Barangaroo Welcomed – Submissions

Sydneysiders have not only come out in support of the $6 billion Barangaroo project, they want it to be bigger and bolder, according to submissions released this week by the NSW planning minister.

And the hotel, to be built on a pier over the harbour, has been generally welcomed although many now felt it was not “bold” enough! This is despite an initial public outcry that saw the hotel reduced considerably in size. The hotel was also designed to be red in colour but this was also changed after criticism.

One submission said taking away the hotel was “like asking McDonald’s to abolish the cheeseburger”.

“The hotel is the main ingredient. We can use the hotel to our advantage when compromising with the developer.”

Inner city Landcare members E Elenius and Dr M Sceats said the buildings should be made taller for more parks. “If well-executed this hotel could become iconic. However, I do fear that the current design is not bold or striking enough on an aesthetic level,” they said.

Sydney City Council needed to look at the bigger picture so Sydney could stay a world class city, resident M Grace said. “This is not for a small village, it’s not the new community park or shopping centre, it’s for the CBD of Australia’s largest and most important city and should reflect this.”

But the proposed cruise terminal that Greens councillors want built at Barangaroo, should be moved to White Bay, according to several submissions. “I do not want to have the cruise terminal located at Barangaroo. Who wants to look at the side of a ship? The associated terminal area would also take up a lot of valuable space,” Pyrmont resident C Durman said.

Planning minister Brad Hazzard said the submissions were made public as part of the new NSW government’s commitment to transparency. “This is a sign there is a new government in town with a new way of doing business and its open, transparent and consultative,” he said.

Construction is due to start within weeks on the first of 12 towers planned at Barangaroo and the first commercial building is scheduled to open just three years later.

The luxury hotel, Sydney’s first international premium hotel for more than a decade, was billed as integral to the site’s vibrancy, adding activity after hours and at weekends, according to the developer Lend Lease.

The project’s lead architect, Lord Richard Rogers of the London-based architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners – whose design was selected for the project – was in Sydney to review the project and meet Mr Hazzard.

”The hotel is a wonderful opportunity for a landmark as long as the ground area is public domain,” Lord Rogers said. ”It’s a visual marker.”

Following a public outcry about the design, amendments changed the building’s colour (red) and also reduced the hotel height from 213m to 170m. Its gross floor area was reduced from 44,000m² to 33,000m².

And it will be on a reduced pier length of 85m rather than on the original 150m.

Several international hotel chains have already shown interest in acquiring the management contract for the hotel.

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