MLC Centre - Martin Place

When completed in 1977, the iconic Harry Seidler-designed MLC Centre held the title of being the world’s tallest reinforced concrete office building. Forty years on, it remains a prominent fixture of Sydney’s evolving skyline.


The MLC Centre, with its white moulded façade and octagonal floorplan, remains one of Harry Seidler’s most recognisable works.

Considered a luminary of Australian architecture, and the first to fully express the Bauhaus aesthetic locally, Seidler designed more than 180 buildings during his decorated career.

The MLC Centre at Martin Place, with its white moulded façade and octagonal floorplan, remains one of his most recognisable works.

Owned by Dexus, one of Australia’s leading property groups, and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund, the 67-level building offers high quality office space for high profile tenants, as well as retail and dining spaces at the podium level.

The site, bounded by Pitt, King and Castlereagh Streets, also features the Theatre Royal and the heritage-listed CTA Business Club building. The latter offers accommodation, meeting rooms and conference space for Commercial Travellers’ Association of New South Wales members.

Offering a wealth of commercial building systems and integration knowledge, A.G. Coombs was engaged by Dexus to provide maintenance of the MLC Centre’s mechanical services and HVAC systems in April 2018.

Having mobilised quickly to ensure continuity of service, A.G. Coombs employs two full-time technicians and an apprentice on the site permanently. This team manages the day-to-day operation of the robust mechanical services plant, and maintains conditions across the office and retail tenancies.

The input of the broader A.G. Coombs team – many of whom have a detailed knowledge of the MLC Centre site, having worked on it over the years – has also been invaluable in maintaining the building’s unique controls systems that combine new electronic controls with the original pneumatic system from the 1970s.

In the time since being on site, the team has worked closely with Dexus to improve the energy efficiency of the building’s existing chilled water plants through fine tuning and improvements to chiller staging. This has contributed to the building maintaining its 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating.

Water consumption has also been reduced through the reconditioning and upgrade of the MLC Centre’s main building cooling tower plant.

Additionally, A.G. Coombs has completed a number of A-Grade office fitouts and continues to build rapport with building tenants.

Dexus is currently undertaking a $180 million redevelopment of the MLC Centre, which will add 6,000m² of new and improved retail, dining and commercial space across a new four-level podium at the base of the office tower. The project also includes the refurbishment of the Theatre Royal, which has remained closed since 2016.

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Since its engagement, A.G. Coombs has quickly become familiar with the property’s unique mechanical services systems and has confidently put in place a number of efficiency improvement programs to ensure the MLC Centre remains a landmark property for years to come.

Gary Aberley, A.G. Coombs Contract Manager.

Contract Overview

Contract Name: MLC Centre, Martin Place Maintenance

Location: Sydney, NSW

Client: Dexus

Contract Type

HVAC & Mechanical Services - Service and Maintenance

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