Foster + Partners was selected to design a new mixed-use development on the site of the former Regent Theatre following a competition in 2003. The Regent Place mixed-use development in the heart of Sydney has transformed the area into a lively urban quarter where people can live, work and enjoy life in the city. Located on the main George Street axis, opposite St Andrew’s Cathedral and close to the Town Hall, the site had been vacant since the old Regent Theatre was demolished in 1989. The development comprises two towers floating above a 5-storey sandstone podium that contains retail, commercial and leisure spaces. The two towers become increasingly transparent as they rise into the sky and provide a point of reference for the Central Sydney skyline. One of the main design considerations related to the building’s use. As a predominantly commercial area, the City wanted to avoid a sense of discontinuity with the aesthetic of a residential tower – the balconies in particular required careful treatment. The concept explored the idea of an internal loggia rather than a balcony, to preserve the flush and seamless appearance of the building and cohere with its neighbours. The loggias have folding screen doors and sliding windows with dark glazing. Opaque from the exterior but highly transparent from inside, the glazing was finely tuned to meet this specific requirement. The main 48-storey residential tower consists of a cluster of eight tall, slender volumes supported by a central core. The second 33 -storey tower houses serviced apartments and recreational spaces. Penetration of daylight right into the heart of the development was a major influence on the configuration of the scheme. The base is divided into a series of building blocks that open up onto internal glazed routes that provide a network of through-site links and reinvent the traditional Sydney top-lit arcades.