WilkinsonEyre completes the Crown at One Barangaroo – a new landmark on Sydney’s famous waterfront that more than rises to its situation

Designed by WilkinsonEyre

From the architects:

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 275m 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.

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 plantings, sculptures and water bounce shadows and shimmering caustics (patterns of light and colour) 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 harbor – together with tennis courts, gyms, an outdoor wedding pavilion, ballroom, cafés, bars and restaurants. The restaurant options include Nobu – the first Australian restaurant by internationally renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Michelin Star restauranteur Clare Smyth.

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 the majority of amenity spaces are designed by international design studio Meyer Davis.

Featuring an array of high-end 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 comments says that 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,” says Wilkinson. “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 that 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,” says Meyer. “We hope the end result is an incredible

reflection of this distinct city, and a world class experience for Sydney locals as well as travellers 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 in 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 Sydney Crown we 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.

Credit list

Crown Resorts
Architect partner
Bates Smart
Structural engineer
Robert Bird Group
St. Legere Design International
Meyer Davis, Bates Smart and Blainey North
Services engineer
Green star accreditation
6 stars under a Green Star customised rating tool for the Integrated Hotel Resort (Target); 5 Stars NABERS Energy for hotels (Target)
71 storeys / 275m

Designed by: Designed by WilkinsonEyre

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Tom Roe

17 Oct, 2021

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