East Darling Harbour International Urban Design Competition

PTW Architects, EDAW (USA), Advanced Environmental Concepts

The urban design proposed for East Darling Harbour presented the opportunity to create a new waterfront place that could position Sydney within the global cultural-information economy; a place that could attract people to work and live while providing for the intense economic exchange and concentration of activities essential for competitiveness in world markets.

Our approach aimed to create flexible spaces that were informed by the local cultural values and memory of Millers Point and Sydney.

The form of the urban design proposal was simple. Composed of a grand promenade along the water’s edge; a 1km long canal that doubles the length of waterfront; an uninterrupted large park that connected directly to Millers Point via Hickson Road and an aerial footbridge; five pier gardens which referenced back to earlier wharves, and a compact peninsula of buildings that rose to the south to maintain views from neighbouring areas.

The 22ha site would have 14ha of public open space and a further 1.6ha of new open water. The built form footprint, intentionally compact at 3.6ha, results in a significantly enhanced level of sustainability.

Environmental sustainability embraced a 4 Green Star minimum rating for all buildings, servicing strategies, which welcome technological change, public transport provisions, closed water loop, recycling, local community and interpretative programs. Staging was flexible and the waterfront utilised as a key means of construction implementation.