Two Sydney towers have been named in a listing of the world’s fifty most influential buildings to be constructed over the last 50 years – and there could be more to come when the full list is revealed.

As it celebrates 50 years since its inception in 1969, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released names of 25 of what it considers to be the fifty the most influential buildings of the past 50 years.

The remaining 25 will be revealed on October 8th in the lead up to the CTBUH 10th World Congress in Chicago, where all 50 buildings will receive formal recognition.

Two Australian buildings are included in the list of 25 which has been released thus far.

These are the 1 Bligh Street building in Sydney completed in 2011 and the One Central Park building also in Sydney completed in 2014.

Designed by Architectus in combination with Ingenhoven Architects (Germany), 1 Bligh Street was the first commercial office tower to incorporate blackwater recycling, contains Australia’s largest green wall on the ground floor level and was the first tall building in Australia to feature a double skin façade with external louvres.

Courtesy of an elliptical shape and deft space planning, the building also has a generous public plaza at its base.

The benefits of these features were substantial.

The blackwater recycling has reduced the building’s demand on municipal water supplies by 90 percent.

The building has won multiple awards, including the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia 2012, the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Sir Arthur G. Stephenson Award – Commercial Architecture 2012, the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Milo Dunphy Award – Sustainable Architecture 2012 and the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Urban Design – Architecture Award 2012.

1 Bligh Street, Syndey

The other to be named is One Central Park also in Sydney (pictured in top image).

Designed by famous architect Jean Novel, the building features vertical gardens and a heliostat affixed to a monumental which extends 80 meters from the taller of the two constituent towers, delivering a distinctive and defining profile.

The heliostat directs sunlight down into intermediate spaces between the towers that would otherwise be in shade.

The plants’ shade reduces energy consumption for cooling, and their leaves trap carbon dioxide.

All up, more than five kilometres of planters function like permanent shading shelves and reduce thermal impact in the apartments by up to 30 percent.

Among numerous awards and accolades, it was named by CTBUH as the ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ in 2014.

In a statement, CTBUH says all buildings included in the list represented a change in thinking or building technique.

“Each represents a milestone in the development of the typology, tracking the development of the tall building from a predominantly commercial office tower with repetitive floor plates, to a “vertical city” with the mix of uses, variation in façade materials, and variety of interior and exterior spaces implied by the title,” CTBUH said.

According to CTBUH, several themes can be observed through the most influential buildings of the past fifty years.

These include:

  • The arrival and departure of the distinct international and post-modern styles, as well as the overlapping parametricism and contextualism that dominates the contemporary scene.
  • A transition from symbols of North American corporate power to broadcasting devices for the arrival of entire cities and countries on the global stage. 
  • The emergence of the importance of environmental sustainability, which takes on as important a role as cultural and economic longevity. 
  • The graceful aging of some skyscrapers which have are approaching the 50 year mark, with some taking on new functions and in some cases radically changing appearance and height.