The architect whose scheme came second in the Barangaroo design competition has criticised the Hill Thalis team for failing to adapt its plans.

Ed Lippmann, director at Lippmann Partnership, told Architecture & Design that Philip Thalis was “arrogant” to think his plan would remain untouched.

“[Thalis'] plan lacked vision. The government’s brief clearly called for a visionary plan that would position Sydney as Australia’s truly global city and would establish a framework for our urban growth, one which included ESD initiatives, a clear understanding on how that precinct could evolve over time and would be a benchmark of urban planning and environmental sustainability. His plan was essentially a subdivision plan.”

The changes, which include creating a natural headland along with northern and southern coves and concentrating the commercial area at the southern end of the precinct, would be for the benefit of the site and were “provisos” of Hill Thalis winning the competition, Lippmann said.

“It was very naïve of [Thalis] and his teammates to think that they could corral the government and Keating,” Lippmann said.

The changes demanded by Paul Keating were elements of the running up design by the Lippmann/ Rogers team.

“What [Keating’s] saying is right. Whether his approach is democratic is for others to decide,” Lippmann said.

“I’m sure that Keating also has an ego, but the design profession can’t be too precious about a masterplanning process which is so public and which involves such a broad variety of stakeholders and consultants. Rather the masterplan needs to be capable of adaptation,” he said.