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Barangaroo 17 years later....

The Herald is running an excellent series of articles on Barangaroo (10 years after breaking ground).

Richard, Neil and Heidi were interviewed about the process and thinking behind our 2005 East Darling Harbour competition entry (As it was known then). We mainly remember a level of excitement; it seemed everyone was working on a scheme and like many competitions as work for the day came to a close we order take-away and a six pack and start thinking about this new part of Sydney until a week before its due and our whole office was on it full time.

Our strategy was to create a waterfront village bounded by public parkland to the north and south. The urban structure was to connect to the scale of each of the adjacent precincts, of Darling Harbour, The Rocks and the CBD.

The design also sought to reinvent the wharf building to suit the site, its history and a 21C program – the resulting Barangaroo village was envisaged as a mixed use dense urban precinct comprising low and medium scaled, mixed use and flexible buildings.

The urban structure was low rise commercial and residential wharf buildings to the harbour-front, medium scaled commercial buildings towards the city fronting Hickson Road, A new Park and larger scaled commercial buildings to the south connected to Darling Harbour and the city and new public buildings including retail, hotel, museum and dining around a raised square to the North overlooking the new headland park. The overseas passenger and ferry terminals, and metro station were all housed below. The whole was linked with a waterfront boardwalk connecting Darling Harbour, the civic park through to the square and the headland park.

Each element of the design sought to establish appropriate connections via scale to create a well modulated and integrated new precinct.

It is rare that one gets the opportunity to think about your city and imagine it on such a scale, like many young practices at the time we invested lots of thinking time, it was an exciting time imagining a new precinct, a new postcode ….a time before unsolicited proposals…..

(there was no casino in the original brief!)

East Darling Harbour Competition, 2005

Mackenzie Pronk Architects with Healy Finlay Studio,

with assistance from Jane Irwin, Lisa Mullan & Scott Falvey.

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