Chifley TowerLocation: Cnr Hunter, Phillip and Loftus Streets, Sydney
1988-1993 - When measured to the top of its spire, Chifley Tower is considered the tallest building in Sydney. It is the ninth tallest building in Australia (at the time of publication). It was one of the most expensive buildings in the world at A$1.2 billion.
One of the highlights of the present day Sydney skyline, Chifley Tower is a Post Modern office tower incorporating the latest in structural technology wrapped in a form reminiscent of of the picturesque romantic skyscrapers of early 20th century America. Complete with a turret and flagpole, it incorporates many features of the early Modernist ideals, yet is ultra-high tech, right down to its microwave technology, three electrical substations and an anti-sway counterbalance in the form of a 400 tonne steel block suspended on eight 75 mm diameter steel wire from the top of the building. Connected to a hydraulic dampened gravitation system, it keeps the building stable in high winds. A 3-metre lightning rod was added in 2000, but is not counted by CTBUH as it does not constitute an architectural feature. To stop the tower from moving in the wind a giant steel pendulum weighing 400 tonnes is held from 8 x 75 mm wires near the rooftop.
Architects: Kohn Pedersen (USA) and Travis Partners.
Located at 2 Chifley Square, its cross streets are Hunter, Phillip and Bent Streets with the main entry being on Phillip Street. Due to its prominent location at the peak in the north-east CBD, the Tower has broad harbour views from its 42 storeys (it has 50 levels). The tower is used primarily for commercial use, mostly financial institutions, law firms and corporations.
The tower is named after Ben Chifley (1885-1951), an Australian politician who was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia from 1945 to 1949. He became Leader of the Labor Party on the death of John Curtin, and went on to retain a majority in both Houses of the Australian Parliament at the 1946 election, before his government was defeated at the 1949 election. The radical reforming nature of the Chifley Government was such that, between 1946 and 1949, the Australian Parliament passed 299 Acts, a record up until then, and well beyond the previous record of the Labor Government of Andrew Fisher, which passed 113 Acts from 1910 to 1913.
Amongst the Chifley Labor Government's legislation was the post-war immigration scheme, the establishment of Australian citizenship, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, over-viewing the foundation of airlines Qantas and TAA, improvements in social services, the creation of the Commonwealth Employment Service, the introduction of federal funds to the States for public housing construction, the establishment of a Universities Commission for the expansion of university education, the introduction of a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and free hospital ward treatment, the reorganisation and enlargement of the CSIRO, the establishment of a civilian rehabilitation service, the founding of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and the establishment of the Australian National University.