Cranes Without Context: Bondi Beach, Sydney Edition

Just east of downtown Sydney, New South Wales lies the Pacific Ocean. You probably knew that. And just before you get to the water, you’ll find Bondi Beach, one of Sydney’s most popular attractions for the surfing and tourist crowds alike. As someone who’s never been to the Mediterranean, the surrounding architecture has a very Mediterranean feel to me. And they’re building more, as evidenced by the numerous tower cranes jutting out of the scenery.

Wynyard Place greets Sydney visitors with a tower crane trifecta

Wynyard Place Sydney

Look up! These 3 tower cranes greet you from Wynyard Place when you step out of the Carrington Street exit of Wynyard Station.

You know you’re going to enjoy Sydney when you jump on a train at the airport, riding past Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, to Wynyard Station in the CBD, and the first thing you see when you walk out into the light of day are three tower cranes.

Wynyard Place Shell House

Shell House

Those three cranes belong to Wynyard Place, a multi-faceted renovation and new-construction project from Brookfield. Also known as Brookfield Multiplex. And we’re very familiar with Multiplex and their multicranes at projects like Jewel Residences, Collins Arch, and Swanston Central.

The centerpiece of Wynyard Place will be a 27-story, Make Architects-designed office tower being built on the site of the former Menzies Hotel, now being demolished, at 10 Carrington Street. Also included in the project are the renovations of 285 George Street, and Shell House.

Shell House (yes, the oil company) is notable for the clock on top, and the large SHELL lettering along the side. The 12-story Shell House was built by Shell Oil as an office building, was converted to a hotel as part of Menzies, and is now being renovated back into 7,700 square meters of office space.

285 George Street, according to Commercial Real Estate, also goes by the name “Beneficial House,” and used to be the home of menswear store “Peapes.” Peapes signage has been revealed during demolition, just like the Shell sign.

Both buildings being renovated, Shell House and 285 George Street, currently feature tower cranes growing out of their roofs. I can’t say I’ve ever seen, or at least noticed, that before.

All three buildings will combine for nearly 70,000 square meters of office space and 6,700 square meters of retail, plus room for parking 80 cars. Completion of Wynyard Place is expected in 2020.

Cranes Without Context: Sydney Tower Eye Edition

Cranes Without Context Sydney

One project I know for sure: Darling Square.

Have you ever shared photos even though you weren’t really sure what you’d captured? Good. Don’t @ me then.

In an effort to not have hundreds of photos on my computer that I won’t do anything with, I’ve decided to start a new series of posts on The Blog. Welcome to Cranes Without Context. These are the pictures I take that I either haven’t taken the time to research, or don’t have additional photos to use for their particular development. (Because who wants to see a photo gallery with only one photo.)

Cranes Without Context begins in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, from the observation deck of the Sydney Tower Eye. Much as I do when visiting Chicago’s Hancock Center and Sears Tower, I snapped every tower crane I could see from this lofty perch. And there’s just no way I’m gonna be able to figure out what job site each is from.

** You got an accidental preview of Cranes Without Context in the Victoria Bridge Brisbane post a couple days ago. Too many cranes, not enough time, etc. **

Some of you (particularly in Australia) will know some of these tower cranes on sight. Feel free to chime in as to project names and specs.

Lendlease rolls a Lucky Seven at Darling Square in Sydney’s Darling Harbour

Darling Square 7 tower cranes

Spotted from the Sydney Tower Eye: The Seven Tower Cranes of Darling Square, by Lendlease.

Please know for certain that I didn’t see every construction project in Australia. Come on. Two weeks? Just not enough time. But of what I saw, this one easily takes the award for Most Tower Cranes.

Darling Square is a mixed-use project being developed and built by Lendlease. Located along Sydney’s famed Darling Harbour, Darling Square will be comprised of many, many parts. So many parts, in fact, that I don’t know if I’ve got them all straight. The main portion of the development will have three towers of 41, 19, and 7 stories, and a 6-story podium, per design architects Tzannes Associates. There will be 581 apartments located here.

The Darling Exchange

Rendering of The Darling Exchange from Kengo Kuma and Associates.

Darling Square will also include a public square, designed by Aspect Studios; a community hub called The Darling Exchange, designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates; and two retail pavilions designed by Archer Office. No wonder they need 7 tower cranes on the site.

And if all that doesn’t sound like enough of a task, Darling Square necessitated the demolition of a 13,000-seat stadium, Qantas Credit Union Arena (previously known as The Sydney Entertainment Centre) in order to clear space for the project.

Whether you’ve been able to process all of that info or not, here comes the photo gallery:

Subtraction before addition for Sydney’s Greenland Centre

Greenland Centre Sydney

This is the end of the beginning of a new 66-story residential tower, Greenland Centre Sydney.

You all know me by now. I brake for tower cranes. Not only do I still get giddy when I see them, but now and then, they leave me staring in disbelief. These are two such cranes.

In Sydney’s Central Business District, Greenland Centre Sydney is starting with demolition, but not total destruction. The 26-story former HQ building for Sydney Water on Bathurst Street was stripped of everything but the iron frame, which now stands alone — along with those two tower cranes — in the sky. Demolition wrapped up in July, and Probuild began the process of turning that steel cage into a 66-story residential tower, making it the tallest residential tower in Sydney at about 770 feet.

A project by China-based developer Greenland Group, and designed by BVN with executive architect Woods Bagot, Greenland Centre will contain nearly 500 one-, two-, and three-bedroom luxury apartments. Construction is expected to take another two+ years, with opening slated for 2020. But admit it; you’d kinda like to see it remain a bare-steel frame.

Cranes From Planes: Sidney, New South Wales, Australia edition

It’s time for a new segment here at Building Up Chicago that we like to call “Cranes From Planes.” It’s something I’ve never tried before because I’ve never thought about it until today, when I noticed a few cranes and we landed, then taxied, at Sidney Airport. Come to think of it, it’s rare we land anywhere in daylight, so I usually don’t have the camera at the ready as we make our approach.

The good thing about Cranes From Planes is that 1) the photos are taken through airplane windows, which make it impossible to focus, rendering decent pictures impossible, so I don’t have worry about whether or not any of the photos turned out well (they didn’t); and 2) since I have no way of getting close enough to the cranes to know what project they’re on, I don’t have to do any research on them. I can just post the photos with “Look! Tower cranes!” as the only text.

So here you go. A few random tower cranes as seen from Seat 16A of Qantas flight 418 as we landed at Sydney Airport.