Sydney, Australia, 2012

A high-rise building in Sydney becomes a much admired green marvel

One Central Park, Sydney

This structure is a superlative with a big exclamation point! In fact, a jury from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago awarded it as the world’s best skycraper. Why? Because it is trendsetting and not a concrete monstrosity; it is aesthetic, environmentally friendly and simply beautiful. Anyone who can simply pass it by without stopping in wonder is not from this world.

A green marvel behind creepers and foliage, erected on two residential towers with the help of 15,000 metres of wire rope and rods! To pull off a feat like this requires a wealth of ideas, the best materials – and the most capable experts and companies in the field. Those who came together in Sidney included: the French star architect Jean Nouvel, the French botanist Patrick Blanc and – for the execution – the Australian company Tensile Design & Construct. Towards the end of this globally unique research effort, Jakob Rope Systems also joined the group of companies carrying out the works. Their architectural ropes were best suited, both in terms of longevity and aesthetics, to enable the realisation of the daring project in the middle of the Australian metropolis. Now the structure is finished.


Pictures: Simon Wood Photography

“One Central Park” is the somewhat dispassionate name, although the blooming and burgeoning green along the stony façades is more reminiscent of the magical “hanging gardens.” Reaching up to dizzying heights, they tower upwards past 34 residential floors. Records were broken in series. The rope systems from the Jakob Rope Systems product range “Jakob Green Solutions” encompass 1,120 square metres of vertical surfaces and bear no less than 35,200 plants which provide both shading and cooling for the building’s interior in the hot Australian summer. During times of intense solar radiation, they provide a more economical energy consumption that is 30 percent lower than normal.

And with 623 flats, that amounts to quite a bit. In order to allow the green to grow with no earth on the walls, a special remote-controlled drip irrigation system was developed. The roots of the plants are attached to the wire rope network by means of felt which can be saturated with demineralised water. This is no problem for the specialised ropes from Jakob Rope Systems: They are even permanently impervious to the salt-water-laden weather influences and the Pacific climate prevalent in the port city of Sidney. Living in “One Central Park” is something quite special and is accordingly expensive. But it is also possible to experience it as a visitor. There are trendy cafés, restaurants and shops. An escalator leads to a complete shopping centre. And, so that no shadow ever falls between the two building structures which together form the much-admired ensemble, reflectors and a cantilevered arm, a so-called heliostat, ensure bright, natural daylight even there as well, where otherwise no ray of sun would ever stray. It even remains lit at night – as an LED work of art in a blaze of colour.