Designed by WilkinsonEyre following an international design competition in 2013, Crown Sydney at One Barangaroo is located on the waterfront in a newly regenerated site on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. The 275-metre tower and podium which marks the northwest corner of the city’s main Central Business District comprises a luxury resort hotel with 349 hotel rooms and suites, waterfront restaurants, cafés, bars and high-end shops, together with 76 luxury residential apartments above.
Cover image: © Tom Roe
Conceived as an inhabited sculpture, the tower form draws inspiration from nature, with three petals that twist as they rise up from the ground and podium. One peels off at mid-level to create the main hotel accommodation while the other two continue up to form the residential accommodation in the tower.
A four-storey podium with perimeter terraces is overlaid with a veil of marble sections that arch informally and are reminiscent of Gothic stone tracery, providing some shade to the terraces beneath and a touch of visual lightness to the podium. At the lower levels, the podium responds to its spectacular waterfront location and adjacent newly regenerated public spaces, with four entrances making strong connections and encouraging permeability. Guests arrive through a dramatic, triple height porte-cochère enclosed by glass blades and verdant planting that frames the main entrances to the hotel and residences. The monolithic, undulating soffit guides the eye in towards the reception as it transitions seamlessly to the lobby ceiling. Feature lighting on the planting, sculptures and water bounce shadows and shimmering caustics onto the soffit creating a changing environment throughout the day. Upon entering the lobby, a dramatic staircase curves up to the fourth floor creating a spherical void. Continuing the idea of an inhabited artwork, the geometry of the stair is tuned to allow light to filter down from the top, physically and visually connecting all four levels.
On top of the podium are two sky terraces each with infinity pools overlooking the harbour together with tennis courts, gyms, an outdoor wedding pavilion, ballroom, cafés, bars and restaurants which include Nobu by internationally renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Michelin Star restauranteur Clare Smyth’s first Australian restaurant. Exotic landscaping is by St Legere Design International and the Crown Spa inspired by the Sydney Harbour is designed by interior design studio Blainey North.
The waterfront cafés, bars and restaurants sit in exotic landscaping under glazed Voronoi canopies, taking advantage of the harbour views. The interiors for all public spaces, hotel rooms and suites, residences and majority of amenity spaces are designed by international design studio Meyer Davis. Featuring an array of highend materials and custom lighting fixtures, furniture, millwork, and carpets all designed by Meyer Davis, the interiors are wholly unique yet symbiotic with the architecture and natural surroundings of Sydney Harbour. The concentric nature of the building means that no two rooms are the same, which required a bespoke approach to each interior space. With an emphasis on impeccable attention to detail and natural materials, such as rare stones and marble, the interiors are inviting, refined, and provide each guest with a heightened luxury experience.
The tower which connects to the ground and podium is supported by a vertical core with outriggers that connect to concrete helical perimeter columns which follow the changing form of the building. The continuous curving highly insulated façade is made up of three different systems. This includes a triangulated system to deal with the tighter curves, while the main tower glazing consists of floor-to-floor rectangular panels of differing widths that were cold pressed into shape using the latest technology. The third glazing system enclosing the hotel room accommodation, takes on a more traditional curtain walling system with projecting mullions.
While the glazing systems require a high number of bespoke glazed panels to deal with curvature, they are also highly insulated to reduce solar gain and provide a continuous glazed form that captures and reflects the light, which changes throughout the day. The hotel rooms and apartments are designed to make full use of the panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city, each with a unique configuration that deals with the changing floor plates at each level.
WilkinsonEyre’s co-founder, Chris Wilkinson’s comments: “The idea was to create a sculptural form that rises up on the skyline like an inhabited artwork with different levels of transparency. An elegant structural form, the building takes full advantage of the panoramic views of Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the relationship with its special Darling Harbour site. The way a tower reaches the sky is important to me – in the past you would find the plant on the upper levels but, with this building, the petals twist and turn as the building rises up to the sky. Equally important is how the building meets the ground – one petal extends to the ground providing a continuous line down the west elevation of the building, which is pretty unique.”
Will Meyer, co-founder of Meyer Davis said: “The interiors of Crown Sydney were directly influenced by the majestic qualities of Sydney Harbour and the coastal lifestyle it represents, as well as Wilkinson Eyre’s intricate, twisting design for the scheme. Our design philosophy for this building is rooted in an inspired sense of luxury and refined integration of interiors with the surrounding environment. We hope the end result is an incredible reflection of this distinct city, and a world class experience for Sydney locals as well as travelers from across the globe.”
The building plays an important role in the transformation of Barangaroo into the first carbon neutral precinct and a world class destination. In support of the Barangaroo zero waste strategy and a wider commitment to the Climate Positive Development Program, the design exceeds current standards for energy performance and plugs into the Barangaroo development local district heating and waste systems. During the build of One Barangaroo, Crown have significantly contributed to the clean-up and remediation of the Barangaroo precinct and over 300 trees have been planted within the grounds. One Barangaroo has created over 2,000 jobs for New South Wales and celebrates local craftmanship with hundreds of artworks by Australian artists on display.
Area: 146500 m²
Photographs: Tom Roe
Interiors: Bates Smart, Blainey North, Meyer Davis
Structural Engineer: Robert Bird Group
Services Engineer: AECOM
Landscape: St. Legere Design International
Client: Crown Resorts Limited
Project description courtesy of architects