An iconic transformation.

How do you take an under-utilised, underwhelming mezzanine space in one of Sydney’s most iconic buildings and give it new life and vibrancy? That was the brief from Charter Hall in a design competition for the mezzanine of the iconic No.1 Martin Place – prime commercial and hotel towers anchored by the GPO, one of the country’s most significant heritage buildings.

In response to the design competition, Siren envisaged the space as a marketplace, a space to connect with people, drawing in the energy of the vibrant street life. Adriano Pupilli Architects (APA) envisaged the mezzanine as a portico; a semi-public front of house, a place to get to know your neighbours, under a vaulted canopy of dowel. There were strong synergies in the designs and Charter Hall decided to award the design competition to both studios and a collaboration was formed.

The philosophy was to bring the outside in by incorporating biophilia, park benches and streetlights, playing with scale and proportion to maximise the double height space.  Elements were well crafted, innovative and most importantly, customisable. The objective was to create multifunctional and flexible facilities, catering for the diverse needs of the community, supported by the seamless integration of technology.

The entry to the iconic No.1 Martin Place has transformed from a transient ‘nothing’ space into a vibrant piece of the community, with focus and engagement on every level. Siren and APA allowed the qualities and users of the existing space to guide the approach to the planning. This space is about celebrating the inter-relationship of people and place.  Ultimately the user is the chooser.

“We’re co-creating with our tenant customers such as LinkedIn, Expedia, Wotif Group, Microsoft, Macquarie and DLA Piper to create truly unique ‘third spaces’ that are an extension of their workplace. No. 1 Martin Place is a shining example of the vibrant, multi-functional spaces being created for our people, customers and the broader community.”


Trent James, Charter Hall Office Trust Fund Manager