As you might've read in the papers, James Packer's newest construction project – to add a lavish $2 billion Crown casino resort to the Sydney skyline – has just received the final go-ahead from the NSW Planning Commission. The Barangaroo Crown Casino, tipped to become the most luxurious casino resort in the Sydney harbour area upon completion, garnered a slew of media attention before the project was even formally commenced. In case you haven't been keeping up with the coverage, here are three things you probably didn't know about Packer's latest casino!
The Barangaroo Crown Casino Resort will be the first six-star hotel in Sydney.
If James Packer has his way, the Barangaroo Crown Resort will literally be off-the-charts. He's promising a six-star hotel, but the official international rating system, as well as Australia's formal accommodation rating system (the Triple A system), only goes up to five stars. How is Crown Resorts going to top luxury hotel stalwarts like the Park Hyatt or The Darling and convince customers that five stars just isn't enough? Well, for starters, the building design is absolutely phenomenal – the faÃ§ade will resemble three petals winding and twisting together, veiled in white glass. Moreover, the Barangaroo Crown Casino will be the tallest building in Sydney, with an estimated height of over 270 metres. If this modernist vision is realised, Sydney's first six-star hotel may well be in the pipeline.
The building design aims to balance the private and public good.
Crown Resorts' initial announcement was met with an outcry from small sections of the community concerned that such a dramatic alteration to the Sydney skyline might have environmental or aesthetic drawbacks. Responding to these criticisms, particularly from commentators who had hoped the building site would be used for the construction of a public park, Crown Resorts modified the building design to add additional green spaces and allow public access to the upper floors, which will deliver panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The planning permission has been made conditional on the fulfilment of these promises.
The Barangaroo Crown Casino Resort is designed by Wilkinson Eyre.
Haven't heard of Wilkinson Eyre Architects? Well, you'll definitely recognise some of their buildings. Some of the most iconic architecture of the 21st century was designed by WEA, including the London 2012 Basketball Arena and the Gardens by the Bay botanic conservatories in Singapore. Their cutting-edge design for the Barangaroo Crown, described by founder Chris Wilkinson as an inhabited artwork, suggests that the newest Crown Resort project may well become the most prestigious building in WEA's impressive portfolio.
Further reading and resouces
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/reject-james-packers-casino-tower-city-of-sydney-20160428-gogtq1.html (of course it was still approved because this is James Packer and money gets you whatever you want)
https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/31/casino-mikes-sydney-beautiful-one-day-barangaroo-ed-the-next/ (insight into private vs public land and the history of how ownership has been transferred etc etc)