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Openness, Light, and Transparence:
The Art Collection of Deutsche Bank Australia Receives a New Home



In mid-2005, the moment will finally have arrived: Deutsche Bank Australia will be moving into the office tower in downtown Sydney designed by the star architect Sir Norman Foster. This event is also expected to provide the company collection with fresh new impulses.



Sydney's skyline with new domicile of Deutsche Bank Australia (computer simulation)

Every fifth Australian lives in Sydney, which has a population of 4 million. Since 1974, Deutsche Bank has been present on the fifth continent, employing thousands of staff members in the dynamic and self-assured metropolis. Sydney's skyline is known worldwide: the conically shaped opera house, the harbor bridge, and the skyscrapers of the business district go to make up the city's characteristic appearance. Along with a prospering economic development, art, culture, and architecture are also flourishing in the "secret capital." While Jeff Koons' monumental flower culture Puppy, endowed with over 20,000 plants and situated at the harbor, has already been greeting visitors to the westernmost country in the Asian Pacific region since 1995, the future home of Deutsche Bank Australia will be leaving its mark on the city's appearance from mid-2005 onwards. Thus, an entirely new skyscraper is being built at 126 Phillip Street, designed by the British star architect Sir Norman Foster, one which combines the demands of a contemporary office complex with Sydney's own special characteristics.

West elevation 126 Philip Street, Sydney (computer simulation)


Openness, light, and transparency stand at the center of the design. The core of the 36-story building will contain no carrying supports whatsoever; its blueprint is not organized around the usual functions. Instead, Foster transferred the entire core - the plumbing facilities, elevators, staircases, and various shafts - into a complex of its own, which takes up the entire western facade of the building. A unique design has come about in the process. While glassed-in elevators rise up from the ground floor to the sky between the two towers in the western part, bridges on every floor lead over the highest atrium in Australia to the main building in the east, which contains the actual office spaces. At the same time, the passages between the individual complexes further internal communication. Generously constructed, they house lobbies and reception and waiting areas.


Design for stairway, 126 Philip Street

Sir Norman Foster is an architectural visionary whose buildings reflect his investigations into history, location, and functional requirement with tremendous elegance and precision. Among his most famous projects are the reconstruction and expansion of Berlin's Reichstag, which was destroyed in 1945. In the glass dome, which has since become one of the city's major trademarks, visitors can walk above politicians' heads along the spiral-formed galleries. At the same time, the spaces Foster designs are spaces for creative thought. His design for 126 Phillip Street creates a challenging framework for innovative working and living; this is also reflected in the building's stark, step-formed crown; like a ladder to heaven, it is continued upwards in the masts of an open-work steel structure. For Deutsche Bank Australia, which will be moving into eight floors of the complex in 2005, 2003 was a record year, with a gain in profit of over 40 percent over the best previous results. Correspondingly, the move not only signalizes hoisting the flag on one of Sydney's most prominent locations, but also the steady development of corporate culture.


Kate Abrahams vor
"Ken Whisson's Circus with Vet and Yellow Magician" (1994)
Deutsche Bank Sydney 2004

"The move to our new building will reflect Deutsche Bank's footprint in the Australian market and demonstrates that we are leaders in innovation," Kate Abrahams, Head of Communications and Marketing of Deutsche Bank Australia, remarked. "We hope that … we can mirror this image through our art collection. In doing so, we can express our commitment to the local art community with commissionings from our local artists, but we can also demonstrate our global culture though our international pieces." As for many of her staff, art in the workplace is a part of everyday life for Abrahams. At the bank's present location, Grosvenor Place, Abrahams also had to learn how to deal with the various reactions to the works exhibited.


Entalura Nangala, Ohne Titel, 1987
Deutsche Bank Collection, Australia


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