6-star hotel proposed for Syney, Australia
A futuristic design featuring a white veil of sculptured glass rising up to 250m above Sydney Harbour has won James Packer’s global competition to create his dream casino resort at Barangaroo.
British architects Wilkinson Eyre will today be awarded the prestigious assignment of designing what Mr Packer expects will be Sydney’s most recognisable building since the Opera House was completed 40 years ago.
The winning design, unanimously selected by a judging panel assembled by Crown Resorts, takes its inspiration from three twisting petals and will cost up to $1.5 billion to bring to life.
Mr Packer, the Crown Resorts chairman, told The Daily Telegraph last night he was certain the Wilkinson Eyre design would deliver a truly special landmark, which would house the six-star Crown Sydney resort.
“When completed, Crown Sydney will be instantly recognisable around the world. Its iconic curves and fine lines celebrate the Harbour and create an architectural ‘postcard’ that will help attract international tourists and assist Sydney to compete with other global destinations,” he said.
Mr. Packer is engaged in a billion-dollar battle with casino rival, Echo Entertainment’s The Star, to convince the O’Farrell government to grant Crown a casino licence in Sydney when Star’s exclusive gaming arrangements end in 2019.
Wilkinson Eyre, which created Singapore’s acclaimed Gardens by the Bay and China’s Guangzhou International Finance Center, won the $10 million design brief over two other internationally acclaimed architects, Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and New York’s Kohn Pedersen Fox.
Wilkinson Eyre founding director Chris Wilkinson said it was a privilege to design such a significant waterfront building in “one of the most beautiful cities in the world”.
“My ambition is to create a sculptural form that will rise up on the skyline like an inhabited artwork, clad in a white veil of glass with differing levels of transparency, striking a clear new image against the sky,” he said.
Wilkinson Eyre director Paul Baker, who first became aware of Barangaroo when he stayed with friends at Balmain 25 years ago, said the curved surfaces of the tower were conceived using cutting-edge, three-dimensional technology that had “not been possible until now”.
Former prime minister Paul Keating, who has run a long campaign for a world-class redevelopment of the Barangaroo foreshore, has described the design as “very promising”.
The main tower is expected to stand between 235m and 250m tall and house exclusive high-roller gaming rooms as well as villas and private apartments.
The hotel will be housed in the smaller tower, while the lower-level podium will feature sundecks and an infinity pool.
A reflecting pool will extend out from restaurants and cafes at the base of the tower.
In a bid to shut down Crown’s plan and protect its exclusive licence, The Star will submit plans to the Premier by June 21.
The plans are expected to focus on developing further tourist-related infrastructure around its Pyrmont venue.
The government has engaged former Future Fund chairman David Murray to assess which proposal will deliver the greatest benefit to NSW in terms of increased taxes and tourism.
If Crown wins the contest the final design, including the tower’s height, will require approval by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.