The City of Sydney has unveiled three designs for public artworks as part of a $9 million City Centre Public Art Plan.

The scheme is part of the city's $220 million contribution to the New South Wales' government's light rail project, which includes a new railway and pedestrian spaces.

The three sculptural pieces were chosen from nearly 700 proposed concepts and are designed by a trio of leading designers: Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, British artist Tracey Emin and Egyptian-born sculptural artist Hany Armanious.

‘Cloud Arch’ by Ishigami will tower more than 50 metres above a new pedestrian area on George Street, outside Sydney Town Hall.

The arched structure will be built from painted steel plates that taper and curve to form a gateway that allows both people and a new light rail to pass beneath.

Hany Armanious' ‘Pavilion’ – a giant 13.7 metre high model of an Australian blue milk crate – will also be installed as part of the same CBD development.

Positioned within Belmore Park, the sculpture is intended to poke fun at the nature of existing monuments, reinterpreting the idea of a public meeting space.

The third artwork, designed by Tracey Emin, is titled ‘ The Distance of Your Heart’ and comprises 60 handmade bronze bird sculptures perched on poles and doorways along Bridge Street, Grosvenor Street and the Kent Street underpass.

Emin’s installation is expected to be complete before 2017 when the other two pieces are due to start on site.

The unveiling of the public artwork designs has been met with mixed reactions, according to the ABC, with responses on social media ranging from complaints about the artworks being a waste of taxpayers' money to those who believe the sculptures will improve the city.

Image: Hany Armanious

Image: Tracey Emin

Courtesy Dezeen and ABC