Crown Limited has unveiled the winning design for the Crown Hotel development in Barangaroo this morning.
Wilkinson Eyre Architects, from London, were chosen unanimously by the design jury.
The jury consisted of two executives each from Crown, Lend Lease and the government’s Barangaroo Delivery Authority, with an independent architect Roger Poole.
Crown Resorts chairman James Packer congratulated Wilkinson Eyre and its key architects Chris Wilkinson and Paul Baker.
“Wilkinson Eyre has an incredible record of achievement and I am certain they will deliver Sydney an iconic building we can all be proud of. This great city deserves a building that is truly special and Wilkinson Eyre’s design delivers it. It’s a wonderful moment for Crown.”
About the design Packer says, “When completed, Crown Sydney will be instantly recognisable around the world. Its iconic curves and fine lines celebrate the harbour and create and architectural ‘postcard’ that will help attract international tourist and assist Sydney to compete with other global destinations.”
Wilkinson Eyre founding director Chris Wilkinson says, “Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it is a great privilege to design such a significant building on the waterfront.
“The challenge for this important waterfront site was to design an elegant sculptural form that will enhance the skyline and create a lively public realm at ground level.
“The special relationship that Sydney has with the water and the effect it has on the light is really very attractive to me and raises my spirits.
“My ambition is to create a sculptural form that will rise up on the skyline like an inhabited artwork, with differing levels of transparency, striking a clear new image against the sky.”
Wilkinson Eyre director Paul Baker adds he is thrilled and delighted to be involved in creating a new destination for this unique waterfront.
“The architecture takes its inspiration from nature, composed of organic forms that provide an abstract, sculptural shape; it does not try to mimic any particular plant or flower but is derived from the specificity of the site and the client brief.
“Its curved geometry emanates from three petal forms which twist and rise together. The first petal peels off, spreading outward to form the main hotel room accommodation, with the remaining two twisting together toward the sky.”
However, many have criticised the designs dubbing them as Dubai-looking and wondering why no Australian architectural firms and designs were contemplated.
Australian Institute of Architects NSW president Joe Agius told the Sydney Morning Herald the designs were “so unconscious of their context they may as well be in Dubai”.
Those commenting on the Architecture & Design Facebook page described the designs as “horrible”, “rubbish”, “disgraceful” and “equally awkward and out of scale”.
The NSW government is still considering whether to grant Crown permission to build the complex, as it would require a second Sydney casino licence to be issued.
The full Crown Sydney Concept can be viewed here.