- Article by Online Editor
Destination Sydney, led by Lend Lease, with HASSELL Studio, Dutch office OMA and Populous (formerly HOK) was revealed yesterday as the winning consortium for the redevelopment of the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour.
The plan aims to develop the largest exhibition space in Australia at 40,000 square metres (the equivalent of five football fields), as well as the largest Australian convention capacity – aiming to accommodate more than 12,000 people over four different areas. At the northern end of the precinct, a hotel complex will be built with over 900 hotel rooms.
The new convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities will be built north of Pier St, while a new neighbourhood will be built at the southern end of the precinct (the site of the existing Sydney Entertainment centre and car park) and will be named The Haymarket. The new urban area will be home to high-tech businesses, apartments, student accommodation, shops, cafes and restaurants. The consortium’s plan also aims to improve pedestrian connections drawing people between Central, Chinatown and Cockle Bay Wharf as well as east-west between Ultimo/Pyrmont and the city.
Upon revealing the plan yesterday, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said that the transformation would generate $5 billion in economic benefit for the state. The facilities and upgrade of the public domain at Darling Harbour are expected to cost about $1 billion.
“Along with the development of Barangaroo, this project will transform the western fringe of Sydney’s Central Business District and is the biggest and most exciting change to Darling Harbour in 25 years,” said O’Farrell.
With construction beginning at the end of 2013, the precinct is expected to open in late 2016. The existing Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre will close in December next year, while the Sydney Entertainment Centre will remain open until December 2015.