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Evolutionary Workplace And Lighting Design: 8 Chifley, Sydney


Developed by Mirvac and featuring some pretty stunning internal and external lighting solutions supplied by Light Project, this iconic commercial tower pioneers the vertical village concept. As a landmark project, it brings to life the vision of the internationally renowned Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Sydney’s Lippmann Partnership.

The six-storey grand entrance houses a unique ‘structureless’ glass lobby box. Workspaces are then linked with atria to create engaging and dimensional light-filled environments promoting collaboration, innovation and visual connection.

“The original lighting concepts were always about the people using the generous public spaces below and within the tower, and then how best to connect these spaces visually,” explains Tim Carr of lighting designers Arup in an interview with Illumni.

The lighting design creates luminous and inviting public spaces with coloured lighting that accentuates the finishes of the façade, including a striking illuminated exterior fire escape. This element is unique to Sydney and incorporates an automatic switch which enables the lighting to flick between an accent orange light to white light during emergency mode.

To complement the concept of horizontally separated office ‘villages’ each of the exposed concrete slabs, together with the roof feature, have been illuminated with integrated linear LED luminaires.

The most distinctive feature is the red ‘mega bracing’ which uses a pin joint system to support the building’s lateral loads while adding colour to the skyline and is highlighted by equally vibrant red LEDs.

“In the early stages of the project we proposed achieving this with metal halide light sources with filters, however as technology changed, LED solutions became more appropriate and less costly,” explains Carr, in his interview with mondo*arc.

The building has achieved a 6 Star Greenstar Design rating and 5 Stars NABERS rating and the specification and placement of T5 lighting, to reduce energy consumption and light spill, were integral to the sustainability strategy.

“Great lengths were taken through the design process to calculate, measure and predict how a scheme of this scale would eventually perform,” admits Carr.

With budgets a concern, it was important to find ways to enable the lighting installations to achieve aesthetic and sustainability goals while at the same time keeping costs down, as lighting designer Tim Hunt tells Illumni: “Thanks to very helpful suppliers and contractors we completed thorough full size tests for the main design elements, proving up the lighting design and eventually convincing the client to commit 100 per cent.”

“This commitment put us under massive pressure to deliver,” adds Carr. “We’re very grateful to the supplier and contractor teams who helped facilitate off and on site testing to develop and deliver the scheme.”

8 Chifley recently took out the Sir Arthur G. Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture in the 2014 NSW Architecture Awards. The project also received commendations in the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture and Sustainable Architecture categories.

I STAY (Ngaya ngalawa), 2014, LED sign with blue, green & red diodes, © 2014 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, Photo: Brett Boardman


Read more via our resource list:

The full interview with Arup’s Tim Carr and Tim Hunt via Illumni, click here.

Read mondo*arc’s full coverage of 8 Chifley, click here.

Browse Lumino’s blog post on * Chifley, click here.

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All images courtesy of Mirvac.



  • An automatic switch enables lighting to flick between accent orange and white light during emergency mode
  • Integrated linear LED luminaires illuminate exposed concrete slabs and roof feature
  • Red ‘mega bracing’ highlighted by vibrant red LEDs
  • T5 lighting reduces energy consumption and light spill


  • Exterior Lighting: – Lumino Vector V12 IP67 3800K
  • Interior Lighting: – Lumino Vector V20SL IP20 3800K