I have always been a keen supporter of the development of East Darling Harbour (also known as Barangaroo) located west of Wynyard on the site of the now disused container terminal. It is the largest development site in Sydney City and has great potential for the creation of something truly symbolic for this city.
After the signing of the six billion dollar contract between Lend Lease and the NSW Government on 23 February 2010, details have emerged of the drawings and models of the design itself that were not publicly available during the entire process. From how it has been reported in mass media, the designs are not what I would consider truly world class.
I have no qualms about the land use (that is, the division of commercial and residential proportions), nor the overarching themes and concepts explored by the design team. My problem is the below picture from a SMH impression of the view from Darling Harbour.
What I am afraid of is that in the pursuit to build buildings and incorporate it into the design for the land itself, that the architects have lost sight of designing buildings that are truly stunning and unique. This is the perfect opportunity for Sydney to create an iconic building akin to the Opera House and from the current design, it disappointingly falls far short of expectations. I am really excited to hear of the building floating on the water concept, but could they have used a better designed building?
For me, height is not an issue and despite these proposed buildings appearing to dwarf the existing surrounding buildings, it all comes down to their design. If they continue along Sydney’s present uninspiring, flavourless, boxy architecture, then my expectations from this new precinct will be greatly diminished.
I am disappointed that something better could not have been achieved with the time and money put into the project so far. Building designs in Sydney of late have been appaling and uninspring.