A kinetic timber tower by FJMT responds to the elements

The EY Centre by FJMT Studio. Photos Brett Boardman (unless otherwise stated)

SYDNEY – Rising up from the sandstone bedrock of the east coast of Australia, the EY Centre stands out from the greyness of its surroundings. From the mid-19th to 20th century, many of Sydney’s buildings were constructed from the Yellowblock sandstone on which the city rests. Using the traditional material to form the central core of the new high-rise office building, architecture practice FJMT Studio approached the project with respect towards the geological history of the region.

Photo Mark Merton

The tower incorporates offices for the worldwide research and advisory firm EY. A dynamic façade of timber louvres wraps around all four elevations and responds to the climate of the local environment. ‘The envelope is a responsive skin; a kinetic architecture adjusting automatically to the position of the sun and time of day to control heat load and solar glare,’ says the firm. ‘From the outside, the building changes in appearance as the sun moves and the progressively-adjusting timber screen filters the light into a warm glow reaching deep into the interior.’

The façade is constructed from three layers: an exterior curtain wall of low-iron clear glass; a central void incorporating natural the natural timber louvres; and an interior layer of double-glazed high-performance insulating glass.

The choice of materiality also considers the dullness of area’s surrounding buildings, creating a bold contrast to the generic aesthetic. Says the architect: ‘We envisioned a different type of city tower – warm, human and responsive – to create a healthy and sustainable workplace.’

Photo Rodrigo Vargas (left) / Demas Rusli (right)

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