Sitting amongst the mostly grey buildings along one of the busiest streets in Sydney is a splash of bright red, blue and yellow zigzagging up to the sky. The colourful, NAPEAN steel beams frame the newest kid on the high-rise block, 8 Chifley Square. 

The distinctive structure was designed by Sir Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, creator of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Lloyd’s of London and the Millennium Dome. 8 Chifley is his first Australian office building.

Roger’s worked in collaboration with Australia’s own Ed Lippmann to create a building that was both internationally significant but also specific to the climate and culture of Sydney.

Key to the Chifley design is the six-storey open space atrium at ground level. This space not only forms a grand entrance to the building but creates a new, significant public area which mixes outdoor and indoor spaces together.

Inside, the bright and airy atrium reveals a suspended glass foyer, which then provides access to one of seven elevated spaces called “villages”, all separated by single floors yet completely accessible.

Coupled with the open space of the ground floor, which is replicated both midway and again at the top of the building, the whole tower radiates a feeling of space and light.

The professional construction team from Australian company, NEPEAN Structures, worked alongside building owner Mirvac for 18 months, offering structural steel and project management solutions.

NEPEAN Structures supplied the large, colourful beams that make up part of the building’s external structure.

In numbers, the largest blue mega beam weighs a massive 37 and 30 tonnes, measuring 18.5 metres long, whilst the red mega braces weigh approximately 9 tonnes each.

Due to the Chifley’s CBD location, the allocated time given for installation of the 37 tonne blue monster beams was just 3-4 hours, including all reo cage connections, whilst barely 1 hour was given for the 30 tonners.

NEPEAN, through their Mastermesh Brand, also supplied over 3,000 sqm of perforated metal panels, which clad the two external high rise stairs on both fa├žades.

The supporting structures were all fabricated by NEPEAN at their extensive Narellan facility and installed on time, contributing to the building being completed ahead of schedule.

8 Chifley is due to be officially opened in October 2013.