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A Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners design will form the master plan for the $6 billion development of Sydney’s Barangaroo, formerly East Darling Harbour. The practice is part of the Lend Lease team, who were announced yesterday by the NSW government as the winning bidders for the development of the 430,000 square metre western CBD site.
The winning master plan is arranged as a fan of buildings designed to create spaces and views opening outward to the west. It is hoped that this will allow the city to reconnect to its western waterfront and a new “natural” headland.
As Richard Rogers described of the plan, The composed architectural massing of Barangaroos contemporary and inclusive buildings will be juxtaposed with the adjacent natural headland and Northern Cove. The natural landscape of Sydney Harbour will be complemented by these dynamic and sculptural forms on the city’s western corner, and together with the public waterfront places and promenade will all form a new landmark for the city.
The Lend Lease proposal has beaten out a host of submissions by high profile consortia including architectural talents such as Norman Foster and Christoph Ingenhoven.
The contest has proven controversial however. Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects won an international competition organised by the NSW government for Barangaroo in 2006, but was subsequently dropped. In contrast to the Lend Lease scheme, the Thalis design retained elements of the former container wharf and other evidence of the site’s industrial past.
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, who chaired the design panel for Barangaroo, has been a prominent champion of returning the headland to its pre-industrial, pre-colonisation state.