Dutch firm OMA, Australian architecture firms HASSEL and Denton, Corker & Marshall, along with international design practice Populous have been selected to redevelop a large convention, exhibition, and entertainment district along Darling Harbour in Sydney.
Developers Lend Lease will lead the creation of the 2.15 million-square-foot project called “Darling Harbour Live” that will include a red carpet entertainment venue, an exhibition center, a new residential neighborhood called The Haymarket —designed by Denton Corker & Marshall —and a 900 room hotel for which OMA led the conceptual design. As part of this urban renewal plan, there will also be a focus on outdoor public space with a renovated Tumbalong Park, which can accommodate 25,000 people as an outdoor event space; a new Harbourside Place, a palm tree lined street alongside the crystalline ICC; a Chinese Garden Square; and Haymarket Square, a central meeting spot for the Haymarket neighborhood with outdoor tables and seating.
Australia’s NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said in a statement that, “The redevelopment goes far beyond improving facilities—it’s also about re-shaping the city. Darling Harbor already attracts 25 million people a year and this development will create a more vibrant place on Sydney Harbor.”
Redevelopment of the area will take place in phases as the projects replace existing structures like the current Sydney Convention & Exhibition Center, which will close in December of 2013 followed two years later by the Sydney Entertainment center in December of 2015. Construction of the new buildings is expected to be complete in 2016 and estimated to cost $1 billion.