The City of Sydney has released an updated design for Cloud Arch – its ambitious new public artwork outside Sydney Town Hall, to be built by March 2019.
Designed by Japanese artist and architect Junya Ishigami, Cloud Arch is a steel arch that will rise 58 metres above George Street.
It's inception was fuelled by a desire to increase Sydney’s pulling power on the global tourism stage, similar to Chicago’s Cloud Gate and St Louis’ Gateway Arch.
“Our residents and businesses have consistently told us they want more public artwork. Cloud Arch is our gift to the people of Sydney - a stunning marker of the day the city is finally handed back to its people," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Cloud Arch is the most significant artwork to be built in Australia for decades and will help raise our city’s profile on the world stage.
"It will become a symbol for Sydney and a popular drawcard for residents, workers, tourists and visitors."Cloud Arch's updated design has doubled in size, and includes 140 tonnes of steel which means the cost of the project has increased from $3.5 million to $11.3 million.
By comparison, the cost to install Chicago’s Cloud Gate was AUD $39.2 million and St Louis’ Gateway Arch was AUD $24 million in 1965.
Complex technical constraints beneath George Street have altered the location of the footings which in turn required alterations to the artwork’s structure. The unforeseen constraints related to rail tunnels, retail tunnels, the Cross City Tunnel and major underground services. Further challenges have arisen due to the light rail construction work and the City’s ability to access the site while construction works take place.
City staff have proposed that the increase in cost could be covered by postponing and using funds set aside for Hany Armanious’ Pavilion artwork and re-allocating savings from the public domain budget – a result of a number of voluntary planning agreements that the City struck with developers.
“The value that this artwork will add to the city centre cannot be underestimated,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The additional investment will be repaid many times over through the hundreds of thousands of visitors that will visit Sydney to view the artwork, dine at nearby eateries and spend money at local businesses, boosting the local economy.
“It will become one of the most photographed landmarks in our city and add to Sydney’s standing as one of the world’s great cultural capitals.”
Once approved, construction of Cloud Arch is expected to be complete before March 2019.