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2014 is a huge year for Sydney glitz and glam.

16 May

2014 is a huge year for Sydney glitz and glam.

A number of old icons are being razed for new icons. Each one of the below buildings are world class.

Under construction


International Towers | 49st, 43st, 39st / 217m, 178m, 168m /
Architect- various

The fantastic Barangaroo is emerging from the primordial soup of east Darling Harbour.



20 Martin Place
Architect- Crone Partners in collaboration with James Carpenter Design Associates (NY).

A dazzling glass Miesien box to replace the seventies dazzling glass Miesien box. The main part of the renaissance of Martin Place. The architects have moved the circulation cores out of the main floor area. The old building was reduced to a fantastic steel skeleton.
Crones are so hot right now!


5 Martin Place
Architect- Johnson Pilton Walker with Tanner Kibble Denton Architects.

A rather sympathetic and sophisticated approach to the sandstone canyon of Martin Place. Compliments the Commonwealth Bank money-box building next door.


Macquarie Martin Place headquarters
48 Martin Place.
Architect- Johnson Pilton Walker

This one looks like great fun. The architects have created a central void and a vast domed skylight.
A real urban testament to the money and glamour of banking (like something out of a Batman movie!).


UTS Information Technologies Engineering Building (Broadway)
Architect- Denton Corker Marshall (DCM)

I’m not sure how this will turn out. It is pretty cool to look at, but it’s such an ugly monolithic metallic slug on such an important site that I think in ten years time it may be reviled (especialy if the cladding rusts). Cubist marshmallow!


Urbanest student housing Wattle Street.
Architect- GROUP GSA

I’ve included this to show some interesting contextual stuff going up. Again part of the incredibly dynamic Haymarket district.


Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, UTS
Architect- Frank Gehry

Wow- my brain hurts thinking about the brickwork in this building. Indulgent but delightful (essence of architecture, right?).
Good to see an iconic education building on this site on the end of the Goods Line pathway.


180 Thomas Street, Haymarket.
Architect- Bates Smart

A speculative corporate response to the same site as above (Goods Line pathway), sitting on top of an existing substation.
A really good effort by Bates Smart if you ask me.


Central Park
on Broadway near Central Station
Architect- Norman Foster + Partners + Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Zipping along, needless to say…
Designed by Jean Nouvel, the development encompasses a shopping mall and apartment complex, with vertical gardens featuring on its facade.

Under demolition and site prep.



Sydney Convention Centre
Darling Harbour
Architect- Hassell

Big things are planned for this site. After a tortuous couple of months the original Convention Centre (flagship of the eighties Darling Harbour) has all but disappeared.


The Castlereagh
Architect- Tony Owen

More sleek plastic for downtown Sydney, to keep the overseas investors happy.
It replaces a rather staid 1920s job.


33 Bligh Street
Architect- Fitzpatrick and Partners with Kannfinch

This is an ambitious and exciting building. It can get to be so high as the building itself sits on top of a large substation (to be hidden behind a huge sandstone screen).
It replaces a graceful but clapped out late sixties building.


333 George Street.
Architect- Crone / Grimshaw

Here’s an exciting building on a great site. It’s good to see this part of town slowly come back to life (with then night clubs, etc).
When George Street become a pedestrian area this site will soar. It will house the local branch of Marks and Sparks.

Recently Finished


8 Chifley
Architect- Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and Lippmann Associates in association with Mirvac Design.

Not as exciting as the renderings, but an excellent addition to the streetscape.


Eliza Apartments
Architect- Tony Owen

This is a wee bourgeois gem. Check out the stonework at street level- really creative.

This city has no shortage of capital compared to other cities, look at the dollars being spent on projects around the city this decade.
Lets see, short list I quickly compiled.
$30b transport plan from the NSW government. Light rail, North West Rail Link, M5, M4 extension etc.
$8b Green Square/Zetland
$6b Barangaroo Lend Lease contract + $1b Crown Casino
$2.5b Darling Harbour redevelopment, Lend Lease contract (this company is obviously scratching the right backs in government)
$2b Central park
$1.3b City One/Wynyard Station
$1b AMP/Circular Quay
$1b UTS redevelopments

It’s is after 10 years of non spending post Olympics.


Barangaroo plans reveal nation's largest office building

17 Nov

Kelsey Munro SMH November 17, 2011.

THERE may be taller buildings in Australia, but with its vast footprint, the 49-storey C3 tower at Barangaroo is likely to be the country’s largest office building in terms of floorspace.

Developer Lend Lease’s detailed plans for the second and third major commercial towers at Barangaroo were placed on exhibition by the Department of Planning yesterday, providing the most accurate glimpse yet of the future for the $6 billion urban renewal project.

At 205 metres tall with 115,291 square metres of floorspace, the northernmost commercial tower, C3, will be the tallest building at Barangaroo; but there will still be eight taller buildings in Sydney including the Citigroup and Chifley buildings.

C5, the southern tower, will be 39 storeys. Modified plans for the 42-storey C4 commercial tower standing between the two were lodged earlier this month.

Designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, the towers have large floorplates, curved contours and vividly coloured vertical shading panels on the facade designed to cut air conditioning requirements by up to 30 per cent.

Each tower will have fewer than 200 car spaces; with a total of 1200 bicycle spaces across the three towers as part of plans to minimise car trips and promote alternative transport.

The childcare centre, which was deleted from C4 plans, has been restored in C3, while the planned supermarket in the commercial precinct has been downsized to a ”fresh food market in the podium of C5”, a Lend Lease spokesman said.


A supermarket is likely to be part of the proposed residential towers to be built north of the commercial precinct, the spokesman said.

When complete, the three towers will provide almost 300,000 square metres of new office space in Sydney to house 24,000 workers; and 15,000 square metres of new retail floorspace at ground level.

Planning documents also proposed the use of ”responsive” digital landmarks beamed on to walls and building facades to help pedestrians navigate the new precinct. Completion of the three buildings, once approved, is scheduled for 2016.

Read more:

Central Park- Laneway plan grows from heritage-listed alley

16 Aug

Kelsey Munro Urban Affairs, August 15, 2011

THE developer of the former brewery site at Broadway has engaged a Sydney architect to turn a crumbling, heritage-listed alley near Central Station into a bustling Melbourne-style laneway precinct.

Kensington Street runs south from Broadway along the boundary of the brewery site and is lined with vacant, heritage-listed terraces and brewery administration buildings, some home to artists’ studios.

The street is book-ended with two great Art-Deco pubs- at the east the County Clare.

As it looked in the fifties, note the tram lines and clear road.

And on the western end by this robust specimen (love the stumpy concrete awning)…

Architect Tim Greer, who oversaw the reinvention of Eveleigh Carriageworks and the award-winning Paddington Reservoir Gardens, is running the project, which he said will provide a threshold zone between lower-rise, old city blocks and the towering new residential precinct.

Frasers Property’s chief executive officer, Guy Pahor, said the Melbourne laneway concept was apposite for what will be renamed Kensington Lane. ”This has a lot of parallels in terms of the scale,” he said, ”but also in what we intend to do with it, which is provide a rich diversity of uses which may include small eclectic retail outlets, cafes, possibly small book stores, possibly a boutique hotel and student accommodation.

”The restoration of the old Clare Hotel and the Fosters administration building is part of that mix.”

Mr Pahor said the developer was investing in the laneway because it believed the success of Central Park, the residential component, would depend on the quality of the public spaces delivered around it.

Brewery workers on their smoko break, some years ago.

Mr Greer said: ”[Kensington Lane] has some very significant remnant heritage buildings and also a lot of missing teeth which are ripe for new contemporary buildings.”

Frasers Property expects to put a detailed proposal for the laneway to planning authorities next year.

The building site yesterday.

The completed project, showing the “central park” open space.

Read more:

Barangaroo & Part 3A – Back to the drawing board

13 May

Sean Nicholls, Matthew Moore, SMH, May 13, 2011

Barangaroo to go ahead, but in what form? The Government now says Barangaroo will go ahead, but just what form the development will now take is the subject of the review.

A ”SHORT, sharp” review of the $6 billion Barangaroo development has been ordered by the state government after opponents reached agreement with the developer, Lend Lease, to adjourn Monday’s court action challenging the project.

The Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, said he will appoint an independent chairman to the review, which he hoped would be completed within two months.

Mr Hazzard moved to resolve disputes over Sydney’s biggest redevelopment when he organised the former Land and Environment court judge Robert Talbot to chair mediation talks on the project yesterday morning.

Under review … Barangaroo. Photo: Peter Rae

The meeting, which Mr Hazzard attended, included Lend Lease, the group bringing the court action, Australians for Sustainable Development, and representatives from the government’s Barangaroo Delivery Authority.

At the talks, AFSD reached a confidential agreement with Lend Lease, the Barangaroo authority and Mr Hazzard to withdraw next week’s action once the government announces the terms of reference for the review.

Mr Hazzard said he would meet with all parties over the next week and ”determine the terms of reference for a short, sharp review of the processes that have gone on to date at Barangaroo”.

Sent to council … Harbord Diggers. Photo: James Brickwood

A spokeswoman for AFSD, Marcelle Hoff, called for the terms of reference to include the size and shape of the development, but it is likely to be limited to a review of the planning processes undertaken thus far.

Ms Hoff, who is also the deputy lord mayor of Sydney, said she was ”absolutely delighted” by the outcome of the mediation talks. ”We feel very positive we will get a good outcome” from the review, she said.

Mr Hazzard called the agreement ”a win for commonsense”. He said planning decisions at Barangaroo had undermined public confidence in the process and criticised a decision by former planning minister Tony Kelly, who changed the law to ensure a favourable result in a previous court case brought by AFSD.

Sent to council … Coogee Bay Hotel. Photo: Janie Barrett

“Decisions like that of the former minister Kelly’s to amend the contamination remediation State Environmental Planning Policy to exclude the development from having to comply with normal clean-up requirements have sent a sense of frustration through the community,” he said.

Before the talks, Lend Lease had insisted the court case would proceed on Monday regardless, but it has now agreed it be delayed before being withdrawn.

It has paid the government more than $100 million for the right to develop the site and has been concerned about the cost of delays.

Sent to council … Eastern suburbs memorial park. Photo: Steven Siewert

Lend Lease’s group head of development, David Hutton, welcomed Mr Hazzard’s proposal ”as a positive step towards providing certainty and momentum for the delivery of the Barangaroo south project”.

Mr Hutton said the agreement meant Australians for Sustainable Development would immediately withdraw other legal challenges to the basement and first commercial tower, known as C4.


As you were on Part 3A development proposals
Sean Nicholls, SMH, May 13, 2011.
BILLIONS of dollars worth of projects that Labor took control of under the contentious Part 3A planning laws will be sent back to local councils by the O’Farrell government. The projects will include the controversial $150 million redevelopment of the Coogee Bay Hotel.

But the Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, will announce today that the government will deal with about 460 of more than 550 development applications that were not decided under the old system before the change of government.

Most of those will be referred to an independent body, the Planning Assessment Commission.

Mr Hazzard said he wanted to ensure the applications were dealt with ”transparently and openly” in contrast to the previous system, known as Part 3A, which the O’Farrell government is scrapping for all residential, retail, commercial and coastal development.

Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act allowed the minister to be the sole consent authority for big projects. Developers were allowed to apply to the minister to have their projects dealt with under the provisions even if they exceeded local planning rules about height, density and zoning.

Among the projects being returned to councils are the proposed redevelopments of the Coogee Bay Hotel, Harbord Diggers and the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

Announcing his decision, Mr Hazzard said the way the previous minister, Tony Kelly, had handled the proposal for the Coogee Bay Hotel as ”really quite concerning”.

Residents strongly opposed the redevelopment but Mr Hazzard said Mr Kelly had failed to make public the fact that he had decided to deal with it under Part 3A just before the state election.

The hotel is in the state seat of Coogee, which was under threat from the Liberals and the Greens. Labor’s Paul Pearce lost the seat to the Liberals’ Bruce Notley-Smith.

”When we examined the paperwork we found that the minister had in fact declared the Coogee Bay Hotel on December 10,” Mr Hazzard said.He said it was ”very, very disappointing to think that the former minister Tony Kelly signed off on the Coogee Bay Hotel and failed to tell anybody right through that 3½ month period and right through the election.”

He said about 63 projects, including the Coogee Bay Hotel proposal, would be sent back to councils ”where they belong”. The government will refund the application fees for these projects.

About 102 residential, retail, commercial and coastal projects will still be dealt with under Part 3A because they had progressed through the planning process to a point where their owners had spent a significant amount of money. The government has committed to developing a new method of determining when a project is of state significance and how those projects will be decided.

Mr Hazzard said he hoped the new approach would be settled on within ”a couple of months”.

Editor’s note- Part 3A was introduced by the previous Labor government in 2005 and gave the planning minister consent authority for major projects deemed to be of state or regional significance or with a budget over $50 million. Certain projects (large job creating, infrastructure and high density housing) were considered too important to be jepodised by petty local politicians. It is a worry that this process has been stopped as it may derail projects for the greater good (inner city high-density housing, etc).

Barangaroo C4 is shrinking – city tower is cut down to size

7 Mar

Vikki Campion From: The Daily Telegraph February 11, 2011

BARANGAROO is shrinking.

Critics slammed the latest office tower to hit NSW Planning desks, a 42-storey goliath, for being too broad and bulky.

Architects had a second go at it yesterday, slimming the $1 billion building by 6m.

Developers have slashed back the original plans, paring back the pier length from 150m to 85m, the hotel height from 213m to 159m, and the number of commercial towers from four to three.

British architect Lord Richard Rogers, famous for designing the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd’s building in London and the new Tower 3 at the reconstructed World Trade Centre, drew the inside-out building in a “contemporary architectural style” that makes it appear transparent.

The lifts have been cut from nine to eight, projecting bays have been replaced with recessed bays, and its edges have been “tapered and curved” in a bid to shorten its appearance.

Lend Lease’s group head of development David Hutton said the changes came after 20 submissions from the public.

“We have responded to Sydney City Council’s comments and introduced refinements that improve the scale and appearance of the building and we have produced an even better result,” he said.

At 176.5m tall, the building will have 88,582 sq m of commercial floor space. It is due to be completed in 2014.