense was spared.
The tower is tucked into a landlocked site in the heart of Sydney’s commercial district, surrounded by tall buildings on three sides. To bring light into the building, Seidler designed an open-air atrium that shifts from the south side to the north side as it steps upwards through the full height of the tower. At the time of design, a through-site link to Pitt Street was planned, which would have made this atrium part of a public laneway experience, but this was never realised. The exterior structural bracing and spire creates the building’s signature aesthetic, and leaves the L-shaped office floor plates free of supporting columns.
In 2010, Harry Seidler & Associates updated the ground-floor lobby experience and reconnected it with the street. It retains the porcelain mural by Lin Utzon (daughter of Jørn Utzon), created in 1989.
Visitors can see the atrium from level 8 and tour the office of engineering firm Steensen Varming to view its sustainably designed fit-out by Stukel Architecture.Built
Harry Seidler & AssociatesAlterations
Harry Seidler & Associates, 2011; Stukel Architecture, 2011, 2022Awards
Royal Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter – Merit Award, 1991
Australian Institute of Architects NSW Awards – Commercial Architecture Award Commendation, 2012
CitySwitch National Awards – State Partnership Winner, 2017
CitySwitch National Awards – National Signatory of the Year, 2018
CitySwitch National Awards – Highly Commended, 2019
Steensen Varming’s participation has been made possible by 9 Castlereagh Street (Capita Centre) and Charter Hall.
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