Find out more about this iconic Sydney landmark...
The Sydney Tower Eye - often referred to by Sydneysiders as Sydney Tower, Centrepoint Tower, AMP Tower, Westfield Centrepoint Tower or Sydney Skytower, amongst other names - has been an integral part of the famous Sydney skyline for the past 30 years.
Design and construction
Construction of Sydney Tower Centrepoint shopping centre began in the late 1970's with the first 52 shops opening in 1972. The office component was completed in 1974 and the final stage of the complex, the Sydney Tower, was opened to the public in August 1981.
Ranked as one of the safest buildings in the world, the striking design has made the tower capable of withstanding earthquakes and extreme wind conditions.
The construction of Sydney Tower is an interesting tale of engineering and quality construction. Pre-made individual barrel units formed the shaft of the tower and the four levels of the turret structure were constructed at the base of the shaft and raised to the top as work progressed.
The shaft supporting the turret is made up of 46 barrels units, each weighing 27 tonnes. These were brought on to the site in seven pieces and welded together. Once the first three sections were in place, a gantry crane was erected to hoist the remaining 43 barrel units.
Each barrel unit was completed with lift rails, stairwells and hydraulic risers before hoisting. The shaft contains two sets of fire stairs, fire, electrical and plumbing ducts in one half and the lift shafts in the remainder.
Once the tower structure was complete, the spire was erected. This was done in two parts, by placing one half and then lifting the top section onto the bottom section. The crane did not have the reach to lift the spire from the top, so it was lifted from the side. This was achieved despite the difficulties of maintaining adequate balance.
Facts about Sydney Tower
- The golden turret has a capacity of 960 persons and contains two levels of restaurants, an Observation Deck, two telecommunication transmission levels and three plant levels
- The height of Sydney Tower from the bottom to the very tip of the spire is 309 metres
- Three double deck lifts provide access to the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck and restaurants
- The 1504 fire-isolated sets of pressurised stairs, closely monitored by security, allow patrons direct access to street level, in case of an emergency
- The 420 windows of the tower are cleaned by a semi-automatic window cleaning machine name 'Charlie'. 'Charlie' recycles and filters 50 litres of water and takes two days to clean all the windows
- A 162,000 litre water tank, the tower's primary damping system also acts as a stabiliser for the tower
- 56 cables stabilise the tower, and if the strands of these cables were laid end to end, they would reach from Sydney to Alice Springs or from Sydney to New Zealand
- The spire located above the Tower is used for telecommunications and navigation purposes
- Contrary to popular belief, Sydney Tower was never officially named Centrepoint Tower
- Sydney Tower is the first to see the Sydney dawn, and the last to see its final dusk
- Sydney Tower retains its original name today as simply 'Sydney Tower', with the Sydney Tower Eye being the name of the viewing attraction located on the upper level, providing the best views from the highest point in the city
Visit Sydney Tower
The Sydney Tower remains the tallest structure in Sydney and guests can enjoy the views from the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck.