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2012/25/3 Architectural model, design proposal for Westfield Sydney retail and office centre, wood / plastic, made by Westfield Group, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2006. Click to enlarge.

Architectural model for Westfield Sydney retail and office centre

The models lend an insight into the complex process involved in creating a major project on a central city site, and the complexity of design and political processes in contemporary urban architecture.

Westfield Sydney comprises a retail centre covering the former Centrepoint, Imperial Arcade and Skygarden sites, the remodelled 100 Market Street office tower and a new 27-storey office tower located at 85 Castlereagh Street.

This development is the latest product of the Design Excellence …


Object No.


Object Statement

Architectural model, design proposal for Westfield Sydney retail and office centre, wood / plastic, made by Westfield Group, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2006

Physical Description

Architectural model produced as a design proposal for Westfield Sydney. The wooden and plastic model features Sydney Tower, retail and office space and sits on a low plinth covered by an acrylic lid.


No marks.



720 mm


508 mm


566 mm



The model was made by Westfield Group, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2006.

Westfield was founded in 1959 by Frank Lowy and John Saunders. The company now owns 119 shopping centres in four countries, and is the largest retail property company in the world.

After encountering criticism during the 1980s and 1990s for the design of its malls and their impact on established retail streets, Westfield increased its investment in design. In 1991 Westfield appointed as chief designer Frank Alvarez, a member of Westfield's US design team. Alvarez has succeeding in improving the urban character and integration of Westfield's retail developments. The Westfield Sydney development is a culmination of this process, completing the company's transition suburban green field sites to high-value and high-profile city sites.

This model was created by Westfield Development for the Westfield Development application to Sydney City Council. It was not submitted to the resulting design competition.



Westfield Sydney replaced three existing retail centres facing Pitt, Market and Castlereagh Streets. The oldest of these was the Imperial Arcade, built in 1964. This was a replacement for the first Imperial Arcade opened in 1891, one of several city shopping arcades built around that time. Others included the Sydney, Royal, Victoria and Strand arcades. Of these only the Strand Arcade survives.

Centrepoint was the first shopping mall opened in the city of Sydney. Completed in 1972 and designed by Crone Associates, Centrepoint's construction was encouraged by the Sydney City Council as a means to arresting the decline in city retail resulting from suburban shopping mall developments. Centrepoint Tower was completed in 1981 above the retail centre and a small office tower which was tenanted by the Australian Taxation Office for many years.

Skygarden was completed in 1989 adjacent to the Imperial Arcade. Built by Merlin International, Skygarden was notable for the quality of its interior design and commissioned art works. By the time it opened Sydney city had re-established its eminence as Sydney's retail centre. A recognition of this fact was Westfield's decision to build its first Australian city mall. Founded in 1959 by Frank Lowy and John Saunders, Westfield is now the largest retail property company in Australia and the USA, although its Australian centres had been based in suburban locales.

Westfield purchased Centrepoint in 2001 and first submitted a development application for the site in 2003. This DA proposed to redevelop the site including the addition of three new residential towers clustered around Centrepoint Tower. It also included provision of a pedestrian tunnel under Pitt Street Mall.

The application was subsequently amended to delete one of the residential towers and change the built form of the remaining residential towers. This application was refused and in 2004 Westfield appealed to the Land and Environment Court against the refusal.

The appeal was discontinued and in 2006 Westfield submitted a new development application, containing no residential component. Instead the DA proposed to redevelop the ATO office tower and childcare centre at the base of the Tower, build a new office tower at 100 Castlereagh Street and create a new retail centre. This Stage One application was approved in August 2006.

The Westfield-designed model was designed for this application, to demonstrate the overall concept of the planned development.

The other two models were part of the Stage Two approval process of the detailed design, which required a design produced by a 'competitive process'. This limited competition was carried out in October/November 2006 with entries from:

John Wardle Architects (Australia);
La Guarda Low (US);
Ian Simpson Architects (UK) and Peddle Thorpe Walker (Australia);
Ingenhoven Architekten (Germany) and Architectus (Australia);
Crone Partners (Australia);
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (Australia).

The contest judges nominated were:
Philip Thalis - Director, Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects;
Adam Haddow - Director, SJB Architects; and
Professor James Weirick - University of NSW.
Andrew Robertson - Westfield project director.

The competition was won by John Wardle Architects. This design was built with some alterations to the pedestrian awnings and other details; the first stage opened in 2010. Another long-running issue between Council and Westfield was the amount of parking to be built as part of the development. The new Westfield centre offers no customer parking, only 180 car places for centre staff.

Under the final scheme the three elements of the redevelopment were:

1) Westfield Sydney Retail

The existing Imperial Arcade and Convention Centre buildings will be demolished and Centrepoint and Skygarden will be extensively modified to allow for the creation of a new retail precinct over several levels covering the entire site.

The facades facing Castlereagh Street, Pitt Street and Market Street will have shop fronts over two levels from street levels and a glazed facade above on the remaining upper levels of retail. New floor and ceiling finishes will be installed, existing voids and open space will be reconfigured and a new system of escalators will be installed.

2) 100 Market Street - commercial tower

The existing 10 storey pre-cast concrete facade will be removed and replaced with a new glass facade. The entire office will be stripped out internally and a new interior fit out installed. The floor plates have been modified with new light wells cut in providing increased natural light.

The 30,000 sqm tower at 100 Market St is now home to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The 100 Market Street commercial tower is now Australia's largest 6 Star - Green Star office design refurbishment and represents world leadership in environmental sustainable design.

3) 85 Castlereagh Street - tower

A new commercial 25-storey tower will be built above the new retail podium. Access to the tower will be via new shuttle lifts from the Sky Lobby at the top of the retail precinct which will act as a transition area for access to Castlereagh Street and the retail area.

85 Castlereagh St with an area of 33,000 sqm will house the Australian headquarters of J.P. Morgan and Westfield Group HQ's when opened in early 2012.

The combined office component of the development site will comprise around 76,500 sqm across the three buildings.


Credit Line

Gift of Westfield Development, 2012

Acquisition Date

29 February 2012

Cite this Object


Architectural model for Westfield Sydney retail and office centre 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 October 2021, <>


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