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Construction of International House Sydney at Barangaroo South is now complete

Construction of Australia’s first, and currently the world’s tallest engineered timber commercial building, International House Sydney, is now complete at Barangaroo South in Sydney and the building is preparing to welcome its new commercial and retail tenants. Designed by Tzannes architects for Lendlease, International House Sydney is a distinctive new element in the city, establishing a warm and welcoming connection between the new precinct of Barangaroo and the historic heart of the city.

The most striking aspect of International House Sydney is that six above ground levels are constructed entirely from engineered or cross laminated timber, including floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shafts, egress stairs and bracing bays, supported by a single ground retail level of conventional concrete structure.

The building explores a new form of beauty, one of unique and integral character, with outstanding green credentials. It expresses with aesthetic potency the fully exposed timber structure, stripped of additional layers of finishing materials.

This is architecture that is detailed with rigour, made to last and not simply for ‘aesthetic effect’. Its intention is to become a long-term appreciating commercial asset, understood for its intrinsic, enduring beauty.

Around 3,500 cubic metres of sustainably grown and recycled timber were used in construction. By not using concrete, thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases were avoided.

Importantly, International House Sydney demonstrates that the commercial real estate market will accept mass timber construction as a viable and exciting alternative to conventional concrete construction, increasing opportunity for architecture to contribute more effectively to a lower carbon and more sustainable future for urban development around the world.

Video production by Gerrit Fokkema