Yelena Smetannikov looks at how political, local and global change facilitated the new upgrades to Star City Casino.
August 30th, 2011
Star City, the only legal casino in Sydney, was sometimes described as a ’leagues club on steroids.’ Owned by Echo Entertainment Group Limited, the casino is undergoing approximately $860 million of redevelopment to have it transformed into a sophisticated venue. To this end, it will also be renamed The Star.
The design team is significant, incorporating a number of firms. The Buchan Group are the master architects for the refurbishment, working on the project since 2008.
David Forbes, head designer for Star City Casino, states that the improvements to the casino came as a result of changes in the political and local context.
“15 years ago when the casino was first built, it was hidden from view, due to the views of that time,” he says.
Now that times have changed, Forbes took the opportunity to orient the gaming floor and high-end restaurants towards the harbour, providing them with some of the best views of Sydney.
The primary role was to design a new gaming floor. As a stage project, the casino has continued to trade as building takes place.
In addition, a new 5 star hotel has been added, as well as new entertainment venues, restaurants and bars.
Forbes states that global changes have also shaped Star City.
“People are more worldly today,” he explains.
“They like to be entertained, they want an experience when they go out, whether it is a good meal overlooking the city, or a decent drink at a cocktail bar.”
According to the Star City Casino website, 1000 jobs were created during construction, and 700 new positions will be created once work is complete.
Star City plans to launch its new brand in September 2011, to celebrate the new refurbishment.
Hero image: The Star Pirrama Road frontage, designed by fitzpatrick+partners
Stay tuned for more on The Star redevelopment in an upcoming issue of Indesign magazine.
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