The latest piece of the Darling Square development in Sydney’s Darling Harbour comes from Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp in the form of a three-tower mixed use development complete with a massive retail podium.

Forming part of the 20-hectare Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment precinct (SICEEP) Project, Darling Square is a new mixed-use residential neighbourhood at Haymarket which has been concept designed by Denton Corker Marshall (DCM).

Darling Square itself has been divided into six development plots by DCM, one of which we now know has been handed to FJMT to deliver a mixed use residential development.

FJMT have submitted a proposal for the South East plot (SE) which is composed of three tower forms (SE1, SE2 and SE3) ranging in height from nine to 30-storeys which rest upon a shared five storey podium.  


The development plots: FJMT’s addition is blue.

FJMT’s three-tower addition (centre) fronts onto Darling Square. Kengo Kuma's first Australian project will be situated directly infront. 


FJMT’s project is broken into four portions. SE1 tower (centre top), SE2 tower (bottom right), SE3 tower (top left) and the podium which wraps the building. 

At 100 metres high, SE1 is the tallest of the towers. It has been placed on the southern edge of the podium which fronts onto Hay Street and is designed to maximise northern frontage whilst minimising its southern face and prominence. The northern aspect, which will enjoy views over the public square and Kengo Kuma’s curvaceous Darling Exchange building, is the longest façade and has been broken up by FJMT with subtle recesses. The southern, which fronts Hay St, has a large sculptural recess line which FJMT says will provide the effect of two smaller towers and breaks down the scale along the street.

SE1 from the north (left) and the south (right). 

The smaller SE2 building immediately fronts the square and runs down to the ground plane, broken only once by a light awning. Its facade is composed primarily of three elements including bronze anodized perforated operable screens, exposed white slab edges up to Level 8 and a performance glazed window wall system. At level eight a double height “lantern” of 2 storey apartments completes the form.

The material palette of SE2 consists of terracotta, metal, precast concrete and glass.

The SE3 building is located in the south east corner of the site and has been composed to conform to the constraints of the parameter plan. It features a stained precast concrete cladding system on each of its facades and integrated brise soleil shading system on its balconies.

2.jpgTwo terracotta flourishes swoop down to “ground” the podium in the public domain and combine to present a dramatic elevation of the podium over the Hay St colonnade.

Of most importance to the public domain strategy of the SICEEP and Darling Square project is the retail podium of the SE development.  It will feature a large sculptural colonnade of K-Shaped concrete columns on Hay Street, a variety of shop fronts on Little Hay Street to suit its tight laneway scale and a host of retail options on The Boulevard.

One of the more striking elements of the podium will be two terracotta flourishes which will swoop down the podium to create a continuous transition between the varying scales at each corner of the development, and to conceal service and egress doors and ensure a high quality facade to the street.


  • Site Area 4,646sqm
  • Building Levels (including ground) 6/9/9/29
  • Basement Levels nil
  • Total Gross Floor Area 31,647sqm
  • Maximum Building Height 99.85m
  • Total Apartments 391
  • Adaptable Apartments (incl’) 10
  • Car Parking 265
  • Bicycle Parking Internal 45
  • Bicycle Parking External 20

All images: FJMT