The redevelopment of a 1976 skyscraper into a 50-storey landmark at Sydney’s iconic Circular Quay precinct has been named as Australia’s best building project in 2022.

At its National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards ceremony held last weekend, Master Builders Australia said that Multiplex Constructions had been named the National Master Builder of the Year for its work in what Master Builders says is the world’s first upcycled skyscraper at Circular Quay Tower (pictured above and below).

(Circular Quay Tower: image via Multiplex)

Originally built as the 45-sotrey AMP Centre in 1976, the tower underwent a redevelopment from 2018 which increased its height, incorporated additional floorspace and modernized the tower’s form and design.

A key part of the project involved the retention and upscaling of the existing building.

Rather than demolish and rebuild the existing building, this was instead upcycled and 60 percent of the existing core was retained.

This was achieved through a twisting tower which comprised comprises five distinct workplace hubs each connected with their own central atrium.

At the base sits a mixed-use commercial podium including (edible!) public gardens. And at its core: an existing concrete tower and a new steel and concrete structure, united and seamless.

A seamless and unified façade wraps around the old buildings in a staggered and repetitive manner that reduces visual impact and prevents reflections from creating hazards and annoyance for drivers on the Harbour Bridge.

(image via Multiplex)

(Circular Quay Tower (image via Multiplex))

As part of the construction, Multiplex overcome challenges associated with building movement, complex demolition and strengthening works, large cantilevered elements, and concurrent construction across all fronts.

To deliver the program, it developed a ‘Jump Start Construction Sequence’. This arrangement saw the demolition and reconstruction or one side of the tower along with simultaneous retention and refurbishment of the other side – a methodology which enabled the reuse of most of the existing tower as mentioned above.

As well as delivering program time savings of sixteen months, the reuse of the existing building saved 6.1 million tonnes of embodied carbon emissions.

(Circular Quay Tower: image via Multiplex)


Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Warn congratulated Multiplex on its achievement.

“The 50-storey Quay Quarter Tower is the catalyst for the transformation of Sydney’s iconic Circular Quay, supporting Sydney’s future as green, global and connected city, she said.

(Circular Quay Tower: image via Multiplex)

The awards were supported by platinum sponsors Toyota, CBUS, MYOB and major sponsors WoodSolutions, the Timber Framing Collective, Master Builders Insurance Brokers the National Careers Institute and the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner.

Wawn congratulated all winners and finalists.

“The building and construction industry has demonstrated that in the face of adversity, it continues to provide the highest quality outcomes for clients around the country,” she said.

(Multiplex winning team: image supplie)


Other Key Award Winners

A full list of all award winners can be seen here.

Other key award winners are summarised below.

Spadaccini Homes took out the National Residential Master Builder of the Year for its work on the Hirniak Residence in Western Australia. The resort-style home maximising surroundings to take the ocean vista whilst all aspects of the build reflect quality workmanship with exemplary finishes and attention to detail by both the builder and all trades.

The spiral staircase was created from a single pipe and cut into hurled handrails and a textured polished plaster soffit of the stairs, with this feature of the polished soffit being used in the entry and passage.

The main house comprises four bedrooms, five bathrooms, living, dining, kitchen and study, a fully equipped gym with kitchenette, pool, sauna, steam room and four-car garage.


(image source: Spadaccini Homes image gallery)

Vos Construction & Joinery took out the 2022 National President’s Award for their work on the My State Bank Arena in Tasmania, which encompassed civil, renovation, newbuild and fitout.

As the project was complex with a range of construction challenges and needed to be delivered in a very short time, a unique management structure was adopted.

With 23,000 linear meters of Tasmanian Oak wall linings, 2,500 linear meters of blackwood in joinery and more than 600 square meters of blackwood veneer, timber supply was outsourced to free up the construction team.

The footing design had to be amended due to poorer ground. This required much deeper piles and resulted in use for a continuous flight auger piling system.

Vos Construction & Joinery (image: supplied)

Meanwhile, in personal awards, Zac Smith (not pictured as wife was giving birth) was award National Apprentice of the Year for his high degree of intelligence, a positive attitude and outlook, keen passion for work. understanding of the importance of WHS and respecting others on site. These characteristics saw him become a sought-after team member and offered additional project responsibilities.

Finally, Andrew Kerr  (pictured below) from the Northern Territory won Toyota National Young Builder of the Year for his managerial skills in delivering quality projects on time and within budget.

Founder of commercial and residential building company AusCon NT, Kerr has more than fourteen years of industry experience. In his local community of Alice Springs – where he was born and raise – Kerr aims to build a lasting reputation through supporting local businesses and working on construction projects for the betterment of the local community and its people.

Andrew Kerr (image supplied)