The design submitted by award-winning Australian architectural practice FJMT for The Star Sydney casino hotel tower project won the unanimous approval of the five-member jury.

The design excellence competition organised for the proposed 200-metre-tall hotel and residential tower in Pyrmont, Sydney for casino operator Star Entertainment Group, also saw entries by leading architecture firms such as BVN and Grimshaw.

Jury members included Peter Poulet (NSW Government Architect and executive director of the Government Architect’s Office), Lisa-Maree Carrigan (director of Group GSA), Craig Allchin (adjunct professor of architecture at the University of Technology Sydney and director of Six Degrees Urban), James Doolan (regional vice-president of hotel development, Asia Pacific for Marriott International), and Greg Hawkins (managing director of The Star Sydney).

According to the jury:

“FJMT presented an elegant, international standard design with a refined, distinctive and visually interesting built form… considered unique to its place as part of both The Star Entertainment complex and the broader Sydney environment.

“The design responds sympathetically to environmental considerations – for example, by maximising solar access for the surrounding area and by incorporating a facade and materials in keeping with the waterfront location.”

FJMT Design Director Richard Francis-Jones explains that the firm’s design represents a unique tower, shaped organically in relation to the local environment and character. He adds that the form and profile adjust progressively to preserve sun access into public space, mitigate wind effects, and share views and amenity with neighbours.

The new hotel tower will be built within the existing footprint of the casino complex, at the northern end of the site. FJMT will also design associated development works to connect the tower to the existing casino. To be operated by the Ritz-Carlton, the new hotel is expected to feature more than 220 rooms while the tower will have 150 residences.

The final design will be submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for assessment in mid-2017.