8 Phillip Street is a 56-storey landmark development near the centre of Parramatta, which incorporates residential apartments and high-end hotel accommodation.

The tower’s striking architectural form presented numerous structural engineering challenges, including a 15-metre cantilever over a heritage church below. Located within the Parramatta River flood extents, the development required a hydrostatic slab at the bottom of a nine-storey basement.

Extensive works and re-planning within the existing 399 Bourke retail zone were required with the design team to ensure the structural integrity of the existing structure was maintained and the client’s expectations realised.

Key technical challenges

RBG developed an integrated construction methodology and erection sequence to transfer the existing church hall masonry structure onto the permanent suspended slab, while allowing excavation of the nine-storey basement to occur below. Key challenges of the project brief included:

  • Incorporation of the existing St Andrew’s Church Hall structure into the top-down construction methodology
  • Load transfer of the church hall structure onto the ground floor suspended slab
  • Monitoring and assessment of the church hall structure during load transfer
  • Plunge column and steel bracing interface with the excavation sequence and future construction


All work required to enable the transfer of the St Andrew’s church hall onto the suspended slab was completed to ensure the façade masonry fabric remained intact. Strategic locations for needle beams were chosen during the jacking of post-tensioning strands within the concrete beams, whilst also eliminating the need for as many temporary works as possible.

Woods Bagot
RBG Role:
Design, Document
Construction Value:
$230 million AUD

Project Metrics

Hotels & Resorts, Residential & Retirement
RBG Service:
Structural, Civil

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.