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    Another Darling Harbour project approved: The Ribbon by Hassell

    Geraldine Chua

    Grocon and Markham Corporation have won final approval for their new IMAX Theatre redevelopment in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, a report by The Australian Financial Review says.

    The new office, retail and entertainment complex designed by Hassell is named The Ribbon because its form is likened to silver ribbons emerging from its urban context – the expressways, the Harbour, as well as surrounding public spaces. 

    "The new built form is derived from the urban context, future development proposals for Darling Harbour, the site’s constraints and its potential to provide new office, retail and entertainment floorspace," the architects said in their urban design report.

    Undergoing a redesign last year, the 40,000sqm, 20-storey project will be cantilevered over Harbour Street and feature ground-breaking green technology. Full-height living vertical gardens spanning 12 floors to the east and west of the building will filter fresh air as a ‘green lung’ before it enters the office space, which will be exposed to an abundance of natural light.

    The Ribbon will also feature underfloor displacement style air-conditioning with a floor-by-floor plant, rainwater collection for storage and use for on-site garden irrigation, and a tri-generation green technology providing low carbon electricity, heating and cooling.

    Solar panels will furthermore be integrated into the curved ribbon roof for this project, which aspires to 6 Star Green Star design and as-built environmental ratings. Grocon and Markham will also work to revitalise the public spaces surrounding the building, including a new playground area and pedestrian connections to the city and Cockle Bay.

    The total net lettable office space area amounts to 38,000sqm, while 7,000sqm have been dedicated to retail and entertainment spaces, including the IMAX cinema.

    Grocon’s NSW general manager Chris Carolan told the AFR that the approval will give the project a competitive advantage in winning tenants.

    “Not too many 40,000-square metre office projects are ready to go, we could complete in early 2018,” he said.

    “It will be a signature building, similar to those now appearing in London.”

    The building will be completed in 2018. 

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