Sydney’s Barangaroo South will soon see its own Renzo Piano creation, with the Pritzker Prize-winning architect announced as the designer for the precinct’s next stage of residential apartments.

The news comes at the conclusion of a globally competitive bid process, of which the Renzo Piano Building Workshop was named winner. It is expected to become one of the city’s most exclusive residential address – One Sydney Harbour.

Piano's new towers will sit south of James Packer's casino by Wilkinson Eyre Architects

“A city development of three luxury residential high-rise towers in such a location is, in this climate, a rare opportunity,” said Piano.

“Our vision is to design three buildings with a gentle presence in the cityscape and in dialogue with the harbour waters and Barangaroo waterfront.

“The brightness of the sky will be captured, refracting the glittering Sydney light, right to the top where the penthouse apartments and gardens merge into the sky. The result is a graceful functional building that captures and plays with light, like harbour waters in the morning sun: a place that Sydneysiders will be very pleased to embrace.”

Offering views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and the harbour, and framing a new park, One Sydney Harbour joins two approved low rise apartment buildings - Anadara and Alexander - designed by FJMT and PTW Architects respectively.

Artist impression of a new urban park at Barangaroo South

The announcement made by Lend Lease today confirmed earlier reports that Piano was in talks with the developer for the final piece of the South Barangaroo puzzle.

“With exceptional craftsmanship, first-class interiors and panoramic views, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create the most desirable high rise apartments ever built in Australia,” says Lend Lease’s Barangaroo South managing director, Andrew Wilson.

“One Sydney Harbour will be an iconic Australian address and we are delighted to work with Renzo Piano to build architecture that will complement Sydney’s skyline and stand the test of time.”

Wilson’s excitement was shared by Australia’s peak industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), with its chief executive Margy Ormond saying Piano would prove an asset to the development:

“Barangaroo is one of the most significant urban renewal projects currently underway in Sydney and Piano’s involvement will add an exciting dimension to the project. I am confident that under the guidance of Renzo Piano, the One Sydney Harbor development at Barangaroo South will become a leading example of innovative and creative design.”

The apartments will be the second residential release of Lend Lease’s revised Concept Plan for Barangaroo South, known as Modification 8 (Mod 8), which has been submitted to the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment and provides details on the proposed future of the precinct, including a landmark integrated resort, a waterfront promenade and harbour cove.

A revised Watermans Cove with steps going down to the water is part of the Mod 8 submission

If approved, One Sydney Harbour will be Piano’s second Australia project, behind its award-winning office and residential towers Aurora Place, also developed by Lend Lease in 2000. Piano also submitted a design for Barangaroo's Crown Hotel, but later withdrew his proposal, saying his team's result didn't match the importance of the site.