It would take a change in government to save Sydney’s last headland, Paul Berkemeier tells Gemma Battenbough.
August 2nd, 2010
The plans for the proposed headland park at Barangaroo may have been unveiled earlier this month but the damage done by a bungled design competition, inept planners and land peddling by the government is “irreversible”, Paul Berkemeier, architect on the original competition-winning team, said.
While the NSW government appointed “exceptional” landscape architects in the team of Johnson Pilton Walker and Peter Walker & Partners Landscape Architecture to design the headland park, it is not enough to redeem Barangaroo, Berkemeier said.
The brief they have been given to restore the landscape to its natural form is a “broken chalice” that amounts to historic pastiche, he said.
The plans also include a new cultural centre, which will be 10,000-20,000sqm in area and “buried” beneath the headland.
While the centre is a good idea, it needs more commitment for it to be worthwhile, Berkemeier said. “It gives the appearance of being culturally aware. But cultural awareness is about engaging the community rather than imposing an idea from outside.”
Lend Lease is responsible for all key facets of the project including development management, project and construction management and ongoing asset and property management.
This reliance on one party has been the project’s downfall, Berkemeier said, because commercial interests have become too strong.
“The big mistake of the government made was to allow one proponent to take control of 80 per cent of the site. It’s inevitable that the tail will wag the dog.”
The development on Sydney’s last undeveloped headland has become too driven by commerce, turning the significant site into a “glorified shopping a mall on steroids”, Berkemeier said.
Every element of the public domain has a commercial purpose, even the streets, so civic space is within the control of the developer.
“The fallout is for the public interest. Those things that are important to the city will be lost. It would take political change to redeem Barangaroo, but by the time that happens Lend Lease will already be building.”
A Lend Lease spokesperson said: “Reinvigorating an unrivalled location on Sydney’s waterfront requires more than great architecture. It needs people.
“Barangaroo South is designed for people. It’s about Sydneysiders and visitors. It’s about a place that belongs to the people, a place that everyone can enjoy – and a natural extension of our city. Each day there will be 23,000 workers plus many thousands of shoppers and other visitors.”
A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Australia’s leading producer of solid-engineered oak flooring has recently launched a new suite of innovative resources to support creativity and ambition in the architecture and design community.
Bidding farewell to mundane and uninspired office spaces, colour has transformed our workplaces into layered and engaging environments. So we sit down with Karina Simpson, Hot Black’s Workplace Lead, to talk about the influence colour has on the workspace landscape through the prism of Herman Miller’s progressive colour philosophy.
Explore the radical new organisation strategy which accommodates for the hybrid future of work.
The latest issue of DQ Magazine has hit the newstands. It’s eco-focused and features the hottest products, people and parties in design right now!
Corporate Culture Clearance Sale Corporate Culture have a heap of great products on sale from Carl Hansen Wishbones chairs designed by Hans J Wegner, Series 7 chairs by Arne Jacobsen, CH25 by Hans J Wegner, Oxford chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen for St Catherines Collage at Oxford University, ICF Pac office chairs, meeting and boardroomm […]
Zip HydroTap Sparkling offers the same convenience of original Zip HydroTaps – boiled filtered water and chilled filtered – with a new option for instant sparkling water
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
The best residential interior incorporates all manner of elements. From materials, colour and products through to imaginative aesthetics and creative innovations and The Interior Space at the 2023 INDE.Awards is the perfect showcase for homes that shine with outstanding design.
We have all felt it and continue to experience the ramifications of change. It’s in the air and workplace design is at the vanguard of creating new approaches to working. Design leads the way at the 2023 INDE.Awards as the spotlight shines on The Work Space category and a partner who has recently made a historic change on a global scale.
With the acquisition of Marco Fabrics by James Dunlop Group, we see a swathe of illustrious textile brands fall into our fingertips. From Romo to Black Edition, Villa Nova, Zinc Textiles, Mokum and more.
Ostensibly an industrial design consultancy, Tilt was born of the observation of an increasing gap between architectural ambition and construction capability. The skill set lies in facilitating the inherently creative bent of architects, landscape architects and artists with engineering and industrial design solutions.