Sydney Architecture Images- Central Business District

Barangaroo Hotel


Richard Rogers


Barangaroo, Millers Point


proposed 2009- 2015.


Millennium Minimalist Modernism


reinforced concrete frame, curtain wall glazing up to 50storeys. Lend Lease.


  Lend Lease cuts back: size is everything for $6b Sydney Harbour plan

MATTHEW MOORE, June 16, 2010. SMH

Designers of the $6 billion Sydney Harbour development at Barangaroo have slashed the height and size of the “landmark” hotel they want to build out into the water.

After months of criticism of the scale of the buildings in Sydney’s biggest redevelopment project, the company in charge of the project, Lend Lease, has unveiled new plans.

The hotel’s height will fall from 213 metres to 159 metres.

..And the pier bearing the hotel out into the harbour will be trimmed from 150 metres to 90 metres.

One of the smaller of four office towers has also been removed from the plan to improve sight lines of the harbour from the CBD. But the tallest tower, proposed at 180 metres, will make it the seventh highest building in Sydney and above the existing height limit for the site.

About 100 new apartments have also been added, many of them in six- and eight-storey buildings to be placed in front of the office towers with uninterrupted views of the harbour.

Like nearby King Street Wharf, these buildings will have ground-floor restaurants and cafes.

Chief executive of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, John Tabart, said the changes showed “Lend Lease has listened to the public”.

“We said they had to improve the design to further activate the public domain … they have done that.”

Despite the loss of one of the commercial towers, the project still has 496,000 square metres of space, about 15 per cent above that allowed in the current concept plan.

Lend Lease plans to submit the new concept plan to the Department of Planning next month, seeking approval for its changes.

Lend Lease’s group head of development, David Hutton, released a statement headed, “Sydney, We’ve Heard You”, and said the changes reflected the “feedback received from Sydneysiders, including local residents, interest groups and from the wider business and Sydney communities”.


$6 billion worth of controversy for Barangaroo development
By Vikki Campion From: The Daily Telegraph June 17, 2010

THE $6 billion revamp of Barangaroo will be shorter and slimmer – but Sydney is divided on whether it is better.
A team of consultants was engaged to pare down developer Lend Lease’s plan for the old cargo site on the western side of the Harbour, described as a monstrosity when made public six months ago.

Barangaroo Delivery Authority CEO John Tabart said “substantial” changes had been made to include parkland, waterfront tourism and a financial headquarters for the South-East Asia region.

Under the final plan, which went on public exhibition yesterday, the hotel on West Quay will shrink from 213m tall to 159m, with its footprint nearly halved to stop shading of Darling Harbour.

The pier has been shortened to 85m from 150m.

The number of commercial towers will be cut from four to three. One will exceed the 180m height limit to be Sydney’s seventh highest building, at 198m.

The towers have been placed so as to allow views from the CBD to the water.

The big end of town has praised the changes, which allow more residential and retail areas and wide paths but residents groups have vowed to fight the plans, which they claim will be a blight on the Harbour.

Head of Lend Lease development David Hutton said: “We are confident these design refinements will ensure Barangaroo South is an iconic new place for Sydney.”

Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe said Barangaroo was a once in a lifetime redevelopment that would complete Sydney’s CBD and replace unused Harbour foreshore with offices, homes, public space and parks and create a western gateway to the CBD.

Barangaroo Action Group chairman Ian Campbell called for an independent review of the contract between Lend Lease and the State Government and foreshadowed protests from June 26.

  'Big Red'- Hiding in the wings, a new plan for Barangaroo
28 Feb

Richard Roger’s scheme for the hotel at Barangaroo, known as “Big Red”. One of his colourful mechano designs, reminiscent of his shelved scheme for 8-12 Chifley Square. The colours are contentious; the exo-skeleton is not. (

MATTHEW MOORE SMH February 27, 2010

THE company picked to carry out the Barangaroo redevelopment has a second development proposal ready in case its current controversial plan is rejected by the NSW Government.

The chief executive of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, John Tabart, said Lend Lease had ”two sets of financials”: one for a complying scheme and the other for the preferred, non-complying scheme.

To date, the only details publicly released are for the non-complying scheme which includes a proposal for a development of almost 500,000 sq m, 15 per cent over existing limits, and a 150-metre pier built over the water on which a 60-storey five-star hotel is proposed.

Before the non-complying elements of the preferred scheme, such as the hotel, can proceed, the concept plan for Barangaroo will have to be modified to permit them.

A statement released this week by the Premier, Kristina Keneally, said ”most elements of the Lend Lease plan fit within the requirements of the … concept plan”, although critics, including the architect Philip Thalis, who led a team that won the original design competition for the site, said ”most” elements of preferred proposal appear to breach the plan.

So far the authority has not listed which elements of the preferred scheme comply and which ones do not.

A Lend Lease spokesman confirmed it had alternatives to each of the non-complying elements of its preferred scheme, including relocating the hotel onto Hickson Road, where it would no longer be the centrepiece of the development and would instead be a three- or four-star hotel.

The preferred scheme designed by the eminent British architect Lord Richard Rogers’s firm, has been praised as ”magnificent” by Ms Keneally and championed by the former prime minister Paul Keating, who said the wharf will help ”articulate” the ”dull as dishwater” existing straight shoreline and increase public access to the harbour.

But criticism of the plan appears to be building. The well-known Sydney architect Philip Cox said he strongly supported Barangaroo’s redevelopment, but said it should not be allowed on the water and the proposed pier could never be public space once there was a hotel on it.

”Of course not, it’s not genuine public space,” he said.

”You only have to analyse the requirements of a hotel with fire services, taxis and bus drop-offs and service vehicle deliveries … it’s hardly public domain.”

Putting a hotel on the wharf ”sterilises the very finger into the harbour which is stated as public domain”, he said.

While the height and placement of the hotel in the water have prompted criticism on mainly aesthetic grounds, the plan to build halfway across the bay has also worried boat operators in Darling Harbour who say it will narrow the bay’s entrance to just 150 metres.

With three new ferry wharves just south of the pier planned to bring visitors to the site, boat operators claim there will not be enough room for the vessels to back out and turn around.

The managing director of Captain Cook Cruises in Sydney Harbour, Anthony Haworth, warned his company would be very concerned about anything that affected safe navigation and ”building into an already congested waterway would not enhance safe navigation”.

While the preferred proposal does not comply with the concept plan, the unsuccessful proposal by another famous British architect, Sir Norman Foster, does appear to comply.

Elements of the scheme, submitted by Brookfield Multiplex, were put on display this week by the authority at an exhibition at the Old Port Building off Hickson Rd that opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a month.

A spokeswoman for Brookfield Multiplex said it could not discuss any of the design ideas because they were bound by confidentiality agreements with the authority that were still in place.

The Foster plan does not intrude into the water and locates the commercial buildings back behind a road which runs parallel to the public foreshore in keeping with one of the fundamental elements of the original Thalis design for the site.


Going where many cities before have failed … artists’ impressions of how some of the public spaces in the winning Barangaroo scheme might look.

Now for the hard part: public spaces of quality not quantity
ELIZABETH FARRELLY SMH February 27, 2010 .

IF ARCHITECTURE were like Olympic snowboarding, and each trick rated on its degree of difficulty, what Lend Lease and Richard Rogers are attempting at Barangaroo would approach a perfect 10.

Making a new high-rise office park isn’t hard. Erecting towers, aligning levels, ensuring the water and sewage don’t run into the telecoms – that’s like falling off a log. Even the architecture, getting the skyscrapers to sing, is by comparison a breeze.

What is being attempted here – if we accept the rhetoric – is the from-scratch creation of a genuine, pulsing city precinct that knits seamlessly to the existing and convinces us all by its sheer weight and presence that, in the words of Lend Lease’s David Hutton, it’s where “real buildings hit real streets”. This is hard. So hard, in fact, that to my knowledge it’s never been done.

The attempts fall into two camps. There are those that (like Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz, Barcelona’s Barceloneta or London’s Barbican) try to recreate the warmth and solidity of an old city in an entirely contemporary language. And there are those that (like London’s Paternoster Square) react to the failure of such schemes by aping the forms of history. All of them start with high hopes and, so far, all of them fail.

Sydney’s most spectacular failure is Darling Harbour, which cold-shoulders the city with dead-face buildings, encircling motorways and severed street connections. But even there, at the time, its big, driving rhetoric was populism.

Why so hard? Why does contemporary urbanism find it impossible to recapture what seemed so easy not just for traditional villages but also 19th and early 20th century cities? Midtown Manhattan wasn’t built for civic pride. It was built by commerce, for commerce; public input, zip. So, why?

The answer, simply, is economic rationalism. The user-pays era, far from undoing modernism’s disdain for all things public, reinforced it (while pretending otherwise). Darling Harbour was killed by the dead hand of Laurie Brereton and the NSW Right. So it is especially notable that Baranagaroo is being so intensively driven by our arch econo-rat, Brereton’s old mate Paul Keating, cloaked these days in naturism and historicism. And ironic, since this is public land, that we the public – users-to-be who have already paid, and handsomely – must fight again to be included in the process and respected by the product.

All players here talk of making it work for the public; not least because a commercial precinct without humans is a commercial fail. They cite London’s Canary Wharf as such a failure. But when pressed they answer with quantity of public space, not quality. So, will they do what it takes? More importantly, can they?

What it takes is a mindset inversion: real generosity towards the public realm and the unfeigned perception of public space as primary, served and embellished by the buildings that shape it (rather than vice versa).

This is inimical to a world run by bean-counters, box-tickers and bottom-line shareholders. And made harder by the fact that, while the rhetoric is in place, the track record is not.

Rogers has produced many masterplans (mostly unbuilt) but his global fame rests on buildings. Pompidou in Paris, Renault in Swindon and in London, Lloyds, the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Terminal Five. Remarkable buildings all but united in their disdain for public space. Barangaroo Delivery Authority head John Tabart comes from the Federal Airports Corporation and Melbourne Docklands – of which, ditto. Richard Johnson, now running Barangaroo north, gave us the space outside Westpac, and Canberra’s portrait gallery.

So it’s down to Paul, who presents himself as if he, landed like some kind of winged victory, were ”the public” personified. The process, Keating insists, is public because he is involved. And when he describes Rogers’ red hotel as a ”Colossus of Rhodes” you can’t help feeling it’s himself he sees, glorious astride the harbour.

Yet Barangaroo herself, supine beneath this daisychain of pocket-pissers, still reads as the modernist dream; a series of buildings plonked in space, rather than a series of fabulous spaces defined by their buildings. Until they can reverse this mindset, I’ll remain sceptical as to whether these old guys can change their spots, even if they want to.