Renzo Piano has become the latest architect to contribute a design to the major redevelopment of Sydney's Barangaroo South waterfront (+ movie).
The Italian architect has designed a pair of residential high-rises for the £3 billion harbour regeneration project, which also includes skyscraper proposals by British firms Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Wilkinson Eyre.
Developer Lend Lease confirmed rumours that Renzo Piano was to be involved in the project in an official announcement last Friday. His two buildings, named One Sydney Harbour, represent the final contribution to the site masterplan, which has now been submitted to the New South Wales planning department for approval.
"The revised concept plan represents an exciting vision for one of the most significant harbour projects in Sydney's history," said Andrew Wilson, managing director of Lend Lease's Barangaroo South team.
The Barangaroo scheme will create over seven hectares of public space, which Wilson said will include "complete harbour-front access and vibrant community space". A park, waterfront promenade and plaza are also proposed.
"We have ensured that all of the public benefits that we originally proposed in our 2010 plan remain," he said.
Construction has already begun on International Towers Sydney – a trio of commercial towers designed by Richard Rogers' firm to create 280,000 square metres of office space.
The tallest building in the development will be Wilkinson Eyre's 235-metre-high Crown Sydney Hotel Resort. The firm won a competition in 2013 to design the building, with a nature-inspired design that architect Paul Baker describes as "three petal forms which twist and rise together".
The project has faced some opposition, with several critics questioning whether the site previously known as East Darling Harbour is suitable for this scale of development. In 2011, Richard Rogers was forced to defend the scheme when an architect branded it "the worst of Dubai".
But Wilson said the project will allow Barangaroo to come to life: "This unique site is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create something truly special for Sydney".
If approved, One Sydney Harbour will be Piano's second project in Australia, following the mixed-use Aurora Place complex the architect completed beside Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens in 2000.
Another waterfront redevelopment is also proposed elsewhere in the city – OMA, Hassell and Populous are working together to redevelop Sydney's convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour.