Crown Limited has announced Wilkinson Eyre Architects as the winning design firm for the proposed Crown Sydney Hotel Resort.
The project at Barangaroo South on the Sydney Harbour foreshore is still subject to the New South Wales Government issuing Crown a gaming license, as a casino is proposed to be a component of the development.
A second casino license is available from 2019, but Crown is facing competition from Echo, operators of The Star casino in Sydney, which also wants access to that license.
Should Crown proceed, the design that has been selected has been praised by Crown Limited’s Chairman James Packer, who said the building would become an icon of the city.
“When completed, Crown Sydney will be instantly recognisable around the world,” Packer said.
“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.”
The joint judging panel unanimously recommended the Wilkinson Eyre design to Crown, following an extended competition to design the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort.
The final three designs by internationally renowned architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Wilkinson Eyre Architects were judged by a panel consisting of representatives from Crown Resorts, Lend Lease, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the NSW Department of Planning.
The firms presented their designs to the judges last week, and the panel made a formal recommendation to Crown on the suitability of each design and its ability to achieve the desired vision and outcomes for Barangaroo and Crown.
Packer, thanked the judging panel and congratulated Wilkinson Eyre and its key architects Chris Wilkinson and Paul Baker.
“Wilkinson Eyre have an incredible record of achievement and I am certain they will deliver Sydney an iconic building we can all be proud of,” Packer said.
“This great city deserves a building that is truly special and Wilkinson Eyre’s design delivers it. It’s a wonderful moment for Crown.”
The hotel is expected to have around 350 rooms and suites, including several villas that Crown says will “rival the best in Asia”.
There will also be four restaurants, a café, high-end ‘ultra lounge’ bar, day spa, rooftop pool and luxury retail outlets.
Wilkinson Eyre Architects is an internationally renowned design company. The firm is twice winners of the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize and is one of the UK’s leading architecture practices.
The company has a prized portfolio of bold, beautiful, intelligent architecture including the giant, sustainably-cooled conservatories for the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, the new Mary Rose Museum in the UK, the acclaimed temporary structure of the London 2012 Basketball Arena and the Guangzhou International Finance Center – the eighth tallest building in the world.
“Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it is a great privilege to design such a significant building on the waterfront,” said Wilkinson.
“The challenge for this important waterfront site was to design an elegant sculptural form that will enhance the skyline and create a lively public realm at ground level.
“The special relationship that Sydney has with the water and the effect it has on the light is really very attractive to me and raises my spirits.
“My ambition is to create a sculptural form that will rise up on the skyline like an inhabited artwork, with differing levels of transparency, striking a clear new image against the sky.”
Baker added: “Twenty-five years ago I spent two months staying with friends in Balmain, and my frequent ferry trips took me past the Barangaroo site almost daily.
“Many years later I became aware of the development potential of the site and now consider it to be one of the best sites in the world. I am thrilled and delighted to be involved in creating a new destination for this unique waterfront.
“The architecture takes its inspiration from nature, composed of organic forms that provide an abstract, sculptural shape; it does not try to mimic any particular plant or flower but is derived from the specificity of the site and the client brief.
“Its curved geometry emanates from three petal forms which twist and rise together. The first petal peels off, spreading outward to form the main hotel room accommodation, with the remaining two twisting together toward the sky.”
For a video of the new project, click on the YouTube image below.