- Article by Online Editor
The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) NSW Chapter has said it supports the principles behind an alternative scheme for the Barangaroo development in Sydney harbour.
The new scheme, revealed on 19 February by a group of 57 independent architects and urban planners, addresses several of the more contentious design attributes of the approved Lend Lease design.
Named A Better Barangaroo, the alternative design relocates the Richard Rogers-designed hotel from the new pier back onto existing land and reduces the height of the proposed office buildings.
The group also suggests that the cruise ship terminal should be retained, rather than creating the naturalistic headland park advocated by Paul Keating. The group estimates that scrapping Keatings headland would save between $100-200 million.
NSW Chapter President Brian Zulaikha said the Institute believed there are good opportunities to achieve an effective and accessible public domain in the Headland and Barangaroo Central precincts at a reasonable cost.
The whole site is public land. Public benefit should be paramount, particularly full access to the harbour foreshore. Commercial development has its place, but should be secondary to the public benefit provided by the site.
The Institute also endorsed the proposal to keep the cruise ship terminal within the Barangaroo site. A facility of this kind brings life and vitality to the area, while retaining its historic working harbour function, Zulaikha said.
The alternative proposal was put forward by a group called Architects and Planners Concerned About Barangaroo. Members include Phillip Cox, David Chesterman, Peter Webber, Kerry Clare, Rob Adams, Lindsay Johnston, Phillip Thalis, Richard Leplastrier and Tone Wheeler.
Chesterman acknowledged that the developer and design team behind the current scheme were excellent, but explained the group were concerned with the scale of the design and the unprecedented intrusion into the waterways of Rogers hotel. The group said the $6 billion project had suffered from a deeply flawed process.
NSW Chapter President Zulaikha concluded: It is important that future decision-making for Barangaroo is conducted in an open and transparent manner in view of the substantial public benefit to be derived from the site.
[“List of Architects and Planners Concerned About Barangaroo”:http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/architects-and-planners-concerned-about-barangaroo-20110218-1azey.html?rand=1298024303243]
*Images* courtesy Architects and Planners Concerned About Barangaroo