The architects behind Sydney’s award-winning convention centre building have spoken out about plans for its planned demolition to make way for a new  multi-billion dollar precinct with larger exhibition, convention centre and hotel.

Cox Richardson’s building opened in 1988 for the bicentenary, going on to win many prizes, including NSW’s most prized architectural accolade, the  Sulman Medal for public architecture.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) ) reported that the firm described the plan as "a great tragedy for architecture" with key architect Philip Cox terming it an 'act of vandalism'.

The building which opened in 1988 has won multiple prizes and has housed events such as during the Sydney Olympics.

The SMH also reported that Nick Greiner, chairman of infrastructure NSW said that the public should not have expectations of a 'great' building.

''It's not a Guggenheim but it's not a four-square [block],'' he said. ''It's a sensible middle ground, it's what you expect.''

However, Cox remained positive about the plans for the new buildings, describing the appointed architects - convention centre and stadium design specialists Hassell, OMA and Populous – as “top notch”.

The exhibition centre will be over 35,000 sqm plus another 5,000 sqm of internal flexible space. This includes a 20,000 sqm exhibition space on the ground  level, with a 13,000 sqm exhibition space situated above it and directly linked, allowing the combination to be used for the larger exhibitions. This stacked configuration has been deemed as best suited to high-density CBD environments and has been modelled on facilities in Hong Kong and Vancouver.

Images courtesy of Infrastructure NSW