Lend Lease has submitted its revised Concept Plan for Sydney’s Barangaroo South to the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment, with the new proposal moving James Packer’s $1.5 billion Crown hotel resort from its approved position on a harbour pier to the no rth-west corner of the Barangaroo South site.

Known as Modification 8 (Mod 8), the revised proposal was conceived in response to the NSW Government’s request in 2011 that Lend Lease relocate the landmark hotel to a new on-land location, and its lodgement marks the end of a dispute between Lend Lease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority .

The relocation of Crown hotel has led to a number of other changes to the master plan, including reducing the total number of proposed buildings at Barangaroo South to 13, and increasing the maximum Gross Floor Area (GFA) of the site by nine per cent to 535,186sqm to accommodate the additional hotel rooms of the proposed Crown Sydney hotel resort.

Other revisions to the master plan include changing the heights of three residential towers (two taller and one shorter than their original designs), which have been relocated further south to allow public space to be maximised at the ground plane.

According to the Urban Taskforce, the addition of these new high quality buildings – including three residential high-rises designed by Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano – will be a catalyst for a new wave of taller buildings across the Sydney CBD.

“Over recent decades the height of Sydney’s towers has been constrained by planning rules but the dynamic forms of Barangaroo’s towers sets a challenge back to the rest of the city to continue to grow,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson.

“The Sydney CBD has a much smaller footprint that other Australian cities so to retain its number one status it has to grow vertically. With design excellence and the use of modern technologies tall buildings can give great value to cities.

“Clearly the ground level around tall buildings must respond to the scale of people and to solar access and wind issues. The latest concept plan proposal for Barangaroo South has addressed these issues very well.”


Public space remains a priority

Artist impression of Watermans cove at Barangaroo

The revised design maintains Lend Lease’s original ambition to dedicate more than half of the 7.68 hectare site to public space, including:

  • a new square located at the south east corner of the site at the main pedestrian entry point to the precinct from Wynyard Walk;
  • a vibrant, tree-lined waterfront promenade activated by restaurants, bars and cafes that gives public access to the entire 2.2km length of the Barangaroo foreshore;
  • a revised southern cove, with steps going down to the water, that will provide a great place where people can gather and celebrate the harbour;
  • a public pier that helps frame the cove and adds further activation and interest along the shoreline and reflects the site’s maritime history;
  • a new urban park located at the north eastern corner of the site that connects Hickson Road to the waterfront parkland of Central Barangaroo. This replaces the slightly smaller area of park in the north western corner of the site that is now the location of the hotel.

Artist impression of The Cloud restaurant at Barangaroo South

Artist impression of new urban park at Barangaroo South

“We have ensured that all of the public benefits that we originally proposed in our 2010 plan remain in Mod 8, such as complete harbour-front access and vibrant community spaces,” says Lend Lease’s Barangaroo South managing director, Andrew Wilson.

The preservation of over 52 per cent of the site (four hectares) as accessible public space was welcomed by Sydney Business Chamber executive director, Patricia Forsythe.

“The design ensures that there is a focus on green spaces as well as harbour-front access,” says Forsythe.

“The revised concept plan shows the benefit of balancing public access with high rise development.”

The introduction of new urban spaces was also well-received by Tourism & Transport Forum’s chief executive, Margy Ormond, who said they would allow Barangaroo South to “become a ‘must visit’ destination for visitors and locals alike”.