Barangaroo: Harbour high-rise breaks all the rules
MATTHEW MOORE, SMH, February 24, 2010
The Premier, Kristina Keneally, has warmly endorsed a plan to build one of Sydney’s biggest hotels more than 100 metres out over the harbour, insisting it will not create a precedent other developers will seek to follow.
And the British architect behind the Barangaroo proposal, Richard Rogers, said he had ”no reservations” about going where no private developer had been allowed to develop before.
The difficulties of achieving a good design made building over the water the best solution, said the architect known for a string of famous works including the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
”One of the problems we have had is this amazingly hard line – we call it the aircraft carrier. It had a function 100 years ago, it had a major function. Now it has no function,” he said of the edge of the old container wharves at East Darling Harbour.
”There’s no reason why, in the 21st century, we should not build lightly – we have to tread very lightly – out into the water.”
He said the hotel was an attempt ”to reflect in a way the movement of the water. It’s very three dimensional … This is an element where you’ll be able to see a different view of the harbour.”
At a function to release more details of Sydney’s biggest urban redevelopment, Ms Keneally praised the Lend Lease plan even though it breaches the height and density restrictions in the concept plan for the area, as well as the ban on building over water.
While hotel guests will enjoy better views of the Opera House from siting the hotel on a 150-metre long pier, Ms Keneally said constructing the wharf would improve access to the harbour for visitors to Barangaroo.
”What this design does is increase foreshore access for the public. It opens up to the public access to Sydney’s harbour”.
She dismissed a question about whether the hotel might be branded ”a new Blues Point Tower” (the widely criticised apartment tower at McMahons Point) and said it was ”a magnificent design”.
A model of the proposed hotel at Barangaroo. Photo: Brendan Esposito
While Lend Lease has provided some images of what the site might look like, actual designs will not be available until later in the year when development applications are submitted.
To encourage debate about the site, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority hosted a public meeting last night with Lord Rogers and the former prime minister, Paul Keating, arguing the merits of the scheme.
The chief executive of the authority, John Tabart, said the exhibition Ms Keneally opened yesterday would allow the public over the next month to inspect models and plans for the project that had been kept secret until now.
Recovering the western foreshore: Keating on Sydney’s Barangaroo plans
ABC, 23 February, 2010 Deborah Cameron and Matthew Perkins
The State Government has awarded the contract for redeveloping the Barangaroo area of East Darling Harbour and the first glimpses of what the new space could look like have been released, with some thoughts on it given by a former Prime Minister.
“We get one chance at this,” Paul Keating told 702 Mornings, “[and] these common great spaces belong to everybody…
“This is a great chance to recover the western side of the city,” Mr. Keating asserts, “and if we dont recover it, it would be an act of criminal negligence because we get one chance in 200 years.”
He is advocating public debate on the plans being offered, which you can take part in on our Mornings page.
Meanwhile, the current New South Wales Premier, Kristina Keneally, is championing some of the features shown in the developer’s pictures, including light rail, a ferry hub, and a walkway connecting to Wynyard train station.
As well as connecting to the rest of the city, the area is being talked about as a ‘trade gateway’ as well as a community space – the promise is that more than half of the area will be public space.
Although, there will also be offices, apartments, and shops in the 22-hectare area.
You will also get more water, with 3.5 hectares of water being returned to the harbour as well as nearly an extra kilometre of waterfrontage being created, according to the developers.
The redevelopment is costed at some $6 billion and is expected to be completed in 2014.
Green light for $6b Barangaroo contract
AAP February 23, 2010
SYDNEYSIDERS will have a new place to live, shop and reside in 2014, with the NSW government authorising the $6 billion contract for commercial development of Barangaroo at East Darling Harbour.
The signing today follows Lend Lease’s winning bid to build Barangaroo’s southern commercial precinct, with construction set to start this year and the first stage targeted for completion in 2014.
An extension to the existing light rail will serve commuters at Barangaroo – a 22-hectare site including office towers, residential apartments, a 30,000 square metre shopping area and a park.
Barangaroo was to be serviced by the CBD Metro, which was scrapped on Sunday as part of the Labor government’s $50.2 billion Metropolitan Transport Plan.
It will now be served by an extension to the existing light rail network, with trams travelling from Central Station to Circular Quay via Barangaroo.
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said work would begin immediately on the extension to the existing light rail.
“We are commencing immediately with the planning for the light rail and will achieve the planning approvals required this year and hopefully commence construction this year,” she told reporters.
Ms Keneally could not confirm whether the light rail would be completed by 2014.
“We will be working as hard as possible to deliver the light rail as quick as possible,” she said.
A new ferry hub will also link Barangaroo with the existing ferry network and a pedestrian tunnel will provide direct links between Barangaroo and Wynyard railway station.