The Sydney central business district skyline at sunset.
Sydney, the largest city in Australia, is home to 1,168 completed high-rise buildings. The tallest buildings in the city are heavily concentrated in the central business district, although other areas around the city, such as Parramatta and North Sydney, boast a significant number of high-rises. As of January 2011, the entire city has over 20 buildings that rise at least 160 m (525 ft) in height, more than any other city in Australia. The earliest skyscraper constructed in Sydney was Culwulla Chambers, which stands at a height of 50 m (164 ft) and was completed in 1912. Designed by Spain, Cosh and Minnett, the building consisted of 14 floors and cost £100,000 to build, equivalent of approximately $900,000—$1 million in today's money.
Sydney originally had a 46 m (151 ft) height limit that was enforced until 1957, which saw a construction boom for skyscrapers and buildings beginning in the early 1960s with the construction of the Australia Square, notable for being the world's tallest light weight concrete building at the time it was built. Since August 1981, the tallest structure in Sydney is the Sydney Tower, at 309 m (1,014 ft). However, according to the international standard of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, observation towers are not fully habitable and do not count as buildings. Excluding the Sydney Tower, the tallest building in Sydney is the Citigroup Centre, which was completed in 2000 and stands at 243 m (797 ft). It is also the eighth tallest building in Australia.
As of November 2013, Sydney has 23 buildings under construction and 97 at planning stages. The most recently completed high-rise was 8 Chifley Square, which stands at 140 m (459 ft) when measured to its roof. A recent 235 m (797 ft) height restriction implementation has slowed Sydney’s high-rise developments and its construction boom has been marred significantly by Melbourne’s, which allows for significantly taller structures.
A 3-metre lightning rod was added in 2000 but does not constitute an architectural feature, leaving the building with an official height of 241m. 206m to roof. Tallest building in Sydney from 1992 to 2000. Was one of the most expensive buildings in the world at A$1.2 billion. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.