Thursday 28th of January 2021

barangaroo of an idea...



We don't need an Englishman lording it over us

September 30, 2010
Lord Rogers's comments about Sydney achieving greatness if it embraces his designs for Barangaroo (''Stick to the plan, or risk greatness'', September 29) are to be spurned with all the force that 222 years of post-colonial oppression have given us.

If he seriously believes that merely by building another CBD megaplex Sydney will emerge from relative global obscurity into the bright daylight of world renown, he is clearly only involved in the project to add another page to his (supposedly) impressive portfolio of commissions.

What, if anything, does the creation of shiny new buildings in the centre of Sydney have to do with the vast majority of the sprawling metropolis that is the real Sydney?

Lord Rogers needs to either get out and about in the suburbs, or get out of Sydney all together. We don't need another ''lord of the realm'' trying to make us feel bad about ourselves and telling us how to live our lives.

Phil Jacombs Seaforth

Don't be fooled by all the prizes and accolades, for Richard Rogers is the same Lord Rogers whose inappropriate and unsympathetic development proposal for London's Chelsea Barracks was rolled by Prince Charles last year. If only Charles could do the same for us colonials.

Benjamin Rushton Darlinghurst

According to Wikipedia, Barangaroo was the wife of Bennelong, a determined and independent Cadigal woman who disliked the colonising Europeans and was totally opposed to Bennelong's ''conciliatory efforts with the colonists and Governor Phillip''.

If this is correct, the proposed development at Barangaroo will represent yet another festering sore in our sorry history. A slap in the face for Barangaroo.

Philip Cox is right when he states ''the city also needs an indigenous gallery of Pacific and Australian art, theatres and performing spaces'' (Letters, September 29). If we are going to appropriate her name then we should honour her and the culture of Australia's indigenous peoples.

Inge Close Fairlight

Good grief. In decrying the overdevelopment of Barangaroo can this be the same Philip Cox, architect, whose appalling new Star City Hotel in the heart of Pyrmont is looming over the historic Union Square?

This oversized building ignores virtually all the planning instruments associated with the site, having been assessed through the awful Part 3A process whereby the government can ignore all reasoned and reasonable arguments put forward by the community - the same process that is being applied to Barangaroo.

The community sought inclusion of some community space, the activation of the Union Street frontage to provide shops to serve the community, and a reduction in height. We got a few storeys knocked off, but that was all.

We also got a retail tunnel leading into the bowels of the building, comprising 10 new gambling dens and drinking outlets.

Union Street is one of the busiest pedestrian-cycling routes in and out of the city, yet we now have a development that turns its back on the community and provides no ''civic space'' for the 12,000 residents and 15,000 workers of Pyrmont.

It will certainly not be ''enjoyed by Pyrmont inhabitants''.

Philip Cox, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Elizabeth Elenius Pyrmont

Oh my Lord Lend Lease. The last thing Sydneysiders need is for a peer to interfere with our harbour.

Drew Morrow Pyrmont

Cox can't talk, his sins have not yet been forgiven

If you live in Sydney long enough you get to see everything. But reading Philip Cox's letter yesterday talking about overdevelopment at Barangaroo takes the cake. This is the same Philip Cox who gave us that phalanx of drain pipe architecture at Darling Harbour's Sydney Exhibition Centre and who ruined the fine-grained redevelopment of Pyrmont.

Cox should have worn hessian underwear for a decade to atone for his sins against the city for those developments. But there he is, attacking the scheme of Richard Rogers, the Pritzker prize-winning architect of Barangaroo. But worse than attacking the scheme, he misleads the public, saying the site is ''overdeveloped … and lacks usable public space''. This is a wilful distortion. In fact, more than 60 per cent of the site is given over to the public, with clearly defined parks, squares and foreshore promenades.

Cox gratuitously says the city doesn't need another botanic garden at Barangaroo. The gall of it. He knows full well that the density of Sydney is rising sharply and that people need more cultivated open space. He then says removing the passenger wharf will constrict the lifeblood of the city when he knows 90 per cent of tourists arrive by aircraft at Mascot and are happy to make their way to the city.

Why should Sydney forfeit a large botanic garden to P&O for a cruise terminal to be used only once every three weeks? Talk about alienating public land.

Philip Cox would do well to reflect somewhat before rushing into print.

Paul Keating Potts Point


Gus: well, stone the crows... and pox on Keating and Cox and the rest of us...

I have had an idea — since the pope amassed a faithaholic flock with a crucifixion reconstruction on this glorious site — for this space now resembling an agglomerate of concrete and recycled tyres used as bumpers for ship berths.

My idea is basically an horizontal recycling of an earlier vertical architectural concept I had had once for this space opposite the Sydney Town Hall that was soon filled in, with humpteen boring stories, by Mr Bond — Alan Bond... who went to prison soon after.

For this contentious sacred site, Barangaroo, more than an architectural concept, we also need a purpose.

And this where I come in with the concept of the "relative purposeful space of ideas". Just a grand design for the glory of this secular earth. A grand non-church for relative sciences and discoveries, in which levels are graded from the simple — for the not much educated person, but acutely aware of the existence of real knowledge that has been obscured by beliefs for too long — to higher levels (or lower levels if you wish) graded in difficulty of understanding where the very complexity of full bore sciences — that would fill the boots of a CERN physicist — would be exposed at the top, in full. In the basement, the erroneous concepts such as "creationism" would be buried for those who think not. Nature of course has its reserved spaces, grand curved vista of plants to walk through, with no lawns, only "ground cover" where appropriate — all giving a relationship between nature and the infinite space above, with a hint of higgs bosons in between...

So I have designed this space where the curvature of the universe is symbolised necessarily.
And we can still have a ship's terminal there, where the cruising monsters are berthed a stone throw away from the shore and passengers disembark through bridges leading to tunnels going through a maze of what's to come above...

Science and art inbred as a second enlightenment new wave preparing us for the 22nd and 23rd centuries...

That would knock their socks off...

It would make us proud to be here on this sacred site devoted to knowledge.

NOTE (12 November 2013) : my sketch at top is no more advanced than the design by Utzon for the Opera House when he won the competition... And of course the project would GENERATE ITS OWN ENERGY with solar panels, windmills and heat transfers.

balancing the city...

And of course, the luminescence of the place would be achieved through glass of various transparency and tints. Apart from the mostly horizontal flooring, most surfaces would show a curve ball trait — including information digital screens — large and small interactive surfaces — that would resonate expressedly with the other side of the city forefront, the Sydney Opera House. Without being a mirror image, this idea would balance off the city.

Call in the engineers, I am game to do the structural drawings after doing full-detailed architectural drawings.

Please also note the glass front at water level and below the water level, that would show a submerged rockery with sea-life... Of course an engineered system of window cleaning would be used to keep these spotless...

The main level would of course take the rising sea level into consideration. After a while the biblical basement would get naturally flooded.

this one's for you, maxine...

Maxine, you demanded Sydney became a "bolder' place to attract more international intention...

At present, the Barangaroo plans are very 1999, not 2050. When the Eiffel Tower was built, it was done to show the courage of a nation... Many glass palaces were also built in the best cities of the world, but commercial function has compromised many these grand places, including by demolition. In the renaissance, churches and duomos where built to astonish the people. Now London has its ferris wheel and a gherkin, poor ideas of building glory...

So as most world cities compete to have the tallest phallic symbol piercing the blue sky, Sydney can't compete in that league, so what do we do with Barangaroo? we conceive an ordinary extension of the city with a small park for the people... No grand vision that would tell the world: look at that!.

This is why the design at the top of these comments would do what you desire. Instead of a finger pointing as at the sky, we need to think, metaphorically of course, of a curvy fluid near female horizontal form with ample bosom and sails, transparent, ethereal, abounding in the daring, in the giving and the knowledge. With new parks designs (no lawns) and cruising vessels-berthing of course. As well, this glorious place would be acting as a second gateway to the city, with newfangled ferry terminals.

One would have to consider though that sea level by 2300 might have risen by at least 4 metres. Thus the main platform would stand above the present sea level at 6 metres. Everything below this main platform would have to be watertighted as necessary except for the creationist section which by 2100 would be a thing of the past.

Energy would be daringly supplied by wind tunnels and solar panels able to provide half of the entire city electricity needs.

Voila. Maxine. No need to raze Chatswood...


a field of vertical noodles...

As a partner to Bennelong and the Opera House, Barangaroo should be brilliant, but it's way too polite, writes Elizabeth Farrelly.

One night in August, as Clover Moore was given a standing ovation by several hundred cyclists outside the Town Hall, she was all but booed off the stage by a similar number of Barangaroo protesters inside. Why? For choosing to be ''in the tent'' on a development over which she has no formal control, compromising herself in hope of improving the outcome.

Now, after relentless criticism from the Greens, the National Trust, and council colleagues, the lord mayor has resigned from the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, citing persistent breaches of the transparency and consultation principles that have shaped her political career. Was she right? Is the process that bad? Or is her string being jerked, as the Premier says, by internal council politics? Should she have stuck with a flawed process to improve the end product?

Depending on where you sit, Barangaroo is either ''gross overdevelopment'' or the most exciting project this century, capable of making Sydney the financial hub of the southern hemisphere. Either way, as perhaps the biggest single development on the planet just now, we need to get it right. So it is good that we debate, passionately - but bad that it didn't happen five years back, when it could actually have made a difference. It's worth remembering two crucial facts. One, that cities are made, not found; they are fundamentally culture, not nature. Two, that city-building is one area where the end must justify the means. Process does not equal product. Paris is the obvious example; tyrannical process, beautiful product. Equally the process may be flawless but the product a committee-designed camel.


From the image provided by the Herald, the project looks like a field of ribbed phalluses... Usual for male dominated and dominating designs... see image of Gus' proposal at top...


detail plans soon...

I am presently working on detailed plans of my concept of Barangaroo... It may take a while but be patient. please...

those #$@^%$! architects! unless it's the "developers!!!"

This is the view that the developpers of Barangaroo have come up with:



Now pay attention at the plonking of 1960-70 style buildings in front of the vista... Don't they look UGLY? What do they mean? Extra apartments for public housing? Should you go with this design of plonking buildings in this sacred sites of maritime history, would it not be better to keep CLEAN UNCLUTTERED lines?

See below and compared the two views:

barangaroo 2


My personal opinion....

polluting customs...


Sri Lanka's main opposition party has demanded the arrest of Australian gambling tycoon James Packer, saying his plan to build a $US400 million ($426 million) casino in Colombo has no proper licence.

Mounting opposition by Buddhist religious leaders and some political parties has already led the Sri Lankan government to delay approval for Mr Packer's Crown Ltd planned casino resort - the flagship project in a government plan to draw in Indian and Chinese gamblers.

Harsha de Silva, a lawmaker for the main opposition United National Party, said the casino should be located offshore rather than in the heart of Colombo, where it would "pollute" customs.


Meanwhile In Sydney, the best view of course would be more public space as intended before Bazza and James robbed you of it...:


Worst of luck, Bazza and James...




full blown greed instead of parks...


In her 2012 book Ground Control, Anna Minton details the insidious privatisation of public space in British cities by multinational development corporations and “acronym-laden quangos”. One of the companies she mentions is immediately recognisable to Sydneysiders.

Lend Lease is currently designing the major part of the 22 hectare waterfront redevelopment at Barangaroo and an additional 20 hectares to its south, at Darling Harbour. The future of the entire western side of the city rests in its hands, and all of it is publicly owned land.

Opened in 1988, Darling Harbour was supposed to be Sydney’s bicentennial legacy project, but lacked a clear structure of public streets and spaces that would fuse it into the surrounding urban fabric. It became a place apart – a retail and tourism folly that lasted just 25 years.

Such a stunning failure in recent memory should have ensured that the renewal of Barangaroo and the second attempt at Darling Harbour were more adeptly handled. Inconceivably, the mistakes of the past have been repeated and compounded.

I was involved in the proposal that won the East Darling Harbour international design competition in 2006, but have had no professional involvement in Barangaroo since. It has been depressing to see how every attempt to set an urban framework that would protect public rights, make the sites an inclusive part of the broader city and ensure long-term adaptability, has been undermined by commercial interests. Rather than inclusive and lively public streets, parks and squares, we are offered exclusive places to spend, and ever-diminishing open spaces surveilled by the lofty eyries of the international elite.

The guardians of the public interest, state governments of both political stripes, have capitulated. The local authority, the City of Sydney, with its unparalleled expertise in making memorable public places, has been wholly excluded from these projects. The civic fundamentals that these sites should have delivered are subjugated to corporate self-interest at best, and completely absent at worst.


See scheme at top...


greed balking at affordable...



The prospect that lower-income earners could enjoy a pad at Barangaroo is in doubt after it emerged Lend Lease is wavering on a commitment to build affordable housing next to James Packer's luxury casino.

The change in stance follows an admission by the state government that a taskforce set up to help solve Sydney’s housing affordability crisis has not met for more than a year, or delivered the housing policy it promised, despite previously saying "doing nothing" was not an option.

Fairfax Media has learnt that Lend Lease has been eyeing off locations away from Barangaroo on which to build the affordable housing component it pledged in return for developing public harbourside land.


Under current approvals for Barangaroo south, 2.3 per cent of 100,000 square metres of residential floor area must be “key worker housing” – homes rented to lower-income public sector workers such as police, nurses, teachers and paramedics.

However it has emerged Lend Lease has been in talks with not-for-profit housing groups about building the homes off-site – potentially allowing it to reap a greater profit from the Barangaroo residential floorspace.

It is understood the developer has considered nearby Millers Point as a potential site. The government is controversially relocating 465 public housing tenants from that suburb as part of a property sell-off.

A source at one community housing provider confirmed the organisation had met with Lend Lease, but questioned whether heritage restrictions at Millers Point would allow affordable housing development.

Read more:

Read about my idea at the top, please...


garbage cans with monitors...

A Google-backed project to build the interconnected, data-driven ‘city of the future’ sounds like all George Orwell’s nightmares come true, and is now in the spotlight after a privacy expert resigned from the project in protest.

Toronto’s Waterfront district used to be an industrial wasteland, but Sidewalk Labs – a sister company of Google – wants to turn that wasteland into a prototype ‘city of the future,’ where data helps planners micromanage every aspect of urban life. The planned Quayside neighborhood will house 5,000 people when built, expanding to host another 5,000 within three to four years, its creators say.

In running the neighborhood as efficiently as possible, Sidewalk Labs will utilize a range of innovative technologies. Sensors will manage street crowds and time traffic signals appropriately, cameras will watch over parks and public spaces, planners will be able to track the movement of every vehicle, person and drone, and garbage cans will monitor their owners’ trash to optimize waste management.


Read more:


I placed this item under my own "plans" for Barangaroo, which for all intent and purposes were going to avoid the "spying" and encourage the "free-thinking" of sciences flourish away from the tight-arsed religious hubris which tends to rule our moneyed hypocrisy and foster greater ignorance. This is where a writer like Thomas Janoski, in his book Citizenship and Civil Society misses the MAJOR point of being human — that of being able to lie for a buck. In his work, there is not a word about criticism of the social construct, neither about the crappy beliefs that rule and nor about humour and satire that can help to refine or reject the crap.


Read from top.

a garden in the sea...

An underwater garden is being planted in Sydney Harbour in an attempt to revitalise marine habitats destroyed by a "legacy of pollution". 


Key points:
  • Developer Lendlease has teamed up with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to bring the garden to life
  • Seaweed will be harvested from other sites in the harbour and transplanted to the Barangaroo garden
  • The project's First Nations advisor says it's the responsibility of developers to protect country


Concrete tiles 3D-printed to mimic four occurring marine habitats have been installed below the sea at Barangaroo.

"We are really trying to capture both the marine life that we have lost and the marine habitats that they like to live on," Macquarie University Marine Ecologist Doctor Katie Dafforn said. 

The project has been 10 years in the making and has been designed to attract sea life that has disappeared because of pollution and development.

The concrete tiles have been installed on three levels, stretching about six metres below the water.

Global construction company Lendlease and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science have teamed up to bring the underwater world to life.

"We do have a bit of a legacy of pollution, unfortunately, in the inner harbour," Dr Dafforn said.

"But projects like this where we are trying to encourage native species like seaweed and oysters, these can really help to clean up the water even further."


Read more:



Well read from top, especially: 

balancing the city...


"Please also note the glass front at water level and below the water level, that would show a submerged rockery with sea-life... Of course an engineered system of window cleaning would be used to keep these spotless... 

The main level would of course take the rising sea level into consideration. After a while the biblical basement would get naturally flooded."


Please also note that Barangaroo is still "resembling an agglomerate of concrete and recycled tyres used as bumpers for ship berths" but now in the shape of vertical phallic buildings, plus a suppository...