Danish architecture firm Henning Larsen has been chosen as the winners of an international competition to design GPT Group and AMP Capital’s $650 million Cockle Bay Wharf scheme.
Henning Larsen's urban park-centred scheme was selected following a global search that saw six architecture firms pitch their plans to reimagine the world-class precinct, following stage one development approval of the concept design for the area's reinvigoration.
The jury-selected design, which will feature a 40-storey office tower and retail podium, will reconnect Sydney's CBD to Cockle Bay and the Pyrmont Bridge with an employment, leisure and cultural precinct, while providing the only sizeable area of public green space along the Darling Harbour waterfront.
The 63,000sq m office tower will feature 1,800sq m floorplates with sweeping views of the harbour at all levels, along with a podium delivering 10,000sq m of retail space.
Henning Larsen were chosen over a shortlist of firms including Woods Bagot, Fjmt, Wilkinson Eyre, Grimshaw and UNStudio in partnership with Cox Architecture.
Spanning a 73,000sq m development area, the transformed precinct will include an elevated park over the eight-lane Western Distributor, which has separated workers and visitors to the waterfront from the city since the 1970s.
The space above the freeway will be converted into more than 7000sq m of public and green space, realising the original vision for the site by re-stitching Cockle Bay to Sydney CBD.
Current constraints in the form of raised freeways and lowered roads will make way for landscaped open space, ramped access and public lifts.
The resulting improved pedestrian access will reconnect workers and visitors to the commercial core of Sydney, with enhanced entrances on Market and Druitt Streets providing unencumbered access to Town Hall Station and the new Sydney Light Rail.
GPT head of office and logistics Matthew Faddy said the redevelopment will set a new benchmark for office building design in the Sydney CBD.
“The quality of the entries produced for this competition were exceptional. Cockle Bay Park will deliver cutting-edge workplaces, leading sustainable design and a significant new public place for the community along with a world-class retail, entertainment and dining precinct,” Faddy said.
Henning Larsen partner Viggo Haremst said the firm was “incredibly proud” to have won this important design competition.
“Cockle Bay Park links the city to the waterfront at Darling Harbour, and we are excited by the opportunity to design a destination that is distinctly human-scaled while also offering world-class retail, office, and public space.
“Sydney is unique in how it entwines a friendly local atmosphere within a cosmopolitan city – we see Cockle Bay Park as an opportunity to reflect this and to emphasise the best of what Sydney can be,” Haremst said.