EY Centre, Sydney

A new Sydney icon

For EY Centre, Mirvac set out to develop an iconic commercial building and workplace for leading organisations and an integrated office tower that is organic and responsive to its surrounds. Despite a number of significant challenges, including a restrictive set of planning controls, Mirvac delivered a new landmark building comprising 39,200 square metres of premium grade office space across 37 levels in June 2016.

Distinctively sculptural in design, the EY Centre is one of the first of a new breed of ‘smart buildings’ in Australia. It employs a world-first timber-and-glass closed cavity façade system giving it a unique appearance – an instantly recognisable structure defined by its shimmering organic, golden-hued curves in striking contrast to the more conventional commercial towers surrounding it.

The building contributes significantly to the city by activating the ground plane and surrounding laneways, creating a well-connected bustling precinct with welcoming spaces and places to work, relax and socialise.

Mirvac Headquarters

Mirvac’s headquarters at EY Centre, 200 George Street, demonstrates industry leadership through innovation and sustainability, creating an environment that actively stimulates performance and better supports the way Mirvac’s people live and work.

Completed in June 2016 by Mirvac Construction, the building and workplace employs cutting edge, world-leading technology to provide a warm, ‘human’ alternative to the traditional high-rise office tower.

As the owner, developer and tenant of EY Centre Mirvac was in a unique position to deliver a bespoke, innovative and sustainable workplace that set industry benchmarks in Australia and around the world. The new headquarters support the diverse and specific needs of the Mirvac workforce while actively promoting collaboration and flexible working, all underpinned by a diversity and inclusion program.

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    At the outset, Mirvac ran an extensive consultation and observation process to better understand the wants and needs of the team. Different ways of working were tried and tested in a purpose built prototype space.

    The findings of this research informed the design and fit out of the new headquarters. Flexible floor plates across the six levels connect teams horizontally and vertically and points of activity around the staircases encourage interaction and improve the flow of people throughout the space. Presentation spaces located on the edges of the staircases heighten the sense of activity throughout. Mirvac has adopted its own form of activity based working, which supports greater agility in the workplace.

    An innovative communications platform utilising market leading technology and showcasing ‘jelly bean’ principles connects teams both within and outside of the office and enables flexible working.

    An extension of this platform is a new national app used for onboarding and showing employees and guests how to work within the building in real time. It gathers information from over 100 beacons and sensors throughout the space and provides live information on usage and availability of facilities, including workspaces at Mirvac’s headquarters. It also provides visitors with guided tours of the tenancy, and transparent and real time information on building and workplace operational performance.

    Mirvac’s new headquarters in the building is the first in Australia to achieve a GOLD WELL Certification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), and only one of only six in the world to achieve this.

    The workplace employs market-leading technology to monitor air quality, sunlight, power and water usage, adjusting the internal environment according to the needs of the building and its occupants, allowing for efficiency improvements to be made in real time.

Technology and Innovation

EY Centre is one of the first of a new breed of ‘Smart Buildings’ in Australia. Its market leading technology monitors air quality, sunlight, power and water usage and adjusts the internal environment according to the needs of the building and its occupants.

The building also showcases pioneering technology enabling it to respond to its external environment. For example, the building has a high performance closed cavity façade (CCF) system, used in conjunction with a timber blind system, to enhance comfort by improving the transparency of the glass and increasing the connection with the outside, while controlling light and heat and reducing glare and energy use. This is the first time a CCF system has been used in Australia and the first time timber blinds have been incorporated into a CCF system anywhere in the world.

Interactive display screens and a ‘Smart tenancy’ app are available for visitors to Mirvac’s headquarters, which allows them to access information about the building in real-time. It provides visitors with credible, transparent and timely information on sustainability performance, guided tenancy tours and links to view live data on how the building is performing.

Along with the monitoring of building activity, Mirvac has taken a human-centered approach to data management in its headquarters. Using real time information captured through the triangulation of Wi-Fi, laptops and mobile connections, Mirvac has the ability to analyse and assess movements, collaboration and workspace utilisation throughout the workplace.

Activation and retail

To integrate Mirvac’s EY Centre 200 George Street into the surrounding fabric of the Sydney CBD, Mirvac introduced ground-floor retail to the building to create a well-connected precinct with welcoming spaces and places to work, dine and socialise.

Completed in July 2016, the space incorporates five retail offerings, including a Commonwealth Bank branch and four food and beverage retailers tailored to the specific needs of the surrounding workforce. Acknowledging the modern employee’s day that expands beyond the traditional 9am-5pm, the site houses a contemporary bistro style restaurant, a laneway rum and wine bar, a specialty coffee and artisan café and a standalone coffee kiosk, catering to a before-and-after work crowd of building tenants and the wider Sydney community.

As an extension to the ground floor activation, Mirvac introduced The Grounds, a ‘pocket park’ directly behind the building that doubles as an urban laneway, eat street and customisable retail area. Activations in this space have included Food Truck Fridays, Sydney Vivid Festival events and more.

EY Centre’s ground floor retail creates a cultural, recreational and retail hub that easily adapts to the needs of the workforce and wider Sydney community.

Art Partnerships

Great public art is an important contribution to our urban landscapes, and a key consideration for Mirvac at every development. Throughout the planning and construction phase for EY Centre, Mirvac worked closely with artists and art organisations to create a diverse display of public art, designed to celebrate the history and heritage of the site.

The most prominent public art piece at EY Centre is ngarunga nangama: calm water dream, a 300 square metre sandstone carving from well-known Indigenous artist, Judy Watson in consultation with Uncle Allen Madden, Gadigal Elder from Sydney.

The artwork is crafted from sandstone and some of the artefacts excavated from beneath the building during construction and celebrates the heritage of the area and the Indigenous history of the site.

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    Underwood Ark is another significant public art installation at EY Centre, unveiled in July 2017 and born from a partnership between Mirvac and the National Art School.

    Created by multi-disciplinary local artist, Michael McIntyre, the work is a 35-metre long tree that is suspended above Underwood Street in the Sydney CBD. Winning a design competition run through the National Art School for Mirvac, Michael’s artwork aims to celebrate the history of the site and activate the public laneway.

    Underwood Ark is the first project realised through Mirvac’s partnership with the National Art School, which began in 2014. The ongoing partnership supports and encourages emerging artists from the School to produce artwork for new and existing Mirvac developments across the country.

    As an extension of this artwork, and in further acknowledgement of the history of the site, images and quotes relating to Sydney’s Indigenous and colonial history have been incorporated into façade panels on the building along Underwood Street.

    The artworks seek to encourage the public to explore the city’s urban spaces triggering viewer interaction, interest and reflection about the site’s rich history.

History and heritage

As part of EY Centre, 200 George Street’s planning phase, a team of experts was assembled by Mirvac to record the rich history and archaeology of the site. Specialist firm, GML Heritage was appointed to undertake an archaeological investigation as part of the redevelopment, which began during the demolition of the preceding buildings, before the excavation of the carpark.

During the 12-week excavation, the archaeologists uncovered 23,715 artefacts that related to Sydney’s colonial and Victorian-era history. Excavation in the basement of the EY Centre site uncovered the original topography of the bedrock, stepping down to the Tank Stream.

Many features had been hand cut into the sandstone bedrock, including two wells, the larger being 2.5 metres deep and 1.6 metres wide, that was brimming with interesting artefacts. Among the artefacts were leather shoes and off-cuts, buttons, pins, candle-wick scissors, coins, clay pipes and jewellery. Unusual tobacco pipes found at EY Centre have commemorative images, such as the Crystal Palace and portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

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    The most significant and interesting artefacts have been integrated within the public domain of the new precinct. Archaeological artefacts are displayed in illuminated boxes beside the Crane Place Stairs with QR codes linking to more information about the items online. The website also presents a series of fictional stories commissioned by Mirvac inspired by the artefacts.

    Historical images are also presented on panels of the adjacent Underwood Street façade of 4 Dalley Street, which trace the history of the site from Aboriginal history through to modern times.

    Finally a bronze inlay has been cast into the floor weaving through the ground floor lobby and public domain, representing the location of the harbour foreshore line in the late 18th Century.

    The adaptive reuse of the artefacts help to connect EY Centre to the broader context of the site, mixing the old with the new, and showcasing the rich history of the site to the community.

Sustainability and WELL

EY Centre is one of the most sustainable and environmentally advanced buildings in Australia. Its innovative design and technology actively promotes the health and wellbeing of its occupants and contributes to the enrichment of the wider Sydney community.

For EY Centre, Mirvac has achieved:

  • A 6 Star Green Star Office Design v3 certified rating
  • A 6 Star Green Star Office As Built v3 certified rating
  • A 5 star NABERS Energy rating
  • A 4 star NABERS Water rating
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    EY Centre is Australia’s first fully LED lit building, also featuring water recycling, energy and water efficient designs, intelligent monitoring and control systems.

    End-of-trip facilities are situated within the car park, encouraging environmentally sustainable commuter options with 307 bicycle spaces, 257 lockers and 65 showers.

    EY Centre also employs the world’s first timber closed cavity façade system, which has proven highly effective at controlling the light and heat radiating from outside. The high performing façade reduces the need for a large energy plant and engineers significant cost and energy savings on heating and cooling the building.

    The thermal performance of
the closed cavity system allows the building owners to reduce mechanical equipment capacity, resulting in reduced initial and long-term maintenance costs.

    Mirvac’s headquarters at EY Centre is the first tenancy in Australia to receive a Gold WELL Certification from the International Well Building Institute (IWBI), officially recognised in March 2017. EY Centre was also the first to achieve a WELL Certification in Australia and one of only six to achieve a GOLD WELL in the world. Mirvac’s headquarters have also achieved a 6 Star Green Star Interior and a 6 Star Green Star As-Built ratings and is targeting a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating and 4 Star NABERS Water rating.

The Song Kitchen

In early 2016, Mirvac entered into a unique partnership with YWCA to bring to life a profit-for-purpose café at EY Centre, The Song Kitchen. One of the first ventures of its kind in Australia, the café provides catering services to the Mirvac team, with 100 per cent of the profits used to fund YWCA’s domestic violence and homeless support programs and services.

The Song Kitchen is the first extension of YWCA’s profit for purpose hospitality services beyond the Y Hotels Sydney. Mirvac piloted the model and hopes it will be adopted by other Australian companies as a commercially viable way of incorporating social enterprises into their supply chains.

The Song Kitchen has experienced positive results following the first year of operation with over 19,200 coffees sold, 1,440 yoghurt pots sold and glowing feedback from staff and visitors.

Multi award-winning

EY Centre set new industry benchmarks for sustainability, innovation and heritage integration in Australia and around the world. As well as employing the world’s first timber closed cavity façade system, the Mirvac team underscored how building science and bioscience can work seamlessly together to deliver a higher level of health and wellbeing at their tenancy at EY Centre through a partnership with the International WELL Building Institute. As a result, Mirvac’s headquarters at the EY Centre is the first tenancy in Australia, and one of only six in the world, to achieve a GOLD WELL Certification, secured by achieving credits across seven categories including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

Following the completion of the project the EY Centre has been recognised for its innovation and design excellence with a number of industry awards including:

  • Architecture and Design Sustainability Awards (Commercial Development)
  • AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards (Adam Sutherland)
  • Facility Management Awards (Sustainability and Environmental Impact; Occupant Safety and Wellbeing; People and Productivity
  • UDIA (Commercial Development) 
  • Sydney Design Awards (Architecture, Commercial, Constructed – Silver Winner)
  • Urban Taskforce Awards (Commercial Office City Development Best Office Tower of the Year) 
  • Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards (The Harry Seidler Award)
  • International Property Awards 2018 (Commercial High-rise Development for Australia, Commercial High-rise Architecture for Australia and Office Interior for Australia)
  • American Architecture prize 2017 Tall Buildings and Commercial Architecture
The product of partnerships

The building was 99 per cent leased prior to completion, and key to the delivery of the project was the close collaboration with anchor tenant, EY who were involved in all aspects; from the selection of architects, to the details of their fit-out.

“What we loved about the Mirvac offer was the chance to literally be in a partnership,” says Lyn Kraus, Leader and Office managing Partner, EY. “We’ve had the pleasure of being on the journey of an integrated fit-out, which means that we’ve been involved in decision-making from the very start. It truly feels like an opportunity that’s rare in a new building, to be the largest tenant and also to have a real seat at the table around the decisions that are impacting the building. We’re really proud of how we’ve worked together in what’s been a great partnership.”


Mirvac acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of Australia, and we offer our respect to their Elders past and present.  

Artwork: ‘Reimagining Country’, created by Riki Salam (Mualgal, Kaurareg, Kuku Yalanji) of We are 27 Creative.